Traverse City, Michigan with Private Selection and an Ice Cream Contest!

A Cherry Trip to Traverse City, Michigan with Private Selection #StateofGreatTaste - HandletheHeat.com

I have an exciting post for you today. Recently I was invited by the lovely folks with Private Selection, Kroger’s very own gourmet and artisan brand of food products, to Traverse City, Michigan, to sample their seasonal Michigan Cherry Cobbler Ice Cream and to participate in a very fun ICE CREAM COMPETITION. Being somewhat of an expert on ice cream, how could I possibly say no?! All the photographs in this post were provided by the talented Leah Renee.


Check out this adorable video showcasing the event. Don’t mind my dorkiness at 1:12.

A Cherry Trip to Traverse City, Michigan with Private Selection #StateofGreatTaste - HandletheHeat.com

Colleen from Pretty Prudent | Tricia from Once a Month Mom | Heather from Heather’s Dish | Sara and Kate from Our Best Bites | Me! | Christy from Southern Plate | Kelly from Mountain Mama Cooks | Kristy from Sweet Treats & More | Nicole from Baking Bites

A handful of sweet and talented bloggers were chosen to attend and we all represented different states. Part of Private Selection’s mission as a brand is to curate the best possible ingredients from around the country. They pride themselves on utilizing the highest quality locally sourced ingredients from various regions to provide the best flavors to their customers across the country. This particular trip focused on Michigan’s outstanding cherry orchards and later we each got to create an ice cream flavor based on the flavors of our home states.

A Cherry Trip to Traverse City, Michigan with Private Selection #StateofGreatTaste - HandletheHeat.com

There are cherries everywhere in Traverse City and they are nothing short of magical. Have you ever eaten a cherry picked straight from the tree? If not, you’re missing out.

A Cherry Trip to Traverse City, Michigan with Private Selection #StateofGreatTaste - HandletheHeat.com

We got to explore the gorgeous cherry orchards where everything looked like something from a painting.

A Cherry Trip to Traverse City, Michigan with Private Selection #StateofGreatTaste - HandletheHeat.com

A Cherry Trip to Traverse City, Michigan with Private Selection #StateofGreatTaste - HandletheHeat.com

Then it was time for appetizers and drinks and clearly I soon forgot there was a professional photographer documenting our every move. This is me and Christy and if you’ve never seen her blog you must go look immediately. She is HILARIOUS and was cracking me up the entire trip.

A Cherry Trip to Traverse City, Michigan with Private Selection #StateofGreatTaste - HandletheHeat.com

This picture is SO embarrassing but so funny so I kind of had to share it with you guys. Clearly, it was a fun trip.

A Cherry Trip to Traverse City, Michigan with Private Selection #StateofGreatTaste - HandletheHeat.com

Then it was time to have dinner. Steak and lobster. In a cherry orchard. At sunset. The entire setting looked like something from a dream wedding, it was so beautiful.

A Cherry Trip to Traverse City, Michigan with Private Selection #StateofGreatTaste - HandletheHeat.com

A Cherry Trip to Traverse City, Michigan with Private Selection #StateofGreatTaste - HandletheHeat.com

A Cherry Trip to Traverse City, Michigan with Private Selection #StateofGreatTaste - HandletheHeat.com

I mean, c’mon. It was like someone cued that rainbow. So breathtaking.

A Cherry Trip to Traverse City, Michigan with Private Selection #StateofGreatTaste - HandletheHeat.com

After we got to watch the sunset through the cherry trees the dusky night’s sky was illuminated with all the flickering candles from the table and you could see just how much work Private Selection put into creating a beautiful trip. It was really lovely.

A Cherry Trip to Traverse City, Michigan with Private Selection #StateofGreatTaste - HandletheHeat.com

The next morning we headed off to a professional kitchen to make our very own ice cream flavors inspired by our home states. This is where the fun really began. Each blogger was responsible for creating a unique ice cream flavor that encapsulated the culinary spirit of their region. And what’s a little competition between friends? Each ice cream flavor is actually a part of a competition on Private Selection’s Facebook page where you can vote on the different flavors we created. The winning flavor will be produced and sold across 2,000 of Kroger’s various grocery stores!!

A Cherry Trip to Traverse City, Michigan with Private Selection #StateofGreatTaste - HandletheHeat.com

I had to include this picture of Heather because it completely represents her fun loving personality.

A Cherry Trip to Traverse City, Michigan with Private Selection #StateofGreatTaste - HandletheHeat.com

Limes are serious business. It was a challenge to come up with a sweet ice cream flavor that people would want to add to their grocery carts that represented Arizona. When I finally came up with an idea and tested it out in the kitchen I was surprisingly happy with the results.

A Cherry Trip to Traverse City, Michigan with Private Selection #StateofGreatTaste - HandletheHeat.com

Everyone came up with some incredible regional flavors! It’s going to be a tough competition but I would honestly love to see any of these women win because they are so lovely.

A Cherry Trip to Traverse City, Michigan with Private Selection #StateofGreatTaste - HandletheHeat.com

So what’s my flavor? My Arizona-inspired ice cream is Prickly Pear with Lime and a tiny hint of chili.

To vote to see me, your home state, or your favorite flavor in Kroger stores nationwide, head over to Private Selection’s Facebook page. You also get an ice cream coupon for voting!

This event was hosted by Private Selection. All opinions provided are my own.

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3 Responses to “Traverse City, Michigan with Private Selection and an Ice Cream Contest!”

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    1
    Heather — July 25, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    You are just too sweet Tessa! I had to put that photo in my post too since I’m such a dork ;)

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    knitbunnie — July 27, 2013 at 8:14 am

    I used to live on the Leelanau Penninsula near Traverse City, where a lot of the cherry orchards are located. It is truly a magical place. We used to go into the orchards (with permission) and pick the cherries that were left after the shaking machines did their harvest. I could never get enough cherries, especially the Queen Annes. You have brought back some wonderful memories. Thank you.

    • Tessa replied: — July 27th, 2013 @ 8:29 am

      How lovely! Any cherries I get in Arizona now will pale in comparison to the Michigan cherries.

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