A trim-looking building just south of Bellville was home Sunday for an old style ice cream social.
Whitaker’s Farm Market on Ohio 13 served hand-scooped Graeter’s ice cream and sold its locally produced meats, vegetables, and bulk foods.
Outside, children used areas set aside to play croquet and cornhole games. Jocelin Whitaker, an owner of the market, said she and her husband Marc were given permission to sell Graeter’s after they contacted the company in Cincinnati. Todd Packham, a company vice president, travelled to Bellville to find out if the couple’s enterprise could pass muster as a valid sales location.
Packham said his company is “very particular” about how the ice cream is sold. “Only a handful of places are allowed to do it,” he said. This is because the ice cream must be hand scooped.
Company officials train people serving the ice cream to be sure it is done in the proper fashion. Jocelin Whitaker, serving a customer, explained how the ice cream must be positioned in a cup with a distinctive scoop on top. The store will have 18 flavors of ice creams, she said.
The store is described as a combination supermarket, health food and bulk food store, Whitaker said. She said she wanted to add Graeter’s ice cream to the line-up of products it sells because it fits with her vision of offering local foods and high quality products. She said she was “thrilled” when given permission. The company had agreed to put together a special display board for the store.
Local producers sell meats to the store and there is a line of baked goods, some of them home produced. It sells Troyer meats from Millersburg, Tea Hills Poultry products from Loudonville, Gerber chicken and CMEBrew coffees from Bellville. It carries Hartzler dairy products.
Some of the more unusual items include duck eggs, and a fermented cod liver oil, according to Jocelin. On Thursdays and Fridays the store sells donuts and coffee. The donuts come from Three Sisters in Mt. Gilead. Some bulk items are available in organic and regular styles.