Four Graeter's stores closing in northern Kentucky - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Four Graeter's stores closing in northern Kentucky

By Stefano DiPietrantonio – bio |email|Facebook

NEWPORT, KY (FOX19) - For at least a few months, there is going to be a "brain freeze" for northern Kentucky.

Four northern Kentucky Graeter's locations are closing. The company announced Monday they're ending their franchise contract with Elsmere-based International Brand Services.

"I was not very happy when I read it on the Internet," said Kate Caldwell, who is a regular at Graeter's Ice Cream stores.

On Friday, the locations on Buttermilk Pike in Fort Mitchell, North Grand Avenue in Newport, Monmouth Street in Newport By The Levee and on U.S. Highway 42 in Florence, will be shut down.

Four locations in Lexington will be closed as well.

Graeter's said they would like to open company-owned stores in those same locations next year.

The news is tough to swallow for Graeter's fans area-wide, hearing their favorite ice-cream fix is taking a hiatus in northern Kentucky.

"It absolutely is an unhappy situation," said owner Richard Graeter said. "And I wish it would have worked out differently, but all we can do is try to make the best of it."

"Yeah, I heard that," said Sarah Gordon, who was visiting the Graeter's in Newport. "It's really sad." She has to drive more than an hour and a half away from Richmond, just to get her fix.

"I don't know," she said. "I don't know, probably have to go into Ohio to get it I guess."

Graeter's said you can still get those hand-packed pints in grocery stores all over northern Kentucky.

"We will still have ice cream in all the grocery stores in northern Kentucky and Lexington," Richard Graeter said. "We'll just pick up supplying Kroger and the Meijer and the Bigg's and the Remke's, so we'll still be there."

It's not exactly the same as having it scooped out at the store.

"Yes it was pretty sweet," Caldwell said.

But surely the fact she can still purchase it in her neighborhood store, is the next best thing.

"We're gonna have to go into Cincinnati instead of walking to get our ice cream like we used to do."

"Well, I certainly want to emphasize our commitment to our customers in Kentucky," Richard Graeter said. "I mean, my mom and dad have lived in Kentucky for 30 years, and I live there in the summer, so we have deep roots with Kentucky and we're gonna be gone for a little while, but not for long, so don't worry, we'll be back, better than ever."

Richard Graeter said, depending on how things go in the next few months, Graeter's may be able to open-up some of their own company stores in northern Kentucky.

Hopefully, by the Spring, he said, just in time for ice-cream eating season to begin.

Graeter said even though the franchise employees are not his, he'd absolutely consider hiring those folks who are already familiar with their product. 

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