Today we celebrated the birthday of three family members, as well as Mother’s Day for my mom. There was a grocery-store-bought cake with frosting just screaming my name from across the table. I felt sort of guilty so I rounded out my over-sized portion with Carb Master ice cream instead of the name-brand I wanted. And it was completely unsatisfying. Give me something with some big chocolate chunks and 18 percent butterfat. Give me Graeter’s Ice Cream.
For the last 140 years, Graeter’s Ice Cream has been a staple in the Cincinnati, Ohio area. According to Vice President of Sales and Marketing George Denman, families throughout that area came to know and love Graeter’s because it’s been hand-made since day one. Even now, the ice cream is created in 2.5 gallon batches inside French pots, just like Great-Great-Grandma Graeter used to make it. The ice cream is then hand-packed by a master artisan into 16 oz containers, which are weighted and measured before they are packaged to ship or serve.
And it’s ice cream. There are no artificial ingredients. In fact, Graeter’s won’t even produce a low-fat or low-sugar option, because it’s just not what Graeter’s customers expect when it comes to taste. Each batch is churned with cream and a special recipe of dark chocolate is poured over the frozen cream. Once it hardens, Graeter’s uses a paddle to break it up randomly, creating varying sizes of chocolate chunks.
“This is the Ferrari or Rolls Royce of ice cream,” Denman said. Celebrities such as Oprah, Sarah Jessica Parker and even United States Presidents have enjoyed Graeter’s. “This product is high in calories and high in fat, but this is what ice cream is supposed to be.”
Graeter’s previously kept all operations in one factory and would ship out custom orders around the country. Packed in dry-ice, the rush-delivery could be shipped to anyone in any state. However, last year, Kroger approached Graeter’s and encouraged the company to build more factories around the country in the grocery-chain would carry the product in stores.
So that is what they did.
In the last 16 months, Graeter’s went from four states to 41 states and can be purchased at Kroger, Meijer and Whole Foods. Recently, Graeter’s came out to the International Women’s Show at the Suburban Collection Showplace to give out some samples and allow customers to try a bit of the ice-cream goodness. I did and I was hooked.
One bit and I could tell the chunks were dark chocolate, which is my absolutely favorite. They had chocolate chip, double chocolate chip and black raspberry chocolate chip available for sample. All were delicious. I was just disappointed the samples weren’t a little larger.
The ice cream costs $4.99 a pint and offers very few coupons in sale papers, however, the Kroger Plus Card members may see coupons for Graeter’s in the future and the company’s Facebook fans can earn coupons through online initiatives Graeter’s plans to offer.
I’m not one to buy name-brand products, as I mention in my post about the Purex Crystals, but you can’t screw around with ice cream. And, if you are going to have ice cream, why not treat yourself to less of the best than a lot of the gross “ice cream” that costs less or is healthier? If there is such a thing as healthy ice cream.
And now the fine print: Graeter’s paid my admission to the International Women’s Show so I could test out the ice cream. I had a sample (okay, maybe two) but those were available to every body.