What is your favorite thing about summer? Is it the longer days, trips to the lake, outings to a local amusement park, or family trips to get ice cream?
For my family, one of our favorite things is taking a family outing to a local farm and creamery, Kelley’s, for some homemade ice cream and making it a point to try a different flavor each time.
The national early morning show, Good Morning America (GMA) wanted to know what America’s favorite thing about summer is, so they asked viewers and the overwhelming response was – getting ice cream with family and friends.
Since July is National Ice Cream Month, GMA decided to find and showcase America’s Best Ice Cream.
To my surprise my family’s favorite place, Kelley’s Country Creamery in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, was one of three ice cream shops to be selected and featured as America’s Best Ice Cream on the ABC early morning show.
I discovered the little shop after USDA Rural Development awarded a Value Added Producer Grant to them, and realized how close it was to home. GMA discovered them through the responses they received, and chose Kelley’s Country Creamery from more than 50 submissions.
The entire Kelley Family, owners Karen and Tim Kelley and their five children, appeared on the GMA show in New York serving anchors Josh Elliott, Robin Roberts, Lara Spencer and George Stephanopoulos a taste of their, now, infamous ice cream.
“We are very, very blessed,” owner Karen Kelley told GMA anchor Josh Elliott. “I had a crazy ice cream dream. The family came on board with us. We’ve got wonderful employees and customers that are like no other.”
In 2008, Karen and Tim Kelley received a Value-Added Producer Grant from USDA Rural Development to conduct a feasibility study on the production and marketing of their family’s homemade ice cream and for the development of a business plan of an onsite creamery. Three years later, Kelley’s Country Creamery was open for business, and was awarded a second Value Added Producer Grant to provide additional working capital and to assist in increasing partnerships with local markets and restaurants for selling their ice cream.
Kelley’s Country Creamery is a 150 year old family dairy and farmstead. Karen and Tim Kelley, and their children – Amie, Betsy, Heidi, Molly and Clark – operate the 200-acre farmstead dairy and tend the 65 Holsteins that provide the milk for the Creamery.
Kelley’s Country Creamery’s old-fashioned premium ice cream is crafted in a Creamery located right on the farmstead. The Kelley family has been churning homemade ice cream as a treat for generations, and they are sharing their passion for great ice cream with other ice cream lovers. Using the farm-fresh milk from the farm’s cows, the ice cream is crafted with the recipe that has been perfected over a century and combined with top quality local ingredients. The Creamery has more than 200 different flavors, with 22 available daily. In addition, the creamery makes and sells ice cream cakes, pies, cheese, and “kurds”.
Kelley’s Country Creamery is a special place, with a viewing window in the ice cream parlor so visitors can watch the ice cream being made and an old-fashioned sun porch is a perfect spot to experience Wisconsin’s countryside while viewing a working dairy.
Speaking from experience, Kelley’s Country Creamery is a local favorite for family ice cream outings during those hot summer evenings.