Following the success of making their own ice cream from wild Newfoundland and Labrador berries last year, getting their product in the frozen food aisle is the cherry on top for Kier and Stacey Knudsen of the Dark Tickle Company.
Based in St. Lunaire-Griquet on the province's Great Northern Peninsula, the company signed an agreement to sell its bakeapple, patridgeberry and blueberry varieties in Sobeys and Foodland stores across the island.
Knudsen says they just shipped the first 1,100 containers last week.
The company created and sold its homemade ice cream from its cafe last summer, where it was scooped into homemade waffle cones shaped like sculpins — a fish often found in Newfoundland waters.
Knudsen said it went over really well with customers, but getting into grocery stores was always the plan.
"We were just using the cafe just [to] try and to test it. To get the reaction but also to develop the recipes," he told CBC Newfoundland Morning.
Passing out free samples at the shop, Stacey said the feedback was invaluable as they tweaked the recipes. However, it was serving it to children who came looking for chocolate and strawberry flavours that showed her they had a great product.
"I'd say 'I don't have strawberry but why don't you try this one called patridgeberry' and their eyes would light right up after the first taste. They'd say it was the best ice cream they ever tasted," she said.
Once they perfected their recipes, Kier approached Sobeys, which had already been selling the company's jams and syrups for years.
He admits it was a bit of a jump to go from making enough ice cream for one cafe to supplying a chain of grocery stores. The company had to ensure the quality of the ice cream stayed the same, even when they were producing it on a bigger scale.
But by sticking to their simple recipe and using locally-sourced ingredients, Kiers says every spoonful tastes the same — no matter how big the batch.
"If you want to do anything really, really fresh, it's best to get a local product," said Knudsen.
"The Newfoundland eggs, they try to handpick the eggs for us so they're as fresh as possible. Central Dairies, they actually manufacture once we call in the order to get that as fresh as possible. And the same with the local berries. They're right off the bog…I think we live in a special place and we're trying to promote that and showcase that."