Graeters Ice Cream
  • Company Name: Graeter’s Ice Cream
  • HQs: Cincinnati
  • Est.: 1874
  • Distribution: Nationwide
  • Products: Ice cream
  • Brands: Graeter’s

For more than 147 years, Graeter’s Ice Cream has built its success on making ice cream by hand, in 2.5-gallon French pot freezers, one batch at a time, regardless of the technological innovations adopted by competitors.

Founder Louis Charles Graeter and his wife, Regina, produced ice cream in the back of their home and sold it in the front parlor. But, when a streetcar fatally struck Louis in 1919, Regina took over the business, sustaining through the Great Depression and two world wars.

Today, Graeter’s Ice Cream, Cincinnati, produces craft ice cream that’s available in more than 6,000 grocery stores in 46 states, according to George Denman, vice president of sales.

 “Consistent with Graeter’s overall commitment to small batch, handcrafted ice cream, the brand’s own food safety process is just as exclusive as its production process,” adds Denman. “In addition to a robust environmental monitoring program, Graeter’s has implemented a thorough test-and-hold procedure, which requires finished product pathogen analysis. While additional risk can burden brands that rely on such diverse production processes, proactivity is inevitably the strongest way to combat cross contamination.”

Earlier this year, Graeter’s Ice Cream partnered with Braxton Brewing Co., Covington, Ky., to develop Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip Milk Stout, a one-of-a-kind milk stout infused with the essence of Graeter’s signature Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip ice cream. With Graeter’s exclusive black raspberry puree, Braxton Brewing Co. crafted the limited-edition milk stout to be a dark brew with notes of roasted barley and a creamy texture.

“We’ve long thought about a marriage of craft beer and ice cream,” says Denman. “Alcohol-infused foods have certainly made a name for themselves. It was actually Braxton Brewing Co. who approached Rich Graeter, something of a craft beer aficionado himself, with the idea for infusing a milk stout with the flavor of our Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. We hoped local craft ice cream and beer lovers would appreciate the locality of the brew. It truly provides an authentic taste of two Cincinnati favorites in one sip.”

Graeter’s Ice Cream also created Chunky Chunky Hippo, a toffee-flavored ice cream with peanuts and milk chocolate caramel truffles developed specifically for the Cincinnati Zoo to celebrate the birth of baby hippo Fiona. 

“With practices that celebrate food and its history, every aspect of Graeter’s Ice Cream is made with a focus on the artisanal process rather than mass production,” Denman adds. “Craft and artisan-made foods remain true to tradition, adapting Old World processes to modern day demands and expectations.”