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man holding cup of lactose-free ice cream

Customers “Rave” for Ice Cream

In Northern Minnesota, there are limited options for specialty foods and products that fulfill the dietary needs of the surrounding area. Many consumers who appreciate premium specialty foods or have dietary restrictions are forced to shop larger metropolitan areas and stockpile products due to limited local availability. This growing community is looking for foods made with ingredients that are natural and have familiar, simple ingredients. With that backdrop, the small town of Crosby is the perfect place for serving this consumer base seeking specialty products.

Victual is a gourmet specialty store that’s serving the demands of these consumers by offering premium products crafted from high-quality ingredients. Created by Paul Kirkman and Paul VanderWaal, Victual features artisan cheeses, charcuterie, packaged gourmet foods, spirits/ wines, and super premium lactose-free ice cream, all carefully curated or crafted to the owners’ exacting standards for depth and variety.

Born out of a personal need to indulge in the ice cream experience without suffering the side effects of lactose intolerance, Kirkman turned to AURI for assistance with the development of Victual’s ice cream business, Rave Creamworks. To create lactose-free ice cream, an enzyme called lactase is employed through a process called hydrolysis to break down the milk sugar lactose into its more digestible building blocks, glucose and galactose – a process called hydrolysis. AURI initially provided in-depth technical guidance on recipe development and ingredient sourcing. As Kirkman’s launch date drew near, AURI also identified and helped scale up his recipe at a local micro creamery for ongoing production, including analytical confirmation of lactose hydrolysis.

Rave contracted with Autumnwood Farm in Forest Lake, MN, to manufacture their lactose-free, high butterfat ice cream mix, resulting in a velvety mouthfeel with the perfect “melt” – a truly indulgent experience. AURI provided product testing as well as technical assistance on the ice cream’s nutritional profile.

Rave has developed a strong following at Victual with store regulars and Kirkman recognizes a range of customers from lake dwellers to mountain bikers who have an appreciation for fine foods. With 16 different flavors, the shops best seller is the Pink Squirrel, a popular supper club drink that makes for a unique ice cream experience.

Rave Creamworks hopes to redefine ice cream for those suffering from lactose intolerance and provide people in the surrounding Crosby-Ironton area with a great tasting, natural ice cream that delivers a super premium experience in line with Victual’s consumer promise. The result is a rich, velvety smooth, full dairy lactose-free ice cream that truly everyone can enjoy.

In this little corner of Minnesota, the partnership of brands like Rave and AURI can lead to sweet success where you least expect it.