By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Apr 02, 2021 at 11:36 AM

Can you imagine Milwaukee without Purple Door Ice Cream?  We certainly can’t.

And yet, it’s still tough to believe that the company, which has been churning out pints of deliciousness – in over 200 flavors from whiskey and salted caramel to Purple Moon  – will officially  turn 10 years old later this month.  

It was April 14, 2011 when former educators Lauren and Steve Schultz sold their first gallon of ice cream to Pastiche Bistro in Bay View; and since that day, Purple Door has churned thousands more gallons for customers throughout Milwaukee, Wisconsin  and the U.S. Each of those gallons has contributed to Purple Door’s Milk for Milwaukee initiative, which has donated 17,235 gallons of milk to area homeless shelters in the last decade.

What began as a small wholesale business also grew over the  years to include three scoop shops: the first in Walker’s Point, a second at Sherman Phoenix and a third in the Mequon Public Market. You can hear the Schultzes talk about their business journey in this episode of the FoodCrush podcast.

To celebrate their milestone anniversary on April 14, all three Purple Door locations will be offering free 1-ounce scoops of ice cream as a thank you to customers.

But, that’s not all.

Vegan pints & community projects

Even after a decade, Purple Door continues to innovate and create new products for their customers. 

Today (April 2) they will release a brand new line of vegan “ice cream” made with coconut milk, which will be available at all Purple Door scoop shops, along with select area grocers.

Vegan pint options include: Dark Chocolate, Cold Brew Coffee (made w/Anodyne Coffee), Peach Raspberry, Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch, Purple Moon and Door County Cherry Crisp.

Purple Door has also partnered with students from Homestead High School’s Product Development Project (PDP) class to create something special for the 10 year anniversary.

Students spent the trimester creating marketing pieces, surveys, meetings with staff and learning many aspects of small business. The students have also created a delicious Chocolate Covered Strawberry ice cream flavor which will be sold for the first time ever in a drive-through event at Homestead High School on Saturday, April 17.

Pints of the ice cream can be pre-ordered online for pick-up on April 17 from 1 to 3 p.m. at Homestead High School, 5000 W. Mequon Rd. Proceeds will support the Purple Door Merit Scholarship at Homestead High School.

Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.