If you have followed Wendi’s blog for any length of time, then you know we love ice cream. We love Graeter’s, Mitchell’s, Chill Artisan Ice Cream, Pav’s Creamery and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream. When we go to Buehler’s Fresh Foods in Wooster for ice cream, it is usually for a pint of Graeter’s or a half gallon of Buehler’s, Smith’s or Ruggles ice cream. Smith Dairy in Orrville makes the ice cream sold under Buehler’s name, as well as under its name and the Ruggles name. On a recent to trip to Orrville, we stopped at Smith’s retail dock.
The retail dock is a sight to behold. It is this nondescript dock that does not appear to be much. There is a small sign indicating it is Smith’s retail dock. There are some curtains, perhaps to hide the freezers from sight at closing time, and there are the freezers. To the untrained eye, there is nothing spectacular about the place. Ah, but that would be an incorrect conclusion. The ice cream is fantastic.
Smith’s makes a high-quality product, and it makes great-tasting flavors. My favorite is Ruggles Pralines and Cream. When Wendi and I arrived at the dock, they had a special on coffee ice cream. It was buy one, get one free and a half-gallon (or equivalent size) was just $2.50. I picked up a cappuccino ice cream with chocolate truffles, and it was incredible. It makes a great coffee shake. I also got coffee chocolate chip ice cream. It was a different coffee flavor, but it was good. There was a bourbon praline pecan that I bought, but I am not a big fan of the bourbon flavor, but I had to try it. What is kind of interesting is that Smith’s is located in downtown Orrville: The intersection of country and city.
When I say Smith’s makes a quality product, I mean it makes a quality product. In addition to making ice cream for their own brands, they produce ice cream for other grocery chains. When Jeni’s had an issue with ice cream production, Smith’s stepped in to help. It makes the ice cream base for Graeter’s. Mitchell’s uses its cream. Smith’s is an in-demand food processor (see for yourself here). Wendi and I have lived in Wayne County since 2004, and it took us about 12 years to get to the retail dock. Don’t you make the same mistake.