ASAP likes to share the stories of people who help us fulfill our mission. This month, we talk with Amy Pickett, owner of Sugar & Snow Gelato, which will be one of the vendors for ASAP’s Local Food Experience Aug. 15. She’s pictured above with Jennifer Perkins of Looking Glass Creamery.
Q: You’re using milk from Looking Glass Creamery, right here in Western North Carolina, to make your gelato. Can you talk about how that process works?
LGC makes our gelato base recipe for us, using the milk from their pasture-based herd of cows and their commercial pasteurizer equipment. Fresh milk from the morning milking session is measured into the pasteurizer, along with cream from Maple View Farm (in Carrboro, NC), non-GMO sugar, and other thoughtfully sourced ingredients. This recipe makes 100 gallons of gelato base that Sugar & Snow then churns in our batch freezer to make a few different flavors, like vanilla bean, mint chip, espresso, cookies and cream, caramel swirl, and pralines and cream.
Q: How did that partnership come about?
We wanted to wholesale our dairy gelato to restaurants and specialty food markets. It was really important to us to both: (1) make gelato using our proprietary recipe, and (2) use milk and cream from North Carolina farms. We didn’t want to buy a pre-made ice cream mix made by another company. Since the NCDA requires that wholesale dairy products are made using an approved pasteurizer, a piece of equipment we don’t own, we contacted with a few farms in our region to see who may be willing to make our recipe for us using their equipment. Jen and Andy at Looking Glass Creamery were enthusiastic about helping us. They really seemed to understand our goals, they have a first class production facility, and they are meticulous in executing our recipe.
Q: What other local farms or foods are featured in seasonal flavors right now?
We often buy berries through Mountain Food Products, such as blueberries from Stepp’s Plants in Hendersonville to make a seasonal blueberry lemon sorbet.
Q: Why are local farms important to your business?
Sourcing close to home reduces the environmental impact of transporting food across the country or across the globe, and also ensures we have produce at its peak freshness. We like the connection to the farmers and farms, such as as seeing the cows in the pasture at Looking Glass or seeing folks filling buckets of berries when they stop by Hickory Nut Gap. Plus, we live in such a fertile area, it just makes sense to be using locally grown food.