Purple Door Ice Cream – Milwaukee, WI

The bite: Purple Door Ice Cream

The inspiration: a childhood dream

Purple Door copy

Artwork by Sorin


I overheard a few local dairy cows talking the other day, bragging about how they have the best gig in town: producing milk and cream for Milwaukee’s Purple Door Ice Cream. How did this come to be?

Two educators find themselves on a first date where the girl shares her childhood dream of making and selling ice cream. This develops into a key partnership, a marriage, a new and growing business, and dedicated commitments to the Milwaukee community and the environment. This is Lauren and Steve Schultz of Purple Door Ice Cream.

Purple Door Ice Cream’s premium flavors, fresh and seasonal fruits, and the best quality local ingredients make for classic as well as unexpected taste combinations, and I may add, memorable. Think lemon lavender, salted caramel, chocolate cinnamon . . .

All decisions made for Purple Door Ice Cream, from ingredients to packaging to fundamental business decisions, are made with three core values in mind: financial, social, and environmental. Lauren and Steve have created a community initiative, Milk for Milwaukee, where a portion of profits from every pint, gallon or tub sold is allocated to purchase fresh milk for four area partners: Guest House-men’s shelter and programming, Cathedral Center-women and family shelter, Pathfinders-youth, GLBT, runaway shelter, and Walker’s Point Youth and Family Center. Purple Door Ice Cream has currently donated more than 3,400 gallons of milk to their MFM partners.

Are inquiring minds wondering about the name’s origin? I certainly was. In middle school Lauren and her friends were chatting one night when Lauren’s “ice cream shop” idea came up. They brainstormed together to think of a name for it and, since purple was Lauren’s favorite color, they thought Purple Door was a fantastic name for an ice cream shop. When the decision was made to start the business, naming it anything other than Purple Door would strip the soul out of what Lauren and Steve wanted to accomplish.

Purple Door Ice Cream and Lauren and Steve Schultz, an inspiring story of a childhood dream that came to fruition, benefiting the community and our taste buds with their superior product.


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