If I was told I could only splurge on one kind of food for the rest of my life, my decision would be easy: Graeter’s ice cream. Specifically, Graeter’s double chocolate chip ice cream, with its creamy chocolateness perfected by Graeter’s small batch French pot process and its seriously large, rich chocolate chips.
Started in 1870, Graeter’s is a Cincinnati legend. And, having been born and raised in Cincinnati, I grew up loving it. When we were little (okay, and maybe also last Thanksgiving), my sister and I would compete to see whose ice cream had bigger chocolate chips, lining up the licked-clean chips to
argue over compare. And when we left Cincinnati for college and beyond, we would ship ourselves each other pints of Graeter’s on dry ice, carefully rationing it like sailors stranded on a dessert island. My husband says he knew I was into him (he is wrong, I was not – at least not then) when I shipped him Graeter’s after the start of his medicine internship. Still, I’m pretty sure it’s one of the reasons he proposed.
So why, you might ask, am I telling you this? For the very simple reason that, for the first time ever, Graeter’s is available in multiple locations throughout Chicago (and other major U.S. markets)! No more shipping it, no more rationing it. Now, Cincinnatians and enlightened Chicagoans alike can get their fix at Whole Foods and several other locations throughout Chicago-land (listed below). Available flavors include my absolute favorite, the double chocolate chip, the fan favorite black raspberry chocolate chip, vanilla, vanilla chocolate chip, mocha chocolate chip, and limited edition/seasonal flavors.
In honor Graeter’s arrival, I asked Graeter’s CEO and President Rich Graeter a few questions:
Chewables: Why the distribution expansion now?
Graeter: Because we now have capacity, we now have a distributor in Chicago, and Chicago is a great town!
Chewables: Are there plans to open a store in Chicago (and can I suggest a location walking distance from my place)?
Graeter: No plans to open retail stores anywhere outside of Ohio/Northern Kentucky at this point.
Chewables: Is there a less popular flavor you wish more people would try?
Graeter: The least popular flavors are the ones without chips, but frankly I think the smooth ice creams (no chips or inclusions) are the best. Pretty much all members of the Graeter family (except the young kids) agree.
Chewables: What’s your favorite flavor?
Graeter: Plain vanilla.
I’ll keep on working on Graeter’s to open a retail location here in Chicago. In the meantime, I highly recommend you try one of Graeter’s splurge-worthy flavors at Whole Foods, Treasure Island, Mariano’s, Fresh Market, Sunset Foods, and Meijer, or head to Cincinnati for the complete experience!