We try to collaborate with local vendors as much as possible. It is a business value we balance with our sense of quality. Fortunately, we can find high quality produce relatively close to home in the Twin Cities. For several years, we looked for a family-run local dairy that could provide the main ingredient for Izzy’s ice cream. We always felt that in the heart of the Midwest, we’d find a family operation that valued quality and sustainability in the same way we do.
A few years ago, we began working with Sassy Cow Creamery which is located just north of Madison, Wisconsin. Sassy Cow is a 600-cow dairy run by James and Robert Baerwolf and their families. They are the third generation to farm the land their grandfather bought in 1946, and they believe every farm-related decision must be made in the best interests of their cows. In order to process their own milk, they built a creamery on site to accommodate the production of both their traditional herd and organic herds. When we toured the operation, what struck us most was the care and respect with which these farmers treated every single cow.
The people at Sassy Cow share that same desire to build a connection between the people, animals, and plants that all play a part in the process of making food. We think it is important for people to understand that their food comes from a real place—that food doesn’t come from the grocery store. Our ice cream is produced by real people and real animals. Our relationship to Sassy Cow means we have a direct connection to our food source—we know those farmers and their cows.