If you haven’t heard the scoop, Graeter’s Ice Cream is headed to Glenview. The beloved Cincinnati-based company, often deemed “the best there is,” is set to open its first Chicago-area location in downtown Northbrook on May 29. Previously the brand’s devout fans (including Oprah and George Clooney) would have had to travel to Indiana for the nearest store or search at select Jewel, Mariano’s and Sunset Foods grocery stores for popular housemade flavors like the Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip. There’s also Bourbon Pecan Chocolate Chip, Coconut Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip … if you’re sensing a theme, you’re correct.
Graeter’s century-old recipe is famous for its “French Pot” technique the simultaneously pours liquid ice cream and liquid chocolate into a chilled stirring pot; once ready, workers individually break up the chocolate to ensure every scoop and pint has a mouthful.
The 35-seat shop in Northbrook, at 1347 Shermer Road where Caribou Coffee once had roots, will offer additional specialties including sundaes, milkshakes, malts, banana splits and soon a Windy City sundae and possibly some locally inspired flavors. The full ice cream shoppe experience harkens back to the family company’s beginnings some 145 years ago when the founder, Louis Graeter, sold his sweet treats at street markets in Ohio as early as the 1860s. Today the company is run by fourth generation cousins Chip, Bob and Richard Graeter who also hope to bring another six stores to the area in the coming years, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
“I’m most excited about the opportunity to take my family’s product to another city to see what people think about it,” Chip Graeter told the newspaper. The lines that will undoubtedly form for the sweet treats should give him an idea of what locals are thinking—but here’s a hint: Look out for a Graeter’s ice cream truck to be hitting the streets in town (with free samples!) beginning as early as next week according to the Tribune.