Sponsor Sprints: The Inside Scoop from Jake's Ice Cream Chef and Owner Roni Vetter
In our Sponsor Sprints blog mini-series, we’re profiling some of this year’s race sponsors via personal interviews. First up, we had a chance to catch up with Roni Vetter, owner and chef at Jake’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream. Roni will not only be racing in our pro women’s event on Sunday, but will be on site serving up delicious ice cream all day, in addition to providing the fresh-baked pies for our race winners. Give Jake’s Ice Cream a follow @jakesicecreamnh.
What is your role at Jake's and how long have you been involved?
I am the chef/owner of Jake's Ice Cream. Our main focus is wholesale ice cream products for retailers. We make and manufacture super premium ice cream and sorbet in a variety of container sizes. Anything from a single serve container (which will be present at Greenfield Crit) up to a 2.5 gallon tub. Our most popular pack size is a pint.
I do everything from manage the business, hands-on ice cream production, make and design bakery/ice cream/wedding cakes, answer phones, emails, social media, etc. And in my spare time I race bikes! I have owned Jake's about 16 years.
Tell us about the origins of Jake's - how did you get started, what made you get in the business, and how have you seen Jake's grow and evolve?
Jake's was an ice cream shop, originally of Milford NH, started in 1988. The business came up for sale at the end of the season in 2003. I had been in the food service industry for many years, and was being downsized from the Ritz-Carlton corporate entity. So I made the leap from corporate pastry chef life to small business ownership.
Jake's location has shifted from Milford to Amherst, where I had a retail shop for 8 years, to it's current location in Nashua, NH. The retail shop not only served ice cream, but we had bakery items, candy, lunch, an ice cream truck for events, and wholesale ice cream accounts. Now, the main focus of the business is servicing wholesale accounts, such as grocers, convenience stores, restaurants, farm stands, scoop shops, etc. We also take specialty and custom cake orders and can be hired for private catered events.
Who is Jake? Where does the name come from?
Jake was the original owner. His full name was Ralph Jakubowski, but all his friends called him Jake. He was retired from the military and decided to open a local ice cream shop with his wife and daughter. They owned the shop about 10 years. It was a well loved local institution, so I decided to keep the name upon acquiring the company.
What gives Jake's ice cream that perfect, creamy consistency? It's honestly some of the most incredible ice cream I've ever had.
Awwww, thanks! We use only the best and purest ingredients, without artificial flavors or additives. We make most of the additions for the ice cream in house (cookie d'oh, brownie pieces, caramel, etc). We produce our ice cream in small batches (under 5 gallons at a time). Our recipe and process uses a combination of high butterfat, low overrun (which is the air content in ice cream) and is frozen very quickly to create smaller ice crystals. All resulting in a creamier consistency and better product. (science) lol
This is your second year coming to the Greenfield Crit. What other kinds of events do you do and what are your favorites?
This is my second season racing on the road and criteriums on the Bike Reg | Share Coffee squad. But I have been racing CX for almost 8 years now. I love the challenge of training and learning within the road racing scene. But really love CX. I love just about all things bike racing. But would say that it's more of the people of the bike racing community that really stand out as favorites, more than a particular bike race or venue. New England Bicycle Racing Association and NECX rules! :)
All of our winners at the Greenfield Crit this year are going to get a special, baked-with-love pie. Can you tell us a little bit about what people can expect if they're lucky enough to win?
Ahhhh, yes! Everybody loves a fresh baked pie! We are honored and excited to be making podium pies for the Greenfield Crit this year! Top finishers will receive one of our Berry-Cherry Butter Crumb Streusal Pies. It's perfect when shared with friends and served with Jake's Ice Cream!
7. Finally, what is your favorite flavor of Jake's Ice Cream? What flavor must people try this Sunday when they've finished their race and need that post-race treat?
This is truly a difficult question for me to answer. I make almost 100 flavors of ice cream, and would be happy to have almost all of them. But I have to say, my go to is usually Cookies N Cream. It creates a memory from my childhood, that really is unmatched by any other flavor.
This year at Greenfield, we will have an assortment of ice cream & dairy free sorbet in cups, as well as our unique ice cream sandwiches. I'm planning to have flavors such as our Mint Madness (mint chocolate chip with Oreo cookies), NH Deer Trax (vanilla ice cream, fudge & peanut butter cup pieces), Maple Walnut Bacon, and for a dairy free or vegan option, Raspberry Sorbet. Ice Cream sandwiches may also include a Chocolate Chip Brookie with Salted Caramel Ice Cream and a Gluten Free Sugar Cookie with Black Raspberry Ice Cream. They are all delicious, so you really can't go wrong with any of them!