On November 14, join VITAMIN W and Elsa and Me for a fireside chat with MilkMade founder Diana Hardeman in NYC from 7pm-9pm. For more information and tickets, click here.
By Amy Willard-Cross
Believe it or not, there are people who eat ice cream every day. Diana Hardeman does and she runs a successful business catering to those who just scream for it.
They’re screaming with delight, since her dairy confection retails for $15 pint—and is dubbed the world’s most expensive ice cream by the Times.
MilkMade is a subscription service for super deluxe ice cream. So far she has thousands of members in New York City and hopes to expand nationally.
We’re not talking simply chocolate chip. MilkMade flavors are purple passion pie or honey roasted honeycomb. Some feature ingredients you may not be able to pick out in a produce lineup: ie, elote, yuan fei or churro.
Many businesses are born as a personal need—or pleasure. Certainly, making ice cream started as a hobby. Hardeman admits she used to have Ben & Jerrys or Haagen Daz every day. She says, “I wanted a better pint. One day I realized, I don’t even love this. I want something unique and local. My flavor palate had become more sophisticated.” B&J’s wasn’t natural anymore, and some pints had shrunk. So she thought she could make something better. And she does, by reaching out to local farmers for ingredients—bringing the local slow food movement into your freezer.
Barely out of business school, Hardeman launched her business and didn’t realize it would “blow up.” Ice cream has been her livelihood for several years now.
When asked who signs up for monthly ice cream delivery, Hardeman says, “It’s for people into new things--that covers most of Manhattan. People read about something and if it’s in their budget, they buy it.” Indeed, she has a waiting list of people hoping for dry ice delivery—which will come after MilkMade does a crowd funding project in December. Artisan ice cream also makes a good gift for people who already have everything. And of course, it appeals to real foodies.
The success of MilkMade also relates the vogue for craft in food. Hardeman cites the loving thank you’s she gets from customers—asserting that her ice cream is the best reason to live in Manhattan, “You don't get that from large scale manufacturing. It's all in the craft.”