Ice cream lovers making a trip to Kimmer’s Ice Cream in Downtown St. Charles can enjoy the charming location along the Fox River, discover the latest flavor inventions of the creative team and meet Kimmer, the perky blond with the dazzling smile who exudes the joy of ice cream. But with a following all across the western suburbs, many Kimmer’s fans wanted more. So recently Kimmer, Kimberly Elam, began distributing her homemade gourmet ice creams in a select few boutique retailers from Riverside to Naperville.
“We had so many people asking if they could get our ice cream in their hometown, we had to look into it. I’m so grateful to Paul Lencioni at the Blue Goose for giving us a start with tastings and stocking Kimmer’s when he saw customers liked what they tasted,” says Elam. “It was great exposure to St. Charles customers and a really great partnership between neighboring businesses.”
Additional tasting opportunities have led Kimmer’s pints and quarts to Standard Market in Westmont, Riverside Foods in Riverside, Casey’s Foods in Naperville and most recently Heinen’s in Barrington. Each store carries their own selection of flavors from classic Chocolate and Vanilla to Caramel Sea Salt, Aztec Hot Chocolate, Butter Pecan, Parent Trap (cookies‘n cream with peanut butter ribbons) and Shayla Mae’s Peanut Butter Truffle. Heinen’s is carrying 17 flavors in all.
“Customer response has been great from the get-go. Her Classic Vanilla is consistently our number one seller in the ice cream category,” says Brittany Blumer, Grocery Manager at Standard Market. “When we started with Kimmer’s, we only offered her classic flavors in quarts. Because of our success with the classic varieties, two weeks ago we launched her gourmet flavors. Kimberly has a great story, which our customers definitely respond to, so it has been a perfect match from the beginning.”
“The quality of Kimmer’s product is outstanding. Once they try it, people become loyal repeat customers. We actually started with some of the more exotic flavors like Caramel Sea Salt, but have expanded to stock some basics as well, because the quality is so high,” says Kevin Killelea, Grocery Manager at Casey’s. “Kimberly is a very grounded and accommodating business person. We are proud to carry her product.”
Made of fresh, real and locally-sourced ingredients and hand crafted daily in the St. Charles shop, Kimmer’s Ice Cream features unique ingredients like homemade cookies and brownies from Moveable Feast Geneva and espresso from Arceduim Coffee in St. Charles as well as popular candy favorites.
“We use real fruit, natural flavorings and ingredients you can pronounce, because we get a better product and people care,” says Elam. “We are currently looking to create an exclusive relationship with a local dairy for single source grass-fed free range cow’s milk.” Elam plans to expand her retail operation slowly. “We respect that the boutique markets we work with want something a little more unique,” she says, “And we want to ensure we can keep our production and service quality up. We don’t want to disappoint any of our fans out there!”