Clover Sonoma ice cream is no more, company confirms

Ice cream is a “crowded and competitive category dominated by large national brands,” Clover Sonoma CEO Ken Gott said.|

The head of Clover Sonoma has confirmed what die-hard fans already knew: the Petaluma-based dairy has discontinued its line of ice creams.

In an email Tuesday to the Argus-Courier, Clover Sonoma CEO Ken Gott said the decision was a practical one for the local dairy.

“Besides being outside our core manufacturing and distribution capabilities, it is a very crowded and competitive category dominated by large national brands with big budgets and broad supply networks,” Gott explained.

And though the pandemic gave ice cream sales a boost, “that trend has returned to a more normal pattern over the past year,” he added.

The absence of Clover’s rocky road, mint chip, et al. from local shelves was first reported last week after Jeff Mainwaring, a store manager at Petaluma Market, confirmed Clover ice cream is “not a thing anymore.”

Gott said the company “announced our decision to exit the ice cream business to our retail partners in September, as that is when some of the products stopped being available in the market.”

Shoppers may still have seen the products in local freezers, however, and “given varying inventory levels, some of the flavors were available in the market until recently,” Gott said.

One place Clover fans will especially miss the ice cream, besides supermarket shelves, is at the Sonoma-Marin and Sonoma County fairs, where the company’s mascot, Clo the Cow, and her helpers handed out free ice cream samples as a yearly tradition.

“What is Clo going to offer at the fair?” one person asked on Facebook. “No need to go to the county fair anymore,” another stated.

Asked about plans for upcoming county fairs, Gott said, “The fair has always been near and dear to Clover and part of our rich history. We will continue to be there in a new and fun way highlighting some of our great Clover products.”

Formerly Clover Stornetta Farms, the 106-year-old dairy, headquartered in Petaluma, is a local mainstay with 150 products and approximately 250 employees — none of whom will be affected by the reduction in offerings, Gott said.

“We supply our milk from many family farms that produce exclusively for Clover,” Gott said. “Some of the family farms have been in business for six generations.”

Don Frances is editor of the Petaluma Argus-Courier. Reach him at don.frances@arguscourier.com.

UPDATED: Please read and follow our commenting policy:

  • This is a family newspaper, please use a kind and respectful tone.
  • No profanity, hate speech or personal attacks. No off-topic remarks.
  • No disinformation about current events.
  • We will remove any comments — or commenters — that do not follow this commenting policy.
Send a letter to the editor