“We supplied CC’s just under a year, and are very disappointed about their new direction,” dairy owner Jeff Kleinpeter wrote in a Saturday e-mail to the INDsider, noting that he was unavailable for comment because he was out of town and in a different time zone. “Borden’s lowered their previous price considerably to get these accounts back, and Kleinpeter simply stresses a competitive price with great service and great local quality. I wish viewers/readers would look into the actual ownership of our competitor; I think they would be surprised to see which company is family owned and locally owned.”
Borden’s parent company was purchased last year by Grupo LALA, based in Mexico.
Particularly troubling for Kleinpeter is the fact that his Café au Lait ice cream is made with Community’s chicory-flavored coffee (which, by the way, was just voted “best flavored” by Rachael Ray’s magazine).
“CC’s made an unfortunate choice,” added Kleinpeter, a staunch supporter of Louisiana-made products. A number of the Baton Rouge dairy’s specialty ice creams are flavored with iconic Louisiana products, including Bruce’s Yams and Elmer’s Gold Brick Eggs. “I thought we had a solid partnership with them, and now we are testing other coffee ingredients for our ice cream, and [Lafayette-based] Mello Joy is in the running for a new coffee flavored ice cream made by Kleinpeter Dairy.”
Community Coffee declined comment on the what prompted the switch. “At Community Coffee we remain focused on serving our customers; it’s a commitment that has served them well for the past 90 years and one that we will maintain through the next,” Community Coffee President Matt Saurage wrote in an e-mail response.
“We have been friends of the Kleinpeter family for four generations and have only nice things to say about them or any vendor," Saurage added. "We do not discus vendor negotiations or reasoning from our private discussions because they are confidential and because we respect those with whom we do business.”