Highland Dreamery opens in Midtown


Emma Young

Rachel Kitchens opened Highland Dreamery in June.

Emma Young

Ever since she was young, Rachel Kitchens has loved baking desserts and making ice cream. Last year, she decided to turn her passion into a business.

Kitchens opened ‘Highland Dreamery’ earlier this year, on June 17. The shop occupies the space that formerly housed ‘Where’s The Scoop,’ a dessert and ice cream store. ‘Highland Dreamery’ specializes in rolled ice cream, bubble tea, coffee and other desserts.

“It’s always been kind of a pipe dream to own a desert place,” Kitchens said. “I’ve always wanted to do something like this and when the opportunity presented itself, it was too good to pass up.”

Kitchens did not initially start her career in the restaurant business. However, her passion for making desserts and ice cream fueled her decision to purchase the store and open her own business.

“I’ve made ice cream myself for several years now,” Kitchens said. “It’s always been a fun thing to do and maybe a retirement job kind of thing, but when the shop went up  for sale, I was like I could actually do this. It was a great twist of fate.”

Before opening ‘Highland Dreamery,’ Kitchens worked for a supply chain software company and focused on software implementation. She has kept this job while also devoting much of her time to opening the business. 

“I was at a point in my life where I was not loving every moment of my day at my other job,” Kitchens said. “I’ve cooked and made ice cream for as long as I can remember and it was something I was truly passionate about.”

Although Kitchens has no formal restaurant training, she has received helpful guidance from those around her.

“I got really good mentorship from the former owners of the shop in terms of the business expertise,” Kitchens said. “Additionally, a lot of the staff stayed, so they’ve been great. They’ve taught me just as much as I’ve taught them.”

Senior Ryan Schulz started working there last summer, when the shop was still ‘Where’s The Scoop.’

“We all have a say in how things happen and we get to work together to help the business run well,” Schulz said. “Rachel has done a lot of work improving the business, including improving items on the menu.”

The change in ownership has also brought some new changes to the store. Although ‘Where’s The Scoop’ and ‘Highland Dreamery’ both sell similar items, ‘Highland Dreamery’ is putting more of a focus on local, handmade products.

“The handmade aspect of it attracts a lot of people,” Schulz said. “We’re a local business so many of our ingredients are from a local creamery. Our products are made by hand, so it’s just a more personal experience.”

The prime location of the store also attracts many customers. ‘Highland Dreamery’ is located on Monroe and has close proximity to the Beltline, Piedmont Park, and Midtown High School.

“The location can’t be beat,” Kitchens said. “A lot of people come in from the Beltline and Piedmont Park who want a cool, sweet treat. Being close to the school also attracts a lot of students.”

Many students go there after school, especially on Friday afternoons. Freshman Colbi Browning has tried a couple of the items on the menu. 

“My favorite was the salted caramel rolled ice cream,” Browning said. “It had vanilla ice cream with caramel, pretzels, and whipped cream on top. I also really liked the Thai milk tea.”

The menu offers many different kinds of combinations of rolled ice cream flavors and toppings, but the staff can make just about anything customers want.

“It’s cool having a place that serves things like rolled ice cream and bubble tea so close to the school,” Browning said. “Those things are unique, so I really like that.”

For now, Kitchens is focused on expanding menu items and possibly in the future, opening more locations.

“I think love for ice cream is pretty universal,” Kitchens said. “You can be just as excited to get an ice cream whether you’re five or 95. To me, I hope the store kind of transcends age in that way.”