Mom & Pop Go National: Graeter’s Ice Cream Case Study

Since 1870, Graeter’s has been handcrafting premium ice cream 2 ½ gallons at a time using the French pots, a small batch, artisanal method.

Finding a POS solution was so mission critical to Graeter’s that the CEO sat in on PAR’s presentation meeting.

When the fourth generation of the Graeter’s family entered the food retailing business around 2005, they joined a small operation in southern Ohio that had been around for 140 years. In the words of Ken Colegrove, Retail Projects Support Manager, “We were essentially a Mom & Pop; everyone fit around the conference table.”

Fast forward to 2015. A manufacturing facility had been built to support ice cream, an online shopping division, distribution into over 6,000 grocery stores in 45 states, and 37 corporate stores offering Graeter’s premium products.

Now was no time to be held hostage by a large national POS provider with declining support, or a smaller POS start-up that could not deliver on integration.

But that was exactly where Graeter’s found their growing network of stores, tied to an indifferent vendor that was providing diminished support on obsolete technology. And the start-up was no better, missing deadlines, exasperating Colegrove and Graeter’s management. Finding a POS solution was so mission critical to Graeter’s that the CEO sat in on PAR’s presentation meeting.

“What I really admire about PAR is how they bent over backwards to get our business, and once they landed it, they didn’t let up on support. What I find equally refreshing is their transparency. If a problem arises, ‘Let’s try to fix it’ is what I hear right away—very unusual in the POS space.” — KEN COLEGROVE, RETAIL PROJECTS

Colegrove cited an unusually responsive PAR team that created the entire Graeter’s POS experience in very short order from a minimal database file. Tasked on a Thursday with provisioning Graeter’s busiest neighborhood store in Columbus, Ohio, the team was installing the PAR Brink POS Software system the following Monday. The implementation moved forward at a clip of two stores per day. All 37 Graeter’s corporate stores were up and running in four and a half weeks, according to Colegrove.

“It would be daunting to retrain 1,000 store employees on a brand new platform,” said Colegrove, “but PAR replicated our POS experience so strongly based on that original prototype, we moved over easily. Plus we had all the integrations we wanted.”

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About Graeter’s Ice Cream

Since 1870, Graeter’s has been handcrafting premium ice cream 2 ½ gallons at a time using the French pots, a small batch, artisanal method.

Graeter’s has won the hearts of ice cream enthusiasts across the country as
well as the respect of the nation’s most influential foodies. The Cincinnati-based company remains family owned and operated and continues to handcraft ice cream 2½ gallons at a time.

Today, Graeter’s has 46 retail stores and ship over 300,000 pints annually for online mail order sales. Graeter’s can also be found in more than 6,000 grocery stores in 46 states.