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Kirke’s Homemade Ice Cream 10th in state

T-L Photos/ROBERT A. DEFRANK Kirke Porterfield, owner of Kirke’s Homemade Ice Cream, left, delivers ice cream to the FFA alumni ice cream stand in preparation for the Belmont County Junior Fair. Porterfield’s store recently placed 10th in the state during the Ohio Farm Bureau 202 Ice Cream Battle.

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — Kirke’s Homemade Ice Cream is well known for its tasty treats, and the store recently won some extra recognition by placing 10th in the state during the Ohio Farm Bureau 2020 Ice Cream Battle.

More than 30 ice cream stores competed across the Buckeye State.

“I’m really excited that we were voted the Number 10 ice cream store in the state. Really makes you feel good,” owner Kirke Porterfield said.

He said he found out he had been nominated a couple of weeks ago during a St. Clairsville Area Chamber of Commerce meeting when Director Wendy Anderson mentioned it.

“I didn’t know anything about it,” he said. “You can go on the Farm Bureau’s website and vote. My wife put it on her Facebook page and probably a week later we only had about 2 percent of the vote. I said, ‘Well, we don’t have a chance,’ and then when it ended, we came in 10th place.”

He learned where his own brand of ice cream placed last week.

“I didn’t know much about it until it was almost over,” he said.

Porterfield said factors including the quality of ice creams, the placement of the store and word of mouth have helped make the business popular.

“Being this close to Interstate 70, there’s a lot of people that travel through the area and a lot of people like good ice cream, and they’ll Google it and they’ll find us. We get people from all over the country here. I don’t know if they voted for us, but they like the ice cream,” he said. “A lot of them said they had a hard time finding us, but when they found us they said they loved it and will be back. We keep 40 or 44 flavors out, so they like that variety.”

He also stresses high standards and good management.

“We just try to use the best ingredients we can find and do the best we can,” he said, adding that his name on the product is another reason to excel. “When your name’s on the building, you tend to take care of things a little different. I’m here all the time. I make all the ice cream with the help of my wife, Judy. We make it, I deliver it.”

This is not the first recognition the store has received.

“Several years ago we made a peach champagne sorbet and entered it in the National Ice Cream Retailers Association convention in San Diego, and we won first place with that,” he noted.

The store is located at 50525 Rehm Road. It is open most of the year, closing in January and February and usually reopening in March.

Soon, the business will sport some new decorations, since Porterfield is having murals of past and present American flags painted on the building.

Porterfield’s ice cream is also frequently featured at local charitable events and activities, and it was sold by the Future Farmers of America alumni at the Junior Fair last week.

Carson Ogilbee of Belmont, a Union Loca student preparing for the fair, said Porterfield’s ice cream was deserving of recognition.

“We love Kirke’s Ice Cream. He does a great job for us,” Susan Ogilbee of Centerville, Carson’s aunt, said.

They both added that black raspberry is their favorite flavor.

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