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As Clementine’s Grows, Marc Maron Is Raving About Its Pint-Size Delights

Tamara Keefe sees her business as all about ice cream and community — and for the holidays, Clementine’s has debuted several new seasonal flavors.
Clementine's Creamery
Tamara Keefe sees her business as all about ice cream and community — and for the holidays, Clementine’s has debuted several seasonal flavors.

When Tamara Keefe’s PR person recently suggested she send celebrity Marc Maron some of her ice cream, she didn’t hesitate.

“People who love ice cream, they have to have Clementine’s — we make it so differently,” the owner of Clementine’s Creamery told St. Louis on the Air.

While Keefe had no idea if the popular comedian, podcaster and ice cream enthusiast would publicly offer his stamp of approval about the shipment of 12 Clementine’s pints he soon received, it certainly seemed worth a shot.

A week and a half ago, Maron took to social media with quite the endorsement.

“There’s 12 f---in’ pints in there. It’s not safe for me. It’s not safe for my heart. It’s not safe for my guts. It’s not safe for my fat,” he said in a meandering video on Instagram Dec. 3. “There’s 12 f---in’ pints in there … and it’s all good ... I’m gonna have to eat some now. For breakfast.”

The comedian also raved about the variety of flavors Keefe sent him, including Challah Bread Pudding, Rugelach and Gooey Butter Cake.

The Clementine’s crew has been churning out a lot more pints than cones in general this year, which has meant adding some more staff to the kitchen side of things. Pints are more production-intensive than the usual over-the-ice-cream-counter slinging, and the business’ 2020 pivots haven’t come easy.

Tamara Keefe founded Clementine’s Naught and Nice Creamery in 2014.
Clementine's Creamery
Tamara Keefe founded Clementine’s in 2014.

But Clementine’s is also growing, with plans to open a fifth location in Town and Country, Missouri, this next spring.

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, Keefe joined host Sarah Fenske to share how her crew is managing to keep delighting ice cream fans near and far — and why she wants the general public to be more cognizant of what people in the food industry are going through right now.

“They’ve got to wear a mask seven, eight, nine hours a day,” Keefe explained. “That’s not fun, right? And so it’s been a challenging year. We’re all emotionally exhausted. … And we’re kind of at the forefront, always, of doing the right thing by our employees and then by our customers and everyone else.”

She added that she wants people to know that local businesses like hers are simply doing whatever they can to survive.

“This year isn’t about making money, it’s not about making profits — it’s about, at least for me and the folks I know, it’s about staying open and keeping our people employed,” Keefe said. “That is key, because when we come out of this, we want to still have our employees. And so for us it’s just working really hard every day to make sure that our employees are taken care of.”

She encouraged listeners to “be kind to your servers and give gratuities, because their living is dependent on how great the service is and how kind and generous people are.”

“Be nice to the people who serve you, because they’re working really hard,” Keefe said, “and they’re really stressed out, too.”

For more information on Clementine’s operations, which include nationwide shipping of ice cream, visit clementinescreamery.com.

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill and Lara Hamdan. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr.

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Evie was a producer for "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.