Inside the LSU AgCenter Dairy Store, brisk air and the hum of freezers greet visitors. Known for their in-house ice creams, the store carries an array of flavors — tiger bite, coffee toffee, chocolate cookies and cream — and their most popular, vanilla.
This time of year the store gears up for holiday sales, said Chuck Boeneke, dairy science professor. The store keeps a mail-order list and ships across the contiguous United States and is taking orders now.
Gift items include four different cheeses, which are packaged and sold during the holidays.
“We make about 8,000 to 9,000 pounds of cheese a year,” Boeneke said.
The store offers four choices of boxes that include two blocks of cheese: a yellow tiger box with two blocks of cheddar cheese; a bayou Bengal box with a block of cheddar and a block of jalapeno Cajun spice; a Cajun box with two blocks of the jalapeno Cajun spice; or a mixed box that allows customers to choose two blocks of cheese, which also could include a smoked cheddar or a chipotle pepper.
The boxes contain two pounds of cheese and sell for $11.50 a box and are popular for gifts or holiday entertaining, Boeneke said.
Cheese orders ship out in mid-December, but cheese boxes also are available in the store for purchase.
Also available is the Christmas dairy stable — eggnog.
The fresh-made eggnog sells for $2.95 a quart.
The LSU AgCenter Dairy Store, located at the corner of South Stadium Drive and Tower Drive on the LSU campus in Baton Rouge, also can help with the main holiday dish. The store sells a variety of meats including beef, pork, lamb and goat.
“The meat is processed on campus, and it’s all from LSU AgCenter-raised animals,” he said.
The store’s freezers are stocked with different cuts of meat, but Boeneke said students using up their dining credits at the end of the semester can wipe out the selection.
The store has been open since the mid-1970s, and Boeneke said business has been good lately.
“Over the past three years, we’ve increased our revenue by about 60 percent,” he said.
Revenue from the store helps pay for an administrative coordinator and part of a research associate. The creamery also serves a teaching and research function and helps train students in dairy and food sciences.
The Dairy Store is open on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The store also sells lunches of hot sausage po’boys, with their Cajun jalapeno cheese, and soups and gumbos. Recently, they started offering soft-serve ice cream and cookies.