Fans of Izzy’s Ice Cream will soon be able to order a scoop at restaurants outside the Twin Cities.
Izzy’s and Sysco Minnesota, a division of the national food-service distributor, have cemented a partnership to help broaden the ice cream company’s reach to other parts of the state beginning June 15.
“We are working really hard to grow and expand and bring our ice cream to more and more people,” said Jeff Sommers, Izzy’s co-owner.
Sysco Minnesota distributes to parts of Minnesota, from Grand Marais down through Rochester.
“We were always telling people ‘no’ around the state, and even around the country because we can’t get it to them,” Sommers said.
Sommers and his wife, Lara Hammel, co-founded Izzy’s in 2000. The company operates two retail ice cream shops, one in Minneapolis and one in St. Paul. Izzy’s is known for its signature Izzy’s Scoop, which is a tiny extra helping of ice cream, catering to customers who are flavor indecisive.
The ice cream company started distributing to restaurants in 2001 through a partnership with 128 Cafe, now called Stewart’s, in St. Paul. Since then, they have expanded their self-delivery to include about 80 area restaurants and between 60 and 70 Twin Cities grocery stores.
Existing customers can choose to continue taking deliveries directly from Izzy’s or opt to get the ice cream delivered by Sysco. This partnership allows Izzy’s to sell to customers previously outside its geographic reach.
“I just can’t drive ice cream all the way up to Grand Marais,” Sommers said.
He doesn’t know how many new customers Izzy’s will gain as a result, but he said he is excited to find out.
Izzy’s employs more than 100 full-time and part-time workers in the summer, scaling back to around 80 employees in the winter months.