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The "Crystal Connection"

The Bay Area is known for having a rich tradition of ice cream shops and creameries, but none is bigger than Mitchell's Ice Cream.



The Bay Area is known for having a rich tradition of ice cream shops and creameries, but none is bigger than Mitchell's Ice Cream. In 1953, brothers Larry and Jack Mitchell opened up the small, but popular ice cream shop in the heart of the city--the Mission District of San Francisco. The family was no stranger to the dairy business since the they had owned and operated a small dairy in the late 1800's. Today, it's Larry's kids, Linda and Brian, that are continuing their family's legacy of being the premier ice cream maker in the city. "We're been a kind of neighborhood institution," Linda Mitchell said. "What keeps me going is all the new and interesting people I meet everyday. That's what does it for me," Brian Mitchell said.

All of Mitchell's ice cream is made fresh, on site and despite having some of the most exotic ingredients around, their most important one is the most basic--cream! And for that, the Mitchells depend on an old family friend to help them out--The Crystal Cream and Butter Company. The partnership was formed more than twenty years ago, and doesn't look to stop anytime soon.

One reason Crystal has managed to stay on top is because of their unique relationship with dairy farmers throughout Northern California. In many cases, Crystal purchases all of a dairy's milk and does so for many generations. Such is the case at the Innisfail Dairy in nearby Dixon. Stuart Rowe and his wife Emily are responsible for more than 500 shorthorns in their herd. But their product doesn't go far. Since 1919, all of their milk has gone right up the road to Crystal--making them the oldest supplier of milk to the dairy giant. "I don't want to seem biased, but Crsytal's rocky road ice cream is our favorite," Stuart said.

So whether you eat ice cream in Sacramento, San Francisco, or anywhere in between, chances are, you'll find a little bit of a Northern California dairy legend in each and every bite.

For more information, visit www.crystal-milk.com.


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