We’re making ice cream again.
And our shops will reopen in time for Memorial Day weekend—next Friday, May 22, at 7 pm.
Our kitchen team was elated to be back in action this beautiful morning, making caramel from scratch in preparation for a run of Salty Caramel. On the schedule for tomorrow: steeping Intelligentsia Black Cat espresso beans in cream and grass-grazed Ohio milk.
When our shops open, the dipping cabinets will feature Salty Caramel and other signature flavors, throwbacks such as Root Beer ice cream, and our new, limited-edition ice cream, Sun-Popped Corn (made with corn from BjornQorn that was, yes, popped by rays of sunshine—you are going to love this flavor by itself or with our salty caramel sauce!). We’ll be adding more flavors in the coming weeks as we return to full production and as summer progresses. Think of it as a rolling summer.
We are so excited to be making ice cream again and can’t wait to share it with all of you. But, I’m not going to lie, it’s been a bumpy road getting back up, and there were times we didn’t know if we were going to make it. As a result, we have a new appreciation for life. The feeling today and going forward is a genuine gratefulness just to be here, doing what we do. Your support has meant the world to us.
But we will also need your patience.
We had been ramping up production for months to prepare for summer. A few weeks ago we made our Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk using Hirsch Fruit Farm strawberries that we had frozen and banked from last summer’s harvest—all of that (and much more) is gone. We are starting from nothing. As a result, we won’t have strawberries until they are ripe in the field, or Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk ice cream until around mid-summer. But it will be glorious.
In order to meet the demands of stocking our shops and opening them as soon as possible, for the first time in our company’s history, we are working with another dairy to make a few flavors of our ice cream—Smith’s, the 110-year-old dairy, in Orrville, Ohio.
Smith’s had already been sourcing raw cream and grass-grazed milk and pasteurizing it for us. While we work on getting back on our feet, Smith’s offered to use our recipes primarily to make our frozen yogurts. We accepted their offer without hesitation. They will use the same ingredients we’ve always used: Ohio grass-grazed milk and biodynamic organic yogurt from Seven Stars Farm in Pennsylvania. In addition to having the same flavor, these frozen yogurts will have the same viscosity, ice crystal structure, and air content of our ice creams. So, we’re excited about that. And if some of you (I know you will) find tiny nuances in theirs vs. ours and happen to like theirs better, well, don’t get used to it. :)
Meanwhile, in our kitchen, things are moving a bit slower than what we are used to and a bit more methodically. Our Smith’s partnership will allow us to focus on the flavors that only we can make, in terms of equipment, ingredients, and expertise—those flavors that are impossible for others to do, even if they had our recipe (which, it turns out, are most of our flavors).
A quick top-of-the-mountain shout-out to the Ohio ice cream and dairy world at large. Ohio is a community of people who stick together. We have always known that. And throughout these past three weeks that has been proven true in so many ways, but especially in the realm of dairy and ice cream.
Handels, Pierre’s, Toft’s, Velvet, the Columbus gem Johnson’s—each of these heritage ice cream companies, and even more outside Ohio, reached out to lend a helping hand or voice of support. Johnson’s invited us to use their kitchen. Pierre’s, Toft’s, and Velvet—as Smith’s did—offered to make our ice creams to our specifications with their equipment. Ohio isn’t just a dairy state, it’s an ice cream state. There are so many great ice cream makers, and I’m convinced it’s why Ohio ice cream is so good. To my fellow ice cream makers, I am proud beyond words to be in your company.
We know ice cream in Ohio. But we value community above all.
Thank you. Love, Jeni