Food and Drink, Happening in STL

Clementine’s Ice Cream Makes Oprah’s “The O List”

As accolades go, landing on Oprah Winfrey’s acclaimed “The O List” is one of the biggest—if not the biggest—endorsement that a retailer will ever experience. In the November issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, a local product did just that.

Clementine’s Naughty & Nice Creamery was lauded for the “100 percent natural treat that’s hand-churned in small batches.” The publication singled out the creamery’s signature Gooey Butter Cake flavor, which it dubbed the “Sexiest Ice Cream Alive.”

Clementine’s owner Tamara Keefe learned about having a mention in the magazine a few months ago, but being part of the coveted “O List” was a complete surprise. “I was shocked, thrilled, and speechless,” she says.

An O List endorsement is a high honor that always translates to a significant uptick in business. Just ask The Blue Owl’s Mary Hostetter. When her Caramel Pecan Levee High Apple Pie was chosen as one of “Oprah’s Favorite Things” (a similar honor) by the publication in 2011, she told SLM that to keep up with demand, she had to hire extra staff, rent an additional warehouse, and “began buying apples by the train car load.”

Keefe says she ramped up production the moment she received the news to prepare for the onslaught of mail orders (Clementine’s ships around the country). She also rebuilt the company’s website, invested in a more robust server, and massively upgraded the hosting capabilities to handle anticipated web traffic.

The news comes on the heels of the recent opening of St. Louis Union Station’s Soda Fountain, which uses ice cream made exclusively by Clementine’s. Last weekend, Keefe says, the eatery quadrupled anticipated sales on Friday (using what Keefe thought would be a 30-day supply of ice cream), then broke that record on Saturday and Sunday. What she describes as “the best ice cream team in the world” worked all through the weekend to keep the Soda Fountain supplied. After the O news, the team is producing its signature naughty (containing alcohol) and nice flavors (no alcohol) “pretty much around the clock,” she says.

Reached Friday night, Keefe says the news had yet to sink in: “It’s huge for us but also huge for St. Louis. I’m so proud to be building my dreams in this city. The people in St. Louis made this all possible and continue to make it so.”

Article originally posted by STLMag