Last week, Kleinpeter Farms’ new line of ice cream, straight from its recently constructed Baton Rouge processing plant, hit the shelves of several local grocery stores, including Piggly Wiggly, Champagne’s, Earl’s Food Center, Adrien’s and Breaux’s Mart. The company has also contacted several chains, including Target, Winn Dixie and Albertsons, but no word yet on whether the creamy concoction will be available at those chains.

The Capital City company, which in December entered the Lafayette market ("Got Milk?" Acadiana Business, February 2008), debuted its "homemade" line of ice cream with two flavors, vanilla and chocolate, but has already added Ponchatoula Strawberry. Down the road it will introduce Buttered Pecan, using pecans from Bergeron’s Pecans in New Roads, and Pralines and Cream, made with pralines from Aunt Sally’s Pralines in New Orleans. At this time, the ice cream is only available in half gallons and retails for about $5.70.

"It is selling off the shelves like crazy," says company President Jeff Kleinpeter. "All of our flavors are made with Louisiana cane sugar. People are very loyal to locally produced products that utilize locally grown ingredients these days."

Kleinpeter’s next stop for ice cream is the Houma-Thibodaux market, then on to New Orleans.

Mike Strain, Louisiana’s Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry, says this Kleinpeter expansion is about much more than ice cream, crediting the company for helping offset tremendous losses in the state’s dairy farming business. "Over the past decade we’ve lost more than 320 dairies in Louisiana," Strain says. "The only way we can put an end to this downward trend is for more businesses to follow Kleinpeter’s lead and commit to using fresh, Louisiana-grown or Louisiana made ingredients in their products."

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