You might see long lines forming outside of Pleasant Ridge’s Revolution Rotisserie location this Saturday morning, but the customers won’t necessarily be waiting for roasted chicken. Instead, they’ll be waiting for doughnuts, ice cream, and milkshakes from Milkman, a new dessert pop-up.
Founder Nick Pesola, who also founded Revolution Rotisserie in 2014, had been throwing around ideas for a desserts-only pop-up for a while, but he became particularly inspired to start serving doughnuts after a visit to The Hole, a doughnut shop in Asheville, North Carolina. He was drawn to the shop’s no-frills, made-to-order doughnuts that were made with quality ingredients.
“What stood out to me was the simplicity of it,” Pesola says. “I could definitely do without all the gimmicky stuff with doughnut shops.”
Pesola paired his doughnut dream with another idea for an ice cream pop-up that he was already contemplating, and Milkman was born. The shop currently operates out of Revolution Rotisserie’s Pleasant Ridge location on Saturdays and Sundays, with doughnuts available starting at 9 a.m., and ice cream and shakes available starting at 10:30 a.m.
The menu currently features preservative-free, made-from-scratch ice cream and sorbet in classic flavors like vanilla bean, cookies n’ cream, and chocolate ganache. They also serve 10 different doughnut varieties, and six milkshakes, which are also made in-house. Four of the shakes, called “Boozy” shakes, are alcoholic and based on classic cocktails like a Manhattan or a White Russian.
Treats from Milkman can be taken to-go, enjoyed on the benches right outside, or ordered with a meal if customers choose to dine in at Revolution Rotisserie.
So far, Pesola says, the reception has been overwhelmingly positive. On its first weekend open, Milkman sold out of doughnuts in less than an hour both mornings. Pesola says the only marketing he did for the pop-up was a Facebook post the night before. Milkman’s doughnuts and ice cream have continued to sell out fast ever since its June 13 opening date.
Pesola sees the positive reaction from customers as a demonstration of the power of comfort food during the pandemic. To him, nostalgic treats like ice cream and doughnuts offer an “escape from reality” during such troubling times, and Milkman was his way of making the best of a bad situation. “I took the When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, and I turned it into When life spills your milk, make milkshakes.”
Milkman, 6063 Montgomery Rd., Pleasant Ridge