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Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from the tri-states. In this edition, we highlight developments in Lancaster and Platteville, Wis., and Maquoketa, Iowa.
A Lancaster family farm whose ice cream products have seen soaring demand now is offering the dairy desserts in local stores.
Vesperman Farms announced last week that pints of its ice cream are available in 11 area stores. These include Okey’s Market in Cassville, Wis., Bloomington (Wis.) Stop N Go and Thompson’s IGA in Cuba City, Wis., as well as all Hartig Drug and Hy-Vee locations in Dubuque.
Owner Kyle Vesperman said the farm began offering ice cream in 2019. He had been seeking a food product to produce on the farm and sell locally outside the farm’s busy fall season. A local dairy farmer suggested ice cream, and Vesperman was sold.
“It’s kind of a comfort food and nostalgic,” he said. “Who doesn’t love ice cream?”
In January 2019, Vesperman attended a short course at University of Wisconsin-Madison to learn the basics of making small-batch ice cream.
That summer, Vesperman Farms tested the waters by giving away ice cream. After that was received positively, it started selling ice cream from a truck in 2020. Demand was so high that a second truck was added in 2021.
Last summer, the trucks made more than 200 stops in the tri-state area at events such as music festivals, weddings, open houses and community gatherings. Customers gobbled up freshly scooped ice cream and purchased pints to take home, spurring Vesperman Farms staff to pursue stocking its products in local stores this winter.
Vesperman said last week’s announcement was met with enthusiasm from store managers and customers.
“There’s definitely people interested in it and very excited about ice cream — in January,” he said with a laugh.
Vesperman Farms offers 12 standard flavors, including classics such as strawberry and vanilla and unique options such as sea salt caramel and brownie fudge. Flavors vary at each store.
More information is available by visiting vespermanfarms.com or calling 608-723-2712.