Yesterday I was treated to a special tour of Graeter’s state of the art manufacturing facility thanks to Yelp. This plant is four years old and has been optimized for nationwide distribution of the finest ice cream around.
Outside Graeter’s Manufacturing Plant
Before taking our tour, we were given hair nets and beard nets when appropriate. I was excited to wear a beard net for only the second time! You may recall my first beard net from my tour of the Frisch’s commissary.
Hair Net and Beard Net!
Those who are familiar with Graeter’s ice cream already know that one of the best parts of the ice cream are the massive chunks of chocolate in many varieties. These chunks of chocolate start out as ten pound blocks of the finest chocolate available. I believe that retail price of this chocolate is $19.95 per pound. Nothing like staring at a $200 piece of chocolate!
10 Pound Chocolate Block
The chocolate is melted and mixed with non-GMO soybean oil to achieve a better consistency for use in ice cream. The vats containing this rich chocolate mixture smelled heavenly.
Graeter’s still a small-batch french pot process slowly creating just two gallons at a time. This creates an irresistible creaminess that cannot be achieved through modern commercial products.
Still Using French Pots
There are four pods of eight french pots. Each pod is staffed by three employees, two who work the french pots and the other who hand-packs the ice cream into containers.
Flavor of the Day: Double Chocolate Chip
The flavor of the day during our visit was double chocolate chip. Yum!
Freezing 2 Gallons
As I just mentioned, all the ice cream is hand-packed into the packaging, nearly 20,000 pints per day.
Still Hand Packing Too
One employee was kind enough to hand pack samples for our entire tour group right off the assembly line. This ice cream was almost of a soft serve consistency and was simply perfect.
The new manufacturing facility does make use of machines to automate the bookends of the manufacturing process, while still allowing the ice cream to be made by hand in small batches.
After viewing the entire production line, we took a quick tour of the warehouse, which can reach temperatures of negative forty! It literally took minutes for my body to recover from just a quick visit to this massive storage room.
After our tour was over we were treated for a few more samples, including two varieties of the new gelato line, the most authentically made gelato in North America. I really enjoyed the caramel truffle variety and will have to check for that in stores.
Handcrafting Irresistible Ice Cream Since 1870
Unfortunately public tours are not currently offered. But I have some news that should make up for that. In celebration of national ice cream day, you can get any single scoop cone on Sunday for $1.44, commemorating Graeter’s 144 years. This offer is valid at any retail location and for any flavor.