Ice cream, candy bars, cakes, pies, and bags of jimmies — all certified kosher by the Star-K Kosher Agency — are scrumptiously stocked at the newly opened Graeter’s Ice Cream store on Mt. Lebanon Boulevard in Castle Shannon, just in time for Shavuot.
It’s pretty much a dairy-lover’s dream come true.
Stunning, celebration-worthy cakes and pies, in an array of favorite flavor combinations (yes, I’m looking at you, Cookie Dough Chip and Chocolate Fantasy), fill one of the store’s freezers. Another freezer displays prepackaged, non-dairy, pareve sorbets in lemon, mango and raspberry, for a lighter alternative.
The ice cream counter offers options such as black raspberry chocolate chip, real coconut, and buckeye — which is chocolate and peanut butter ice cream, with peanut butter cookie dough and chocolate chips. Also, milkshakes, old-fashioned sodas and, of course, sundaes, are available.
Although the ice cream served at the counter is certified kosher, the store itself is not under kosher supervision.
Graeter’s Ice Cream is a family-owned business that began in Cincinnati in 1870. There are currently more than 50 retail stores throughout Ohio, and in Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois.
The company’s first Pittsburgh shop launched in Wexford in 2016. Castle Shannon was chosen as Graeter’s second Pittsburgh-area location because “people from the South Hills were driving 40 minutes just to get ice cream,” said Marcus Cox, the Castle Shannon store’s manager.
The ice cream is popular because “it is super premium,” Cox said. “It has a high butterfat content and a low air content, and it is very dense and very rich.” It is made in small batches by hand using French Pots, the same method the company has used for almost 150 years.
Graeter’s uses cream sourced from local cows free of artificial growth hormones. To make the ice cream even creamier, it has a custard base, made from fresh, local eggs. It is sweetened with 100% pure cane sugar.
In addition to its ice cream, Graeter’s is also “famous for our chocolate chunks,” Cox said. The chocolate is melted, poured into the French pots along with the ice cream, and then chopped into chunks by hand.
Business has been good, according to Cox, who said there is often a line out the door since the store opened the first week of April.
“It’s amazing ice cream,” he said. “I grew up eating it in Columbus [Ohio], and I am thrilled to be part of the expansion.”
The Graeter’s team is currently seeking a spot for a third location in Pittsburgh, he said. pjc
Toby Tabachnick can be reached at