What goes through the mind of an executive planning to build a new ice cream processing facility? Richard Graeter and Bob Graeter, co-owners (along with Chip Graeter) of Graeter's Manufacturing Co., Cincinnati, shared some of the questions they asked themselves prior to building the Dairy Foods 2011 Plant of the Year.

From left: Bob Graeter, Tom Kunzelman, Richard Graeter and Stan Pritchard


What goes through the mind of an executive planning to build a new ice cream processing facility? Richard Graeter and Bob Graeter, co-owners (along with Chip Graeter) of Graeter's Manufacturing Co., Cincinnati, shared some of the questions they asked themselves prior to building a 28,000-square-foot facility that opened in 2010. They spoke at the International Dairy Show in Atlanta on Sept. 21, along with VP of manufacturing Tom Kunzelman and Stan Pritchard, sales manager at Rodem, Cincinnati. Dairy Foods named the facility its 2011 Plant of the Year. (See the full article on DairyFoods.com.)

Richard Graeter said five points are:

  1. Secure a retail partner so that you can sell what you produce.
  2. Get help. Among those Graater's worked with were Rodem, Trauth Dairy and Hixson (an architecture/engineering firm in Cincinnati).
  3. Answer some of the "big questions" about processing. For example, Graeter's settled on vat pasteurization rather than HT/ST (high-temperature/short time) because of the relatively low volume of milk it needs to process.
  4. Remain flexible. "You will go down some blind alleys," he said. The company wrote off a $50,000 purchase order after finding equipment that better suited its needs.
  5. Expect the unexpected. "Stick with your partners to work through the problems," Graeter said. "We would have been scared to death had we known (what would transpire during the design and construction process"), he said.