How sweet it is for Haystack inventor

Luke Keller and his fellow Knellsville 4-H Club members get to indulge in the ice cream he picked the flavors for and named to win Cedar Crest contest

KNELLSVILLE 4-H co-leader Brianna Szczerbinski scooped out the first dish of Haystack ice cream for Luke Keller, who not only created the flavor combination but named the ice cream when he won a contest run by Cedar Crest Ice Cream and the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation. Photo by Sam Arendt
By 
KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM
Ozaukee Press staff

Luke Keller’s face lit up as he tasted the newest flavor in Cedar Crest Ice Cream’s lineup last Thursday.

“Amazing,” Keller said as he dug in to a cup of Haystack ice cream — his new favorite flavor.

Haystack is a blend of vanilla ice cream swirled with caramel fudge and blended with Reece’s Pieces and chocolate coated peanuts — a mix and name that Keller suggested as part of Cedar Crest Ice Cream’s annual flavor creation contest, which is open to 4-H clubs throughout the state.

The ice cream, Keller said, was “everything” he envisioned.

Keller, of rural Saukville, is a member of Knellsville 4-H who has been entering the contest every year for about five years.

“It’s just something fun to do,” he said. “I thought it would be cool to make my own ice cream.”

Keller came up with the name Haystack while working in shop class on a project that used hay.

“It’s a unique name,” he said. “The ice cream kind of has the colors of hay.”

He said he chose vanilla as the base of his ice cream because he really likes vanilla ice cream.

“It’s really the only ice cream I eat,” he said.

Caramel is one of his favorite toppings, Keller said, and he likes peanuts.

He suggested crunchy candies on top “because I have a sweet tooth,” Keller said.

Even though he thought he might have a winner, Keller said, it was still a surprise and shock when Knellsville leader Jan Dommer called to tell him he won the contest.

“It was really exciting,” he said. “After five years, I finally won.”

Bob Kohlwey, vice president of sales for Cedar Crest Ice Cream in Cedarburg, said the company has been running the contest for at least a decade.

“It’s kind of neat to see all the entries,” he said.

The contest, which is sponsored by both Cedar Crest and the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation, has its roots in the fact he and his brothers were all members of Covered Bridge 4-H.

“We like giving back,” Kohlwey said. “And we like supporting 4-H.”

This year, there were between 100 and 150 entries in the contest, which is judged by many of the company’s employees, he said.

The entries are judged based on the ingredients and how they meld, on flavor and on the intangibles, he said.

“I’m a guy who doesn’t look at the ingredients,” Kohlwey said. “I look at the name.”

Haystack, he said, stuck out from the crowd.

The other finalists in this year’s contest are Cow Pie, submitted by the Dalton Doers 4-H Club of Green Lake County, Brewster Rooster by Middle Inlet Moonshiners 4-H Club of Marinette County, Rabbit Snacks by Naugart Knights 4-H Club of Marathon County and Sweet and Salty Dreams by Rockland 4-H Club of Brown County.

As the winning club, Knellsville 4-H received a Cedar Crest Ice Cream party — held last week at Roden Echo Valley Farm — and $500.

A portion of the money was used for the club’s pizza and ice cream party, Dommer said. The club hasn’t determined what it will do with the remainder of the funds, but it will likely donate it to charity, she said.

Of the 55 kids in the club, Dommer said, Keller is the only one to submit a name to the contest.

His ice cream was a hit with those attending the club’s party.

“It’s really good,” Jeff Millard of the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation said. “I could eat this three times a day.”

Clara Steinert rated it 10 out of 10.

“I like the peanut butter taste,” she said of the peanut-forward tasting ice cream.

“It’s like a surprise every time you get a bit,” Knellsville 4-H co-leader Breanna Szczerbinski said.

But as delicious as Haystack ice cream is, it’s not available at the grocery store. Kohlwey said the company is producing 2,000 three-gallon tubs, which is generally sold to ice cream parlors and shops that scoop ice cream.

“When they’re gone, they’re gone,” he said.

The ice cream will be available at the Wisconsin State Fair and the Ozaukee County Fair.

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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