Celebrating Local Farmers with a Taste of Michigan
Need a fix for that sweet tooth? Bay City’s Cream & Sugar Ice Cream Co. is the place to be for that and so much more. This past summer, the instant favorite arrived on the scene with a mission to not only serve great, locally sourced ice cream but to celebrate the great state of Michigan and the farmers that fuel us.
Cream & Sugar Ice Cream Co. is a result of the combined forces of Michigan Sugar Co., the Michigan Milk Producers Association and Shaheen Developments. Roughly 2½ years ago, the organizations began brainstorming a way to better connect people to their food sources and the people that provide them in a fun and engaging way.
What’s more fun and engaging than ice cream?
“A small percentage of people actually farm today, but the ones that do are our primary food source,” said Elizabeth Taylor, ag relations and communications manager for Michigan Sugar Co. We want to educate people about where their food comes from and connect people directly to their farmers in fun, easy and lighthearted ways.”
Aside from traditional offerings such as vanilla, chocolate and strawberry, the company’s roster of 16 flavors is packed with nods to famous Michigan products and flavors – making each scoop a celebration of the farmers and history that made it all possible. Some favorites include MI Sugar Cookie – a custom recipe that uses Michigan sourced sugars. Guests can also indulge in unique, lesser-themed options such as a delectable crème brûlée that features a taste unlike any you’ve had before.
The uniqueness of the shop doesn’t stop there. Fans have fallen in love with some creatively customizable offerings as well. From build-your-own ice-cream sandwiches, crafted with freshly made cookies to ice-cream flights for those unable to select just one flavor, there’s something exciting for everyone. Throughout the year, the company will update its flavor offerings with seasonal variants that reflect the Michigan crops in harvest such as blueberries and cherries.
To craft each of its offerings, the company utilizes its partnerships with farmers to locally source its ingredients – from the sugar to the dairy and beyond. The process creates a unique business that actively allows customers to contribute directly to local agriculture; the brand also serves as a way to help people learn more about the people that directly nourish them.
One way the ice cream shop is creating a consumer-to-farmer connections is through its monthly farmer stories video series. On the group’s Facebook page, followers can find videos profiling individual farmers throughout the region that directly contribute to the ingredients used at Cream & Sugar. Each video places focus on who the farmer actually is and the work he or she does to contribute to the agriculture industry.
At its core, Cream & Sugar Ice Cream Co. was designed to help customers build a better understanding of and appreciation for the work that goes into its work. But along the way to a delicious scoop of locally sourced goodness, you also will begin to feel better and more knowledgeable about where the food you’re eating actually comes from.