TWIN FALLS — Cloverleaf Creamery opened in 2007, and by the Summer of 2008, the owners managed to get a sturdy base to ramp up the distribution of their ice cream. Since then, Cloverleaf Creamery has been able to find numerous amounts of success.
They have their main storefront in Buhl and now distribute to locations across Idaho, such as Boise and Ketchum. Cloverleaf is now a staple of summertime in the Magic Valley and provides a wide variety of fresh flavors to its customers in the surrounding communities, and beyond.
“Our ice cream is made twice a week," said Eric Butterworth, Co-Owner of Cloverleaf Creamery. "We make ice cream on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The milk that’s going into our ice cream mix comes from the cows on Sunday. It gets into the creamery on Monday, it gets processed into ice cream mix on Monday and then turned into ice cream on Tuesday.”
When the creamery first started developing ice cream, a lot of the work was trial and error. Now that the owners have found their footing and have their process down, they feel they have accomplished success that goes beyond making a tasty treat for families.
“Looking where we are now, it’s pretty impressive that we were able to do that and not only keep the dairy afloat but support families, help people get jobs, help the economy in the town, in Buhl," said Butterworth. "I feel like it’s been a big accomplishment.”
Having made such a connection with the community, even the employees see the value of being able to work for such a uniques business.
Shelley Wiersma, a 21-year-old from Buhl has worked for Cloverleaf Creamery for four years and is now the Manager at the Twin Falls location. She feels that she and her coworkers get an experience that you cannot get with some of the larger chains.
“I think working for big companies, you don't really get that sense of closeness, and like you’re part of the team," said Wiersma, "But here it’s a lot more close, and you just feel like a part of the family.”
This past year Cloverleaf proved to have challenges like many other local businesses that faced uncertainty during COVID-19. However, the impact of the pandemic was not too bad for the creamery.
Although they closed their storefront in Buhl for a time, and ice cream sales dropped they managed to remain sustainable due to the milk they sell.
During the pandemic, they even opened a new location at 2nd South Market. While COVID did impact the construction of the site, since opening business has been good, and the owners have managed to reach a whole new client base.
“It gives us the ability to showcase our flavors," said Butterworth. "We don’t sell a lot of our half-gallon cans out for commercial purchase. So, this gives people an opportunity to come into Twin and try a lot of our flavors you can’t get.”
Butterworth attributes the success of the new location to tourism that happens in Twin Falls, and because so many people are much more eager to get out since summer couldn't be fully enjoyed last year.
Now that things are edging back towards normal, the employees working in the ice cream shops have several perks; but they also feel interacting with their customers is also what makes the job so great.
“I love getting to see all the people, especially when I worked in the Buhl store," said Wiersma. "Everybody from all over the country comes there, just to try the ice cream because they’ve heard it’s so good. It’s just cool to be able to talk to them and hear their stories, where they’re from, what they’re doing.”
Just like Shelley mentioned, people really do come from all over, like Carol Manno from Orlando, Florida. Carol is visiting Idaho for the first time and had to make the stop at Cloverleaf.
“I was doing some research for a trip to Idaho. We were going near some of the attractions, especially like out to Balance Rock and Shoshone Falls," said Manno. "Then we saw this town with this great creamery and said, oh that’s great! Because we love ice cream, and it sounds so good, so we have to come.”
Now that summer is in full swing, and with plenty of time left, the owners expect business to remain busy, especially if this heat continues.
“This year, it’s night and day difference," said Butterworth. "We’re moving a lot more, a lot faster, and we’re doing well with it. We’re keeping up, and we’re keeping a smile on our face, and we enjoy it, we enjoy the busyness.”
The future looks bright for Cloverleaf Creamery, and while there are no plans for further expansion at the moment, Butterworth did say that the option to open a new location is always on the table.