“…a treat for the ultra-premium sweet tooth…”
“…absolutely, completely, knock-your-socks-off wonderful.”
“…a habit that might bankrupt even a rich man.”
With rave reviews like this, you’d think any Georgian would know about Chamblee-based Greenwood Ice Cream. But there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of it. And that suits company owner Mitchell Williams just fine.
Housed in the same humble brick building it has occupied since 1952, the frozen dessert manufacturer keeps a low profile, primarily supplying fine dining restaurants and independent ice cream parlors. Only a sharp-eyed driver along Peachtree Road — maybe one who’s heard about the company’s walk-in factory store — would spy the white letters spelling out “Greenwood” above the nondescript entrance.
This Walton Gas customer has carved out a niche as a
premium ice cream and frozen specialty dessert maker.
Don’t let the plain appearance fool you, though. Food artistry is occurring behind that door. During National Ice Cream Month, we’re getting the scoop on this Walton Gas customer that has carved out a niche as a premium ice cream and frozen specialty dessert maker.
The best ice cream you’ve never heard of
With more than 200 flavors among its regular offerings, ice cream is the unquestionable headliner at Greenwood. The company’s other frozen dessert specialties, mostly made at a second manufacturing facility in Norcross, include sherbet, frozen yogurt, gelato, Italian ice, sorbet and Thai rolled desserts.
“Much of the inspiration for our flavors comes from listening to our customers,” said Williams, who has been a hands-on flavor formulator since buying the company in 1990.
An ever-rotating menu of creamy ice creams (featuring 18 percent butterfat) includes classics like Butter Pecan and Peach. There are also more exotic options, such as Azuki (Japanese Red Bean), a favorite Asian restaurant meal finisher. Peppermint Candy and Egg Nog are among the list of seasonal offerings.
“If you want something special, fingers point to us.”
The Greenwood team takes special pride in helping restaurant chefs create new indulgent flavors for their dessert menus.
“If you want something special, fingers point to us,” Williams said. “We’re a bit of a unicorn; nobody else is serving this specific need in the food service/hospitality industry.”
Combining science and art
“What we do here is a cross between an art and a science,” said Williams.
Whether it’s basic vanilla or a custom concoction, every gallon of ice cream made at Greenwood begins with Grade A sweet cream that must be pasteurized — and that’s where Walton Gas enters the picture.
Food safety is paramount, so an essential step in making ice cream is heating up the milk mixture to kill any bacteria, Williams explained about the science behind ice cream making. Natural gas heats water in boilers that warm the ice cream mix to a temperature of 180 degrees F before it is homogenized and then frozen.
From unusual flavor pairings to a picture-perfect ripple,
everything counts in making ice cream that is superior.
Once it reaches the consistency of soft-serve ice cream, the artistry begins. From unusual flavor pairings to a picture-perfect ripple, everything counts in making ice cream that is superior in appearance as well as taste.
“There is a lot of thoughtful detail that goes into making our products,” Williams said. “We’re always searching for the best ingredients and techniques to develop treats that most people really enjoy from the first lick to the last.”
The Greenwood Factory Store is open to the public Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Individual ice cream pies as well as mini tubs (79-ounce containers) are for sale. Favorites like vanilla, chocolate and strawberry are always available, but there are often some surprises, too.