Actress, then car dealer, and finally ice cream aficionado. That’s the offbeat path Erika Thomas took to create Denver ice cream darling High Point Creamery, which she co-owns with her husband, Chad Stutz. After selling the dealership she ran in Ohio, she took on her passion project full time, attending Penn State’s ice cream school to better learn her craft. High Point Creamery recently opened a third location on Tennyson Street in the family-friendly Berkeley neighborhood.
Thomas attributes High Point’s flavors—regarded as twists on classics—to a “superpower” that developed after the birth of her son: a heightened sense of smell.
“I can smell someone smoking in their car three cars ahead,” says Thomas, laughing that it can get annoying at times to have a strong sense of smell. However this strong palate has allowed her to develop many of High Point’s recipes.
High Point Creamery now has three locations in Denver (Hilltop, RiNo, and Berkeley), and a food truck that they bring to corporate events, birthday parties, and festivals. With two kids and a thriving business, Thomas says she’s able to get everything done thanks to splitting all responsibility with Chad.
“He’s my partner in business and in life,” she says. “It’s a very split relationship because he’s got the math brain and does the behind-the-scenes accounting and I handle the retail and front of house.”
All of High Point Creamery’s ice cream is made at their Hilltop location, using just two ice cream machines, named Biggie and Tupac. The space is no bigger than a small pantry. Given their popularity, it’s even more impressive that they’re able to pull off their artisanal flavors in such a small space.
High Point’s flavors range from warming Earl Gray with shortbread cookies to basil with blackberry swirl, a surprising kid favorite which boasts a great balance of earthy and sweet. Mint chocolate bark is Thomas’ favorite flavor. She says it shows off the high quality ingredients—fresh mint, hand-shaved Belgium milk chocolate, and Colorado cream—that they use to create a taste that’s better than any neon green versions. High Point’s vegan options don’t disappoint either; with coconut crème brulee made with house-made brulee chips, or the gluten- and dairy-free coconut cherry crisp, a bright blend of tart cherries and a crisp crumble.
“We’ve been looking at expanding into Tennyson for a couple years,” says Thomas. “It’s filled with awesome families in a great neighborhood. This street is amazing, especially with Wayback and Allegro being a few doors down, and a park next door. It’s a great community.”