In 2010 Keith Schroeder founded High Road Ice Cream to offer restaurants a portfolio of chef-inspired, regionally influenced ice creams. However, his food service business soon expanded to private label offerings for major retailers and then consumer facing brands including High Road, Wallops and Ciao Bella Gelato (the latter of which was acquired by High Road in 2018).
Producing out of its own 75,000 square foot plant in Marietta, Georgia, High Road has been growing quickly in the last several years, reporting $15.3 million in sales in 2018. And despite increased competition from better-for-you or low-calorie options in the category, Schroeder has achieved this success by sticking to his initial concept of offering flavor-forward, indulgent offerings.
At last week’s Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco, Schroeder spoke with NOSH Editor Carol Ortenberg about his patient approach to growing the brand, why he acquired Ciao Bella Gelato and his decision to eschew category trends such as plant-based and keto. He also explained why brands should be okay with “wins and losses” and shared how the brand plans to take on larger players such as Nestle, Unilever and Wells this year in an effort to become “the country’s next generation leading ice cream company.”