Handcrafted ice cream is on the menu at Southern Craft Creamery, a family-owned business in Marianna. The family also owns a dairy farm – Cindale Farms – which is where the milk used in the ice cream comes from.
“My husband, Dale, and I had been in the dairy business for years, and we had always looked for an added-value product,” says Cindy Eade, who now manages Southern Craft Creamery with her husband. “Our milk was a commodity – it didn’t have our name on it and even in Marianna, people didn’t realize there was a dairy farm here. We really wanted a relationship with our customers.”
Originally, one of Cindy and Dale’s daughters, Lauren O’Bryan, worked full-time at the creamery with her husband, Zach. After the couple moved away in June 2014, Cindy and Dale took over the dayto- day operations at the creamery, and their other daughter, Meghan Austin, began managing Cindale Farms with her husband, Brad. While Lauren and Zach no longer live in Marianna, they are still owners in the company and assist with marketing duties.
Before opening Southern Craft Creamery in February 2013, Lauren and Zach spent a year developing the ice cream, focusing primarily on the flavors and the base. The couple also took the University of Wisconsin’s Ice Cream Makers Short Course, and Cindy and Lauren participated in Penn State’s Ice Cream Short Course.
“Our ice cream has what most people consider to be a very homemade taste,” Cindy Eade says. “Because we don’t add air to our ice cream, we have a much denser, heavier product [than that of other ice cream producers], which gives it that creamy richness. Also, we’re not adding the preservatives that typically are in a lot of ice creams.”
In addition to the milk used to create the ice cream, many other ingredients the creamery uses are grown or produced in Florida.
“We try to source as many products as we can from Florida, since we are a Florida product,” Eade says. “We buy strawberries from Florida growers and we use coffee beans from a roaster in Panama City.”
Pints of Southern Craft Creamery’s ice cream are available in select grocery stores and specialty food shops in various Florida locations, and the creamery’s ice cream is served in select Florida restaurants.
“Typically, we’re in small markets,” Eade says. “We want to be able to have that conversation with store owners – we want them to understand where the products are coming from.”