Where We’re From


Gifford’s Ice Cream began to take shape in New England on a small Maine dairy farm. Audrey and Randall Gifford started whipping up small batches of ice cream using Audrey’s parents’ simple recipes for strawberry, peach, wild blueberry, and coffee ice cream–neighbors clambered for a taste, and soon the family was making ice cream year-round to keep up with demand.


For more than 40 years, we’ve been making real, creamy ice cream with fresh ingredients. Each year, we serve more than one million cones at our 5 family-owned and operated stands. We also sell over 2 million gallons of ice cream in grocery stores, independent ice cream shops, colleges, universities, and restaurants.


Gifford’s has 100 unique ice cream flavors, frozen yogurts, sherbets, and sorbets, and each and every flavor is real New England. We source our fresh cream and milk from local dairy farms, and get our wild berries from just up the road–we don’t take shortcuts, because we don’t have to.

Maybe that’s why Gifford’s Ice Cream has won awards across the country and around the world, including being named Ice Cream Grand Champion for 5 straight years at the World Dairy Expo. How great is that? We still can’t believe it!

Our History

Our story began in New England in the late 1800s, when our great-great grandfather started a home-delivery milk and ice cream business. Generations later, Audrey and Randall Gifford expanded that work by whipping up small batches of ice cream using simple family recipes on a small Maine dairy farm. Today, Gifford’s has 100 unique ice cream flavors, frozen yogurts, sherbets, and sorbets all made from scratch. Take a step back in time and see how we arrived where we are today!

Late 1800s

Nathaniel Main's Home Delivery Business

Our great-great-grandfather, Nathaniel Main, starts a home delivery milk and ice cream business in Connecticut with a horse-drawn wagon.


Chester Joins the Business

Nathaniel’s son Chester joins his father’s milk and ice cream business.


Audrey Marries Randall Gifford

Audrey—Chester’s daughter and Nathaniel’s granddaughter—marries Randall Gifford, her college sweetheart, who hails from Portland, Maine.


Randall and Audrey Purchase Maine Dairies

Randall and Audrey move to Maine with their four children and purchase dairies in Farmington and Skowhegan where the Gifford’s HomeMaine factory remains today.


The First Gifford’s Ice Cream Stand Opens

The first Gifford’s ice cream stand opens in Skowhegan, followed two years later by a second stand in Farmington.


Gifford's Sells the Milk Business

The milk portion of the Gifford’s dairy business is sold to Oakhurst Dairy. John and Roger purchase the ice cream business from their parents.


Gifford's Expands Its Ice Cream Stands

Gifford’s opens their third ice cream stand in Bangor. Four years later, Gifford’s purchases the former Rummel’s Ice Cream stand and mini-golf in Waterville. After a thorough remodel, it becomes the company’s fourth ice cream stand.


Auburn Ice Cream Stand Opens

Gifford’s opens its fifth ice cream stand in Auburn.


Gifford's Expands Outside of Maine

Gifford’s expands into Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia with the purchase of Gifford’s Ice Cream & Candy Co.


L.L. Bean Partners with Gifford's For A New Flavor

L.L. Bean chooses Gifford’s to make Muddy Bean Boots— a special edition ice cream for its 100th anniversary.


Outdoor Adventure Series Launches

Gifford’s launches the Outdoor Adventure Series—a new line of six ice creams inspired by Maine’s great outdoors.


Good Times Ice Cream Tour Begins

Gifford’s Famous Ice Cream Truck begins rolling with the Good Times Ice Cream Tour sampling award-winning ice cream in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.


Anniversary Celebrations Begin

Gifford’s announces the biggest expansion in its 41-year history and celebrