We don’t always dream of heaping piles of strawberries or a zesty lemon cream with a crunch. But when we do, we usually turn it into ice cream!
Though we started out making milk “The Way Milk Should Taste!” it was a natural progression into making other dairy creations like our all natural butter and our rich and delicious ice cream. While you may be able to find some of the same flavors in other brands, none of them quite capture the all natural, creamy goodness like ice cream made from Homestead Creamery dairy. The Cream Team has shown creativity and a knack for pairing flavors time and time again.
How We Choose Our Flavors
No creamery is complete without the essential set of flavors like vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. But what about our lemon crunch or blueberry pomegranate? How do we capture the real flavor of peppermint around the holidays? Or perfect our espresso chocolate chip with real espresso beans? It’s simple, we love ice cream! Which means, we love trying new flavors.
Farm Market Suggestion Box
In the past, in addition to the creativity of our Cream Team, we got our flavor inspiration from our customers! If you’ve been to our Farm Market, you’ve probably spotted our suggestion box next to the door. We love hearing the great ideas of our customers from new sandwich ideas to game night suggestions, but our favorite is definitely new ice cream flavors!
Our Farm Market Suggestion Box has been so helpful in developing new flavors of ice cream, we even put one on our website! This way, Homestead Creamery customers who can’t make it out to Franklin County, can still provide their input.
How Ice Cream Makes it to Market
Making ice cream takes a lot of trial and error. We want to find the right texture, the right taste, and the best ingredients! Luckily, we don’t mind being the first line of taste testers. Sometimes it takes a few rounds and other times we get it right on the first time, but we always make sure it meets those 3 requirements before we introduce it to anyone else.
Our Test Kitchen
The latest trend in the food and beverage industry is setting up “test kitchens” or even “pilot breweries”, but Homestead Creamery has been doing this for a while. Once we make a great tasting small batch of a new flavor, we introduce it into the line up at our Farm Market. This way, we can get face-to-face feedback and track how quickly we run out. From there, we start putting it into cartons and selling it at our Farm Market freezers.
Another way we gauge popularity and whether a flavor is primed for mass production is by bringing it to our Ice Cream Truck events! We recently took the ice cream truck to a big event in North Carolina and served Pineapple Upside Down Cake as a new ice cream flavor. We get plenty of great feedback this way too! Will you see it on shelves soon? Well, you’ll just have to stay tuned!
Hitting the Sweet Spot
As self-taught ice cream crafters, we really enjoy seeing others enjoying and embracing our flavors. That’s why each year, we travel to the National Ice Cream Retailers Association’s Annual Convention! Here, we can keep up on new techniques in the industry, find inspiration in other ice cream crafters, and get feedback from our peers on our own flavors. Last year, our Chocolate ice cream won a blue ribbon and our Double Dark Chocolate won a red ribbon!
Being a part of a larger association helps us to stay on track and confirm that we’re doing things right. At the end of the day, our commitment to quality is what leads all of our efforts, even when trying new flavors.