“From Scratch”

The tough thing about selling locally-made from-scratch food is that nobody believes you. We’ve been desensitized by McDonald’s and TGI Fridays cheapening the concept.  #

18 Responses to ““From Scratch””


  • we all scream for...

    Maybe the tougher thing is selling a product that no one wants to buy. A half-gallon of ice cream for $119.99? Give me a break. I don’t care if you personally mined the aluminum and extruded your own whisk.

    http://www.perfectflavor.com/store/show/2

  • We all scream at the price. Seriously, I really don’t get it. Make your ice cream at home if it is that important to you. Otherwise, consider a donation of $119.99 to the local food bank.

  • Yea….do you think those prices are an April Fools Joke? Maybe she has an extra 1 at the front. Even then it would still be pretty expensive ice cream.

  • Perhaps it is an error. When I went to add something to my cart just for kicks it said the site was still under construction. Perhaps they have bad test data in their database for prices.

  • i wonder how much potential business they’re losing by having incorrect data on their site (if it is, in fact, incorrect). i certainly wouldn’t come back to a site if i saw $150 for a gallon of ice cream.

  • The prices you’re finding at the website are to have the ice-cream shipped to your door. As you might expect, it’s mighty expensive to mail ice-cream (on account of the melting factor – lots of dry ice needed).

    But, if you want to taste some fine ice cream, carefully and lovingly made, knowing that you’re supporting local farmers and sustainable practices, stop by Perfect Flavor’s ice-cream stand in Waynesboro. It’ll cost you around $4.00 for a 4-ounce serving. Certainly on the high side, but fair.

    And, if that price is a bit rich for you, by all means, make your own. They’ll provide the recipes at the Perfect Flavor website. Local strawberries will be coming into season soon. There’s nothing better than homemade ice cream and you can control the quality of ingredients. Let your kids turn the crank and help out. It’s fun.

    Once you’ve made your own ice cream (or eaten Perfect Flavor’s ice cream), you’ll appreciate that what you get at the supermarket (yes, even that pricey Ben & Jerry’s) just isn’t the same thing.

  • That’s just .. yeah. I don’t care how natural it is, or what I’ve been missing — I’d miss the $150 from my wallet a lot more had I actually bought that.

    If most of their cost is shipping, they have to find a better way somehow.

  • You could also go to Chaps and eat some of their ice cream – also made from scratch. It might not be organic and all the ingredients may not be from local resources but you could still buy local and pay your rent.

  • That’s just .. yeah. I don’t care how natural it is, or what I’ve been missing

    Yeah, but Chad, you’re not the market. You’re not at all interested in supporting local businesses. Just buy some Breyer’s. :)

    If most of their cost is shipping, they have to find a better way somehow.

    No, most of your cost is shipping. They already have a better way: they have a store where customers can walk in and buy some ice cream, and thus avoid paying a bajillion dollars to ship ice cream. I mean, you can mail order Ben & Jerry’s, but you’ll pay a freaking fortune for the privilege. There exists a pretty sizable market for selling luxury goods that us normal humans would never consider buying, and I figure mail-ordering ice cream is right up there.

  • Hey, I just ate local for lunch! I enjoy myself a club sandwich, but sometimes I want a Quarter Pounder. What can I say.

    No, most of your cost is shipping. They already have a better way: they have a store where customers can walk in and buy some ice cream, and thus avoid paying a bajillion dollars to ship ice cream.

    Right, it’s just in a sub-par location. Had they one in Charlottesville, I’d probably buy some to try it out.

    My line of thinking was if Omaha Steaks can ship stuff with dry ice fairly cheaply, there’s probably some way to get their cost down — of course, Omaha must buy in such large volume that it’s insane.

    And actually, ordering Ben & Jerry’s is comparatively cheap… I guess if you crave some flavor that your ice cream store never stocks and you have no B&J’s store close to you .. but .. (shrug).

  • You people are nuts and have way to much money and time on your hands if you consider driving to waynesboro to buy ice cream with gasoline at $3 per gallon. Just go your local Kroger or Giant and purchase at a very reasonable price some B&J’s or Edy’s (the best ice cream IMHO). It will help the local economy….i.e. jobs, paychecks, money spent locally by food store employee’s…anyway you get the picture. But if you really feel like you have to drive to a distant place to get your whatever in order to follow a fad, then by all means go ahead.

  • Jogger,

    You assume too much. I wouldn’t drive to Waynesboro just to buy ice cream. Cost of gasoline aside, of course, it wouldn’t make much sense to drive that distance, burning polluting petrofuel, to buy sustainably-made ice cream. I stopped by while I was crossing the mountains, anyway, on a trip to Roanoke. I suspect other folks may find themselves on the other side of the mountains, too, and this makes a nice stop. If you have kids, they can see how real ice cream is made.

