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Food & Drink Events

From Farm to Freezer: Meet Fru-ge-ley, the Ice Cream with a Veggie Twist

UNION, S.C. – In a world where ice cream, sorbet, and gelato reign supreme, Elise Ashby, the Founder and Executive Director of the RobinHood Group, has introduced a delightful twist with her creation: Farmer’s Market Flavors Fru-ge-ley. This innovative frozen treat combines the goodness of fruits and vegetables in a way that’s both delicious and nutritious.

During an interview with Living Upstate SC Host Jamarcus Gaston, Elise explained that her journey began in 2018 when she introduced a flavor at the Union County Farm & Craft Market. The positive response from the community inspired her to apply for a grant from the USDA, which led to the development of Fru-ge-ley.

Each serving of Fru-ge-ley contains less than 100 calories and includes at least one serving of fruit and one serving of vegetable. For example, the Southern Blueberry flavor combines blueberries with an unexpected twist: okra. Similarly, the Morning Strawberry flavor pairs strawberries with kale.

Fru-ge-ley Flavors: 

  • Wide-eyed Plum
  • Morning Strawberry
  • Native Pumpkin
  • Hot Grape
  • Red Cantaloupe
  • Southern Blueberry
  • Summer Peach
  • Mango pLease
  • Each flavor also comes in a vegan option, crafted with oat milk

Elise sources her ingredients locally, using locally grown produce to create each batch of ice cream. This not only supports local farmers but also ensures the freshness and quality of each flavor.

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But Fru-ge-ley is more than just a tasty treat. It’s a part of a larger mission to promote healthy eating and agricultural education. Through the RobinHood Group, Elise not only manages the Union Farm & Craft Market but also operates a FoodShare Union and installs community and school gardens. Fru-ge-ley serves as a means to empower at-risk and disengaged youth by providing them with agriculture education and entrepreneurship training.

Elise’s vision for the future includes expanding Fru-ge-ley’s reach to schools across the state and eventually nationwide.

“We are Smart Snack compliant, that means any school district’s nutrition director can contact us to get Fru-ge-ley into their school,” Elise explained. “We want to have Fru-ge-ley in schools across the state by the end of 2026 and across the country soon after.”

Currently, Fru-ge-ley is available online and by calling 864-427-1530. You can also purchase Fru-ge-ley at the following locations: the Union County Farm & Craft Market (June-November), the FARMacy and Country Carrot in Rock Hill, the Fresh Food Factory in Washington, D.C., and at upcoming events such as the Columbia Food & Wine Festival’s Grand Tasting and the Ag + Art Tour in various counties. For the full list of upcoming events, more information and to order Fru-ge-ley, visit veggie-icecream.com. You can also follow along on Facebook.

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