Sugar High — a sweet wordplay on Colorado’s Mile High altitude — serves up rolled ice cream and miniature sugar-dusted doughnuts in a space sprinkled with a feminine chic décor. Sugar High first opened in June 2020 after rebranding from I-CE-NY, a rolled ice cream franchise out of New York. It wasn’t until owners Jordan Thomas, Tristan Zahn and Hy Bui decided to give this storefront a cosmetic makeover and switch up the menu.
Both Thomas and Zahn are originally from New Mexico, but a job relocation for Thomas’ husband landed her in Denver. Soon after, her cousin and business partner, Zahn followed to help bring Sugar High to fruition.
From the ice cream presentation to the blush and gold accents throughout the space — this trendy ice cream shop is anything but ordinary. The large grass wall and neon sign quoting notorious rapper Biggie Smalls immediately draws attention. Thomas took inspiration when designing Sugar High from the many trendy ice cream and tea shops in London.
“My style is really girly, even my house is decorated like this. So naturally, it was easy to adopt that design. It also makes for cool Instagram moments,” Thomas said.
Not only is the ice cream rolled rather than scooped, the menu also offers some non-traditional flavors as well. Each rolled ice cream ($6.50) is made from an almond milk and coconut cream base that is chilled on an ultra-cold surface and then rolled into flavors like Coco Pebbles, Fruity Pebbles, Matcha green tea, Taro, strawberry cheesecake, mango sticky icky and cookie butter.
Apart from ice cream, the menu also serves hot miniature doughnuts ($5) both sugar, powdered sugar or cinnamon-dusted, milkshakes, coffee and tea. Though ice cream and doughnuts aren’t the healthiest food options, Zahn wanted to incorporate his background in nutrition by offering protein shakes and whey smoothies.
Because the space was originally meant to be a gathering experience, Sugar High has seen a slight impact on visitors due to capacity restrictions. Luckily, the fast-casual design for ordering still makes grab-and-go easy. Sugar High still offers a way to cool off this summer with patio space available and to-go options.
As the summer winds down, Sugar High plans on transitioning its menu by offering more smoothie and protein shake flavors along with possible fair food additions to accompany the hot miniature doughnuts.
Sugar High is located at 1525 N. Raleigh St. Suite 110, Denver. It is open every day from 2-9 p.m.
All Photography By Amanda Piela