    Please don’t allow yourself to believe that money spent at Kroger or Giant is as helpful to the local economy as is money spent at a locally-owned business. Lots more of the money spent for ice cream at Chaps stays in the local economy than does the money spent at, for example, the Dutch-owned Giant. Not only are worker’s paychecks spent here, but so are the owner’s profits. Even more so, with Perfect Flavors because in addition to payroll and profits staying local, they buy their ingredients from local farmers, who, in turn, keep their money in the local economy.

    And, again, what’s wrong with making your own ice cream? Take you rkids to a local berry patch, let them help pick the berries. Bring them with you to the farmer’s market to buy eggs from the farmer whose hens laid the eggs. Just hold the xanthan gum.

  • I can get 12 pints shipped by UPS Air from Cincinnati for $110 (Graeter’s ice cream, reallyreallygood). I looked into it once.

  • Hi, everyone. This is Colin from Perfect Flavor. I’m glad there is so much energetic discussion about our business, and I’m happy to help clear a couple of things up.

    First off, the website isn’t letting people order online yet, because we have only been open for a couple of weeks, and we are working through the usual kinds of troubles that accompany any startup business – particularly the kind that hasn’t been licensed in the Commonwealth in over thirty years. That’s right – no ice cream maker starting from raw ingredients has been licensed in our state in three decades.

    Rather than disappoint folks by letting them order, but then being able to fill those orders, we think it’s more honest and appropriate not to take orders until we’re confident in our production process. So, expect to be able to order online sometime in the next couple of weeks.

    Also, the price on the website is correct.

    There seems to be some understandable surprise at the cost of our ice cream. Stay with me here, because this is hard to believe, but we actually have a *very modest* profit margin on our ice cream. The ingredients *alone* for a gallon of ice cream cost us over $40. And because we buy raw milk and eggs, we have to pasteurize them.

    We pay a sustainable price to our producers, which (for milk, our biggest expense) is over twice the going rate they get otherwise. You may think we’re crazy, but we believe that having family farms is better than them selling out and subdivisions going up where cows used to graze.

    Our labor costs are just as high, in part because we also pay a living wage.

    So, yes, it’s expensive ice cream. And we know not everyone can afford it, which is one of the reasons that we post our ice cream recipes online, so you can make it at home, just like we do.

    As for Ben and Jerry’s, Edy’s, etc. — all I do is ask you to turn around the pint and read the ingredients. Do you really want that stuff in your body?

  • we all scream for ...

    If you’d like to hear an economic POV on “buy local”, this podcast from GMU might be of interest:
    http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2007/04/boudreaux_on_th.html

  • I repeat “buy local” is a niche market for people with way too much money in their pockets and way to much time on their hands to do nothing with. Nobody has ever defined local. When I think local I think Albemarle, Green, the counties that touch the border of Albemarle county, and you can’t get enough local from these urban areas to sustain a family of 4 for a week. A virginia “apple” well they are becoming harder and harder to find locally. Sure there are a few orchards around but by the time you drive to them and use a half day to buy an overpriced apple you are better off shopping at C’ville market or a grocery store. Local will never supply or support the masses.
    Harry, good effort but you know and I know that local grocery stores pay better and hire more people than the local “ice cream” shops or other “local mom/pops businesses”, and those people (grocery employees) spend their money in the local economy which stays in the local economy. This concept of doing business with a “local business” is nothing more than a bunch of crap just like mass transit. Majors can always beat the price and most of the time the product is way superior to “local”. Buying local is a way to make the politically correct feel “good” about themselves for a few minutes, before they slip off to the wal mart and spend, spend, spend.

  • you can’t get enough local from these urban areas to sustain a family of 4 for a week.

    That’s okay. Who says you have to? How about if you could get 10% of what you need locally? That’d be pretty good.

    I think jogger may be exaggerating just a wee bit to emphasize his distain for all things local. Virginia apples aren’t at all hard to find locally. Just go any farmer’s market, or Carter’s Mountain, when they’re in season. If that’s out of your way, you can also find them at Integral Yoga, Rebecca’s, Whole Foods or even Giant, if that’s where you prefer to shop. You don’t need “drive to them and use half a day to buy an overpriced apple”. They’re all around. And they’re no more expensive (often less expensive) that those fancy imported apples from China that you may be used to eating.

  • If I may pull a quote from my column in this week’s edition of The Hook:

    ‘You want numbers? According to the 2000 Vermont Job Gap Study (and bear in mind that Virginia’s population is 12 times Vermont’s) if they managed to substitute a mere 10 percent of imported foodstuffs with Vermont-produced food, the result would be $376 million in additional economic output, which would include 3,616 new jobs for Vermonters yielding $69 million in personal income.

    Slap a zero on those figures for a ballpark estimate of what Virginia could come up with if we bought into the “locavore” philosophy with a mere 10 percent reduction of our imported food products.’


    Apparently, there is significant benefit to the local community (or the state) when you choose locally-made food rather than imported food. If Perfect Flavor’s prices are too extreme for your budget, you can turn your attention to more affordable things, like produce. If we encourage local food production, we’ll likely get more people growing and producing around here, and our choices will widen.

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