Shaking up hazelnuts with Burgerville

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Since opening its first restaurant in Vancouver, Washington, in 1961 Burgerville has proudly connected Northwest farmers, ranchers and food producers to happy eaters. With headquarters still in Vancouver, the company’s vision is for the Pacific Northwest to be the healthiest region on the planet. Burgerville does this by investing in communities one bite at a time. With 1,000 employees and 40 locations throughout Oregon and southwest Washington, Burgerville delivers delicious seasonal and local burgers, fries and shakes made using ingredients from nearly 1,000 Northwest family farms and ranches.

The regional scale of the company—too big to be small and too small to be big—means it works with farmers, ranchers and food producers who often do not produce enough volume to supply large retail stores and restaurant chains. This makes Burgerville uniquely suited to work with the region’s farmers—a majority of whom grow food crops like fruits, berries, nuts and grains on small acreage farms.

Burgerville made a strategic decision in the mid-1990s to avoid competing “head-to-head” with national burger chains and differentiated itself by investing in delicious local ingredients, so using Northwest hazelnuts just made sense. That principle stands to this day. Hazelnut milkshakes became a feature on the Burgerville menu in 2002.

For the chocolate shakes, Oregon-grown hazelnuts are made into a rich nut butter that gives this shake its deep-roasted flavor and creamy texture. The butters are provided by Ground Up PDX, a not-just-for-profit company helping get formerly homeless and trafficked women back on their feet.

This year, Hazelnut Chocolate is the third most popular flavor in dairy-based shakes right behind Oregon Strawberry and Classic Chocolate. Where else would you even think about going for a scrumptious hazelnut chocolate shake?