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It’s undeniable that our Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream is our all-time best-selling flavor, but have you ever wondered what truly makes it so special? In large part it’s the freshly picked, still-warm-from-the-sun flavor imparted from the black raspberries we use in our handcrafted ice cream. These special berries hail from the Pacific Northwest, specifically the Willamette Valley. This scenic region of Oregon is famous for its wine, as well as its berries.
This summer, Bob Graeter, a member of the family’s fourth generation, traveled to the Willamette Valley to check in on this year’s berry crop. The valley is home to not only the best Black Raspberries, but also the Totem Strawberries that we use in our Oregon Strawberry ice cream and the strawberry topping used in our stores to make sundaes and shakes.
It’s no mystery why we get our black raspberries from the Willamette Valley, its clean air, fertile soil, and favorable climate are ideal for berry growing. The warm days and cool nights help the berries ripen slowly, allowing for the natural sugars to fully develop, leaving them bursting with flavor.
The Graeter family’s continued commitment to using only the finest ingredients is apparent when speaking with Bob. We’ve bought these fresh Oregon berries from the same family owned and operated farms since the late 70’s. Understanding the farming and processing of the berries, connecting and building trust with the farmers, and making the commitment to check in on the crop’s progress each year are all very important aspects that help Graeter’s source the best high-quality ingredients.
According to Bob, “understanding and managing the complex sourcing process for these one-of-a-kind ingredients are one of the many things that make Graeter’s handcrafted ice cream truly unique.” The next time you take a lick of our Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip ice cream, close your eyes and imagine the fresh Black Raspberries that were grown just for the one of a kind taste you’re experiencing. Indulge & Enjoy!