Tuesday, June 02, 2020
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Graeter's Ice Cream of Cincinnati

A Bite Out


This French pot, “2 gallons made at a time”, heaven reigns supreme. This is the best U.S. store-bought ice cream I’ve ever tried! A bit pricey at $11-$15/pint delivered overnight to Austin, but mighty fine, tongue-numbin’, life goodness! Texas winemaker Chris Hefner turned me on to it and I’m a better person because of it…

Since its founding in 1870 by Louis C. Graeter, Graeter’s French Pot Ice Cream, handmade chocolate confections and fresh baked goods have become traditions in the Queen City. Today the Graeter family still faithfully uses his century old recipes and methods of production.

In the mid 1800’s, the Graeter family emigrated from Germany to a farm in Madison, Indiana. Louis left home at age 16 and came to Cincinnati, where he began making ice cream by hand at the base of Sycamore Hill. After meeting with success there, he moved up to Walnut Hills and where he began making candy in addition to ice cream at his new shop on the corner of Gilbert and Curtis. In 1879, Louis, his brother Fred and Fred’s wife Anna moved their growing ice cream and confection shop to 473 McMillan Street. They operated the business together until 1888, when Louis left Cincinnati for California.

Fred and Anna moved the shop in 1889 to Vine Street and continued the ice cream and confection business without brother Louis for the rest of the 1800’s. In 1899, Louis returned to Cincinnati and married Regina Berger, daughter of Anton Berger, who was president of the Julius J. Bantlin Company and the Calhoun Loan and Building Company. Together they opened a store on East McMillan Street which eventually grew into the modern day Graeter’s.

After several years, Louis and Regina moved down the street to 967 McMillan, where they made ice cream and confections in the back room, sold them in the front room and lived upstairs. They also opened a second store at 351 Vine Street where they operated a confectionery and oyster parlor. While ice cream and oysters seem to be an odd pair, before refrigeration the two were a perfect combination because of the shared need for a precious commodity – ice.

At this time Louis also manufactured the “Celebrated Eclipse Milk Shake Machine” which he used to make the milk shakes, malts and frappes served in his stores.

After Louis’ death in 1919, Regina and her two teenage sons Wilmer and Paul continued the tradition of quality Louis Graeter began back in 1870, and began opening additional stores in other Cincinnati neighborhood communities in the 1920’s. Finally, in 1934 the business outgrew its McMillan Street location and the family moved the manufacturing part of the business to its present day location at 2145 Reading Road. The McMillan retail store remained in operation until the early 1960’s, and Regina continued to live above the store until her death on December 26, 1955.

Regina, who was affectionately called “boss” by all of the employees, including her sons, ran the business with a firm hand and sharp business mind. During the four decades that she ran the business with her sons, she took one store in Walnut Hills and expanded the business into a network of over 17 stores that spanned Cincinnati.

Following her death, her oldest son Wilmer, together with his sons Lou, Dick and Jon took over the business. In 1956, they incorporated and reintroduced German baked goods into the product line for the first time since 1878. A few years later, they were joined by their sister Kathy, and eventually, by Lou’s sons Bob and Chip, and Dick’s son Richard, and together they operated the business at the same 2145 Reading Road location Regina bought in 1934. In the 125th year after Louis C. Graeter first began making ice cream, the family began a major renovation and expansion of its Reading Road plant. Currently the Graeter family operates 12 stores in Cincinnati neighborhoods and has 24 franchised stores located in Columbus, Dayton, Northern Kentucky, Lexington and Louisville.

On December 31st 2003, the 134 year-old ice cream company officially transferred ownership to its fourth generation of family members Chip, Bob and Richard Graeter. Lou, Dick and Kathy remain fully involved in the day to day operation of the Business. According to industry experts, only 3% of family businesses survive to the fourth generation of family ownership. In spite of this daunting fact, the fourth generation fully intends to pass on Cincinnati’s historic and beloved ice cream company to Louis Charles Graeter’s great-great grandchildren, who will be taught to make French Pot ice cream the way he did, two gallons at a time. (taken from Graeter’s.com)

Graeter’s Ice Creams Website graeters.jpg


In order preference.

1. Chocolate Chip

Over the last 130 years, Graeter’s has managed to perfect this classic combination of premium vanilla and signature dark chocolate chips. It’s their second best seller. Hot fudge is dripped into the ice cream, freezing on contact for a softer, delicious chocolate flair.


Cream, milk, cane sugar, corn sugar, chocolate (sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, butterfat, soy lecithin, vanillin), eggs, soy oil, natural and artificial flavors, guar gum, locust bean gum.

2. Cookie Dough Chip

Graeter’s Cookie Dough made from scratch tastes great. Add it to French Pot Ice Cream with dark chocolate chips and it tastes even better!


Cream, milk, cane sugar, corn sugar, chocolate (sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, butterfat, soy lecithin, vanillin), cookie dough (flour, sugar, butter, eggs, salt, baking soda, vanilla), eggs, soy oil, natural and artificial flavors, guar gum, locust bean gum.

3. Peanut Butter Cup

The reigning king of complimentary flavors. Rich, milk chocolate chips nestled in creamy peanut butter ice cream.


Cream, milk, cane sugar, corn sugar, peanut butter (peanuts, sugar, hydrogenated vegetable oil, salt, molasses, monoglycerides, corn starch), chocolate (sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, butterfat, soy lecithin, vanillin), eggs, soy oil, guar gum, locust bean gum.

4. Butter Pecan

It is what is. Supposed to be. Pure yum.


Cream, milk, cane sugar, corn sugar, pecans, eggs, butter, guar gum, locust bean gum, salt, natural and artificial flavors, yellow 5.

5. Cookies and Cream

Creamy vanilla flavored ice cream laced with lots of large Oreo brand cookie chunks.


Cream, milk, cane sugar, corn sugar, eggs, cookies (sugar, wheat flour, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, cocoa, corn syrup, whey, cornstarch, baking soda, salt, soy lecithin, artificial flavor), natural and artificial flavors, guar gum, locust bean gum.

6. Mocha Chocolate Chip

Chocolate and coffee, another undeniable combination of natural flavors! Think tall, double espresso, mocha cappuccino, extra creamy, hand-packed and frozen in a pint.


Cream, milk, cane sugar, corn sugar, chocolate (sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, butterfat, soy lecithin, vanillin), eggs, soy oil, coffee, guar gum, locust bean gum.


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