As a dairy and food maker, we stand on the shoulders of our fellow dairymen, farmers & purveyors.
“...Relationships like McConnell’s are few and far between and those are the ones we value, because they are so long lasting. That’s really a testament to the products but also to the people, too...” Amy Guittard - Guittard Chocolate CompanyIn many cases, these are decades-old, multi-generational family businesses. The standards they hold for their products are as demandingly high as our own.
Once vendors, a good many of these individuals and businesses have, over the decades we've worked alongside them, become partners.
Guittard Chocolate CompanyThe oldest, continuously family-owned chocolate company in the United States, Guittard is an almost 150-year-old, family run chocolate maker headquartered in Burlingame, California.
One of the world’s preeminent cocoa producers, Guittard works closely with small, family farms to sustainably and responsibly source the highest quality blends and varietal cocoa beans throughout the world. A Fair Trade practitioner, Guittard is a member of the World Cocoa Foundation and The Rainforest Alliance, among many other trade groups.
In a sea of nouveau, bean-to-bar chocolatiers, Guittard is the original, and a key supplier to the world’s finest pastry chefs, wholesale chocolatiers, and consumers.
The McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams/Guittard Chocolate Company partnership is now in its 5th decade. Pictured: Gary and Amy Guittard
Producers DairyAs a dairy, we are obsessed with the quality and consistency of our most critical ingredient, the raw milk & cream we use in McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams.
Since the mid-1960’s, when The Old Dairy transitioned from farming to focus exclusively on dairy processing, McConnell’s has sourced its milk & cream from the Paso Robles hub of Producers Dairy, an 83 year-old family dairy (The Shehadey Family) based in Central California.
Throughout its history, Producers has employed state-of-the-art technology and industry best practices to play a leading role in the dairy industry, in California and throughout the country.
From their agricultural programs - supplemental feed is grown on the same farms where Producers’ cows are pastured - to sustainability - farms employ on-site methane digesters to cut pollution and push energy back to California’s power grid - to their animal husbandry practices - full-time, on-site dieticians and veterinarians - the Shehadeys are as equally well regarded operationally as they are for the quality of their Central Coast dairy.
R.R. LochheadFounded in 1918 in St. Louis, Missouri, the Lochhead name is synonymous with the vanilla industry in the United States.
In the early 1960’s, scion Ray Lochhead settled in Paso Robles, California, where he embarked on his own adventure in the vanilla trade and called his company R.R. Lochhead.
A legend in the industry, and responsible for countless firsts, Ray’s early analysis of vanilla’s chemical components led to the establishment of new, industry-wide farming and curing practices.
The source for McConnell’s exquisite Madagascar Bourbon and Tongan vanillas, the McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams/R.R. Lochhead partnership is now over 50-years young. Pictured: Ray Lochhead and son-in-law/partner (along with Ray's daughter, Josephine), Don Schmidt.