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Millie's Homemade Ice Cream

LauraPetrilla-MilliesIceCream-3114 - Copy
6901 Lynn Way
Pittsburgh, PA
Business Expansion
Total Project Cost
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We found The Progress Fund to be incredibly responsive and helpful throughout the application process. They made it as easy as possible for us to put together the materials they needed.

- Lauren Townsend, co-owner, Millie's Homemade Ice Cream


Chad and Lauren Townsend needed a rush of inspiration. He had honed his culinary skills in France and served as chef at fine Pittsburgh restaurants. She worked in finance, and knew that they could launch a business. Talking it over at an ice cream shop, at first they got only brain freeze. The taste was not inspiring. “Chad and I started thinking about it,” says Lauren, “and I asked him, ‘Is anybody making ice cream in Pittsburgh?’”


They started small, making artisanal ice cream for friends, special events and, later, subscribers. To be sustainable, they’d need a dairy plant. Big banks brushed them off, but a friendly banker referred them to The Progress Fund, which loaned $90,000.


Now the Townsends bring Pennsylvania dairy, Amish eggs and local fruits, grains and even vegetables together in their North Point Breeze plant. There, Chad and a team including Pittsburgh Public Schools culinary students craft unique ice creams – Toasted Oat or Brown Butter Parsnip, anyone? – now sold at shops including their own Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream in Shadyside. Lauren’s favorites? Concord grape sorbet, or pistachio ice cream. But you can also order “The BEST Chocolate” or “Chad’s Vanilla.” “At the end of the day,” Lauren says, “we know ice cream is supposed to be fun.”

The Progress Fund is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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News about Millie's Homemade Ice Cream

The tiny shop in Pittsburgh that serves homemade ice cream to die for

Millie's Homemade Ice Cream was featured in Only In Your State's article: "The Tiny Shop in Pittsburgh That Serves Homemade Ice Cream to Die For". Continue reading Read the full post »