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CLEMSON University specialty ice cream brand now sold in Pelion

Clemson, SC - Shumpert’s IGA in Pelion is the second Lexington County location to sell the insanely popular CLEMSON’S BEST™ Gourmet Ice Cream, made with ingredients from South Carolina farms, brand officials announced today.

“So far, the response has been great,” said Manager Stephen Simmons, who has doubled the store’s order since IGA quietly began selling the ice cream a few weeks back. Caramel Butter Pecan is by far the fan favorite, he said. “Someone in Batesburg called to make sure we had it before he went for a drive.”

Eventually, brand developers hope no one with a craving for CLEMSON’S BEST™ will have to drive far to find it. For now, Shumpert’s IGA and Wingard’s Market near the Lake Murray Dam are the only Lexington County sources.

Four South Carolina farms have joined Clemson University to provide this unique Certified South Carolina-grown product and a true taste of home. Holstein cows from Hickory Hill dairy in Edgefield supply the milk; Titan Farms in Ridge Spring grows the peaches; Yon Family Farms, also in Ridge Spring, provides pecans; and strawberries come from McLeod Farms in McBee.

The Certified SC label is truly what sold the decision-makers at IGA. The store already carries many homegrown products and dedicates sizable retail space to fresh fruits and vegetables. CLEMSON’S BEST™ just seemed to fit, given its bragging rights: “Real milk. Real fruit. Real good.”

Brand officials are also continuously marketing to private-label retailers that already sell Clemson Blue Cheese, the university’s first dairy product. It has developed a tremendous fan base since 1941, when Professor Paul Miller discovered the Stumphouse Tunnel near campus created the perfect environment to age cheese. (Clemson Blue Cheese is not yet available at Shumpert’s but the store manager is a big fan.)

For the university’s newest gourmet product, Atlanta-based small-batch ice cream maker Greenwood Ice Cream worked directly with the university to handcraft four Southern flavors. One is vanilla “but not just any vanilla,” said Hickory Hill’s Watson Dorn, who should know. His farm’s Holstein cows produce milk ultra-rich in butter fat for Clemson Blue Cheese as well the newer ice cream.

Hickory Hill Milk is non-homogenized, a rare find these days and a nostalgic return to times when a thick layer of cream rose to the top of each bottle. That’s what helps to make the vanilla confection “an unbelievably creamy, nostalgic ice cream like Grandma made,” Dorn said. “Don’t expect anything skinny under the lid,” says Dorn — just a spoonful of good from some of The Carolinas’ best farmers.” CLEMSON’S BEST™ ice cream is 16 percent top-notch cream. A 2/3 cup contains 210 calories. That’s 690 calories per pint and worth every one of them, fans say.

The full slate of flavors is Vanilla, Peaches and Cream, Strawberry Shortcake and Caramel Butter Pecan. Brand officials also have hinted that two new flavors probably will come onto the scene next spring. The best guesses are possibly blueberry and a twist of coffee and chocolate.

The university introduced CLEMSON’S BEST™ in April by sampling its signature Tiger Orange Vanilla during a three-game baseball weekend at home. That flavor is a mini version of Homemade Vanilla with a slight orange tint and is sold in 6-ounce cups at most home sporting events.

Ten percent of the proceeds from CLEMSON’S BEST™ fund student-related learning, scholarships, internships, research and campus programs in the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences. Since its debut, the beneficiaries have received more than $8,000.

For more information, visit http://www.clemsonsbest.com.

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