Two Asheville Area businesses, Looking Glass Creamery and Sugar & Snow Gelato are teaming up in the name of delicious gelato. Sugar & Snow Gelato is a local company that has always made their popular line of gelato from scratch. They use simple whole ingredients in their proprietary gelato recipes, versus a commercially prepared base from unknown origins that is the more typical starting point of many ice cream and gelato makers.
Local sourcing and top-quality ingredients have always been important to Amy Pickett, founder of Sugar & Snow. She has used creamline milk and heavy cream from North Carolina farms from day one. When it came time to find another dairy provider to keep up with demand, she saw an opportunity to bring her sourcing even closer to home. She decided to reach out to Jennifer Perkins of Looking Glass Creamery to see if there was a possibility of using the milk from the company’s herd of pasture based dairy cows.
The two met and discussed different options and a field trip to the dairy was scheduled very early one morning for Amy to see the farm, the cows, and the process of picking up fresh milk to transport it back to Looking Glass Creamery for production. On that day, a test batch of Amy’s proprietary gelato base was made to test the process and evaluate the resulting gelato from the new, single source, pasture-based milk of the Looking Glass Creamery herd. The resulting gelato base is the blank slate used to create many of Sugar & Snows signature flavors like RAD Mint, Double Shot Espresso, and Brown Sugar Pralines. “The first batch was excellent! It’s exciting to not only know what specific farm our milk is coming from but to have been there, seen the beautiful rolling pastures, know the farmer, and know that our milk is as fresh and local as it can possibly be.” says Amy Pickett. The cooperative endeavor will also help Sugar and Snow boost production and expand their distribution into wholesale markets. Having Looking Glass Creamery make the Sugar and Snow gelato base in their licensed dairy manufacturing facility allows Amy to focus more on sales and expanding distribution to restaurants and grocery stores. Sugar & Snow’s staff will continue to churn the gelato base in their batch freezer, bake cookies for mix-ins, and cook their other gelato base recipes at their commercial kitchen.
For Looking Glass Creamery, this type of cooperative arrangement is just what the company is looking for as they undertake an expansion and build a new creamery on their recently acquired dairy farm. “We are looking to grow our cheesemaking business but also find new opportunities that our expanded location on the farm will allow us to undertake such as making custom dairy products like Gelato base for Sugar and Snow or private label for destination companies that would like to offer a signature cheese to their guests and visitors.” says Jennifer Perkins.
Looking Glass Creamery is also excited to offer Sugar and Snow Gelato for sale in their soon to be expanded retail shop in Fairview and eventually down on the dairy farm in Columbus, NC. “We are looking forward to not only selling Sugar and Snow Gelato that will be made from our milk, but we hope we can twist Amy’s arm into making a special variety just for us featuring our dulce de leche Carmoolita with a hint of sea salt.”, says Looking Glass Retail Manager Sean Stanley.