The Fellowship Model

It takes a community of people to build ice cream from the ground up: growers, makers, producers, suppliers, customers. We call it the fellowship model—combining values from the good food world with tools from the 21st century. We’ve always worked with a lot of people to make ice cream the way we want to make it, and these relationships have enabled us to do what no other ice cream company has done before. We believe we get higher quality ingredients when we know the people we’re buying from, so we buy direct whenever we can. Making ice cream this way requires more work and skill than traditional ice creams made with flavorings and colorings, but we think it’s worth it.

Scroll 👇 to meet our partners

Milk from family-run farms

Dairy is the foundation of everything we do, so we use the best we can find. Smith’s, the century-old dairy in Orrville, Ohio, has been sourcing raw cream and grass-grazed milk and pasteurizing it for us for years. They work with small family farms within 200 miles of our kitchen, including Berg Farms, where the dairy cattle are milked twice a day and freely spend the balance of their waking hours grazing lush Northeast Ohio pastures.

Rufenacht family at Rufenacht Farm in Archbold, Ohio
Cows roaming at Kahle Farms in Ohio
Man at Norden Dairy hugs calf

Arps Dairy

If you want to know how we get our buttermilk frozen yogurts (BFYs) so impossibly creamy, here’s the answer: Arps Dairy. Located in Defiance, Ohio, Arps Dairy uses milk from family farms located within 30 miles of their creamery. We’ve partnered with the 82-year-old dairy to develop a naturally tart, medium-bodied yogurt that they make just for us. Blended with grass-grazed Ohio milk and exquisite fruits from around the world, their super-creamy, incredibly fresh-tasting yogurt makes our yogurts as flavorful as any ice cream on our menu. We also source Arps fresh cultured buttermilk, which lends crazy body and a bit of sourness to our BFYs.

Ripened berries against the blue sky at Hirsch Fruit Farm
Worker carrying Pumpkins at Hirsch Fruit Farm
Hirsch sign with red apple at Hirsch Fruit Farm in Chillicothe, Ohio
Worker holding freshly picked blackberries in their hands

Hirsch Fruit Farm

Jeni first met fourth-generation farmer Mike Hirsch at a farmers market in Columbus. Every week, she’d browse his tables filled with berries, apples, and pumpkins, and churn his bounty into fresh flavors. More than two decades later, Mike is still growing unique produce just for us on his more than 125-year-old family farm in Chillicothe, Ohio. He grows wonderful, ruby berries for Strawberry Buttermilk ice cream, buttercup pumpkins for Pumpkin Cake Roll ice cream, and vine-ripened blackberries for brambleberry jam. 

Intelligentsia Coffee

Intelligentsia Coffee buyers source and develop naturally sweet coffees from some of the best producers in the world. The company, founded in 1995 and based in Chicago, is recognized as an industry pioneer for its creation of the Direct Trade purchasing model (which enables them to truly partner with our growers), groundbreaking coffee bars, and award-winning baristas. We could not be more proud to work with them to make Coffee with Cream & Sugar ice cream.

Beans roasting at Intelligentsia Coffee headquarters in Chicago
Intelligentsia Coffee sign in Chicago
Ryan Lang and Brady Konya of Middle West Spirits smiling in front of their bar

Middle West Spirits

Our longtime friends Ryan Lang and Brady Konya of Middle West Spirits hand-select barrels of whiskey and bourbon just for us to fold into ice cream. One of the first craft distillers in the country, Middle West in Columbus, Ohio, makes products that are unlike anything else. Their spirits pay homage to the agronomy of Ohio, using only ingredients grown in the state. This includes food-grade corn, wheat, and pumpernickel rye, among other grains to create spirits with flavor profiles distinct to the surrounding terroir. To make Middle West Whiskey & Pecans ice cream, we reach for their signature whiskey distilled with single-origin, soft red winter wheat, and barrel-aged to perfection in white American oak cooperage. 

The Peach Truck

There’s nothing like the fragrance, flavor, and texture of fresh, in-season, tree-ripened Southern peaches. Thanks to Stephen and Jessica Rose, owner-operators of The Peach Truck, we were able to get our hands on some of that wonderful bounty to make beautiful peach ice creams every year, including Sweet Cream Biscuits & Peach Jam.

Watershed Distillery

We could barely contain our excitement when we heard that our friend Greg Lehman at Watershed Distillery was ready to sell his apple brandy. We had been searching high and low for a unique spirit to make the flavors of our Brandied Banana Brûlée ice cream come alive. Their apple brandy, first sold in 2017, was it. Made with apples grown within 150 miles of the distillery and aged for 2 years in charred oak barrels, their brandy is smooth and buttery with warm notes of vanilla. It’s the pièce de résistance that makes our caramel-banana ice cream really shine.

Slingshot Coffee

Built on a foundation of quality, knowledge, and innovation, Slingshot Coffee meticulously sources organic, directly traded coffees that they brew into mighty delicious cold brew and coffee sodas. This includes a blend brewed specially to star in our dairy-free Coffee with Cream & Sugar. Owner Jenny Bonchak and her team conducted tons of brewing experiments with different coffees, extraction approaches, concentration levels, and origins to land on a blend of Africa, South, and Central America coffees, just for us.

Jean and Rob Mackenzie from Mackenzie Creamery
Goat peeks over the fence at Mackenzie Creamery in Hiram, Ohio

Mackenzie Creamery

Northeast Ohio’s Mackenzie Creamery, run by Jean Mackenzie and her son, Rob DeMuch, churns out the naturally tangy goat cheese we use in Goat Cheese With Red Cherries. It’s an ice cream that’s all about showcasing this amazing goat cheese that turns light and ethereal, like a featherlight cheesecake, when mixed with grass-grazed milk and sugar. Mackenzie’s cheese is made in small batches with 100% hormone-free rBST milk. Simply put, it’s some of the best goat cheese we’ve ever tasted.