In 1990, Harold Hartzler said he felt called by God to start a dairy farm.
And now, in 2023, the 3rd generation Hartzler owners are called to open an ice cream parlor and retail shop that will serve minimally processed milk, butter, and cheese, in Downtown London, OH, and then hopefully in Columbus central next.
Jace Hartzler, 3rd generation owner of Hartzler’s Family Dairy, explained that although the family dairy farm has been around for about 30 years, a retail store seems like a natural, next step in the process of growing the business and sharing the product with the rest of Ohio.
Currently, Wooster locals can stop into Hartzler’s Ice Cream Shoppe at 5454 Cleveland Road, where they can buy glass milk bottles ranging from vanilla flavored, to chocolate, strawberry, and even orange cream, or choose from 50 flavors of ice cream as well as ice cream cakes.
Soon, Columbus locals won’t have to make the drive all the way to Wooster to enjoy a double scoop of Heffer Trails (peanut based ice cream with Reese’s cups, peanut butter swirls, and chocolate chips) at Hartzler’s Ice Cream Shoppe.
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And, when you do try their ice cream, there’s a reason it tastes so delicious. Hartzler explained that their hand-dipped ice cream and bottled milks are completely hormone free, non-GMO, and they use a system called “vat pasteurization,” which essentially means their milk is heated very slowly to 150 degrees instead of quickly at a higher temperature. This is a process that was developed in the early 1900’s, and Hartzler emphasized, “You can really taste the difference. This is what maintains our texture and taste – it’s less efficient than more modern methods, but our quality speaks for itself.”
Their milk products are so minimally and slowly processed that Hartzler says even those who are lactose intolerant seem to be able to tolerate their hand-dipped ice creams.
“Part of the reason we’ve grown so slowly is because we’re dedicated to this method,” Hartzler explained.
This new franchise location is an exciting and essential next step for Hartzler’s Family Dairy. Their goal is to open their London location by the Spring of 2024. If you can’t wait until then, some of their products, like glass bottles of milk, are available at local grocery stores such as Whole Foods in Upper Arlington, Easton, and Dublin, plus some Giant Eagles, Lucky’s Market, and Fresh Thyme.
“I’m highly optimistic about this and I’m hoping for a Columbus location, too. I’ve spent 10 years in Columbus, and I would love the opportunity to bring our concept to the heart of Columbus,” remarked Hartzler.
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