Marianna- Pick a day of the week- any day- and ask the owners of Southern Craft Creamery what they're doing...
"We're making ice cream today," Southern Craft Creamery Co-Owner, Zach O'Bryan told us Friday with a smile.
And not just any ice cream, the product is hyper-local. Nearly every ingredient used was raised close-by. Co-owner, Lauren O'Bryan is the daughter of Marianna dairy farmers, Cindy and Dale Eade of Cindale Farms.
"We're getting milk from my parents farm and we're always trying to not mess that up" Lauren laughed. "That's the main goal! We want to create simple flavors that highlight the ingredients used in them. So we're just taking that really good milk that they're spending hours and hours producing and so much effort producing and we're using it here to create something that really celebrates that milk and celebrates what it offers to the community."
And not just the milk- the creamery uses ingredients produced on farms throughout Jackson County. Dried plum and rum is one of many popular flavors but, Lauren said, "salty caramel is our absolute top seller."
It's been gourmet flavors like those that have created high demand with retailers from across the country.
'"We weren't really anticipating this much success in the first year," Zach said, "but we're glad it came!" So much success they've already had to expand their kitchen.
"We went in and knocked down some walls, expanded our production- tried to give ourselves enough room to probably double our production size so we can add equipment as we need to this summer to keep up with demand," Zach said.
Southern Craft Creamery sales skyrocketed after winning "Garden and Gun Magazine's" overall "Made in the South" award in 2013. Lauren said their next big move might be opening a store for customers to buy by the scoop.
"We think there's enough support here in our community that we can build a business and stay here and not get too large- kind of do the opposite of what a lot of companies want to do. We don't want to be nationwide distributed all over the place. We make something special here and we like to share it here and we'd like to see that go on in other communities."
The ice cream is available at Chez Amavida in St. Andrews and Modica Market in Seaside. Visit their website, www.southerncraftcreamery.com for a complete list of retailers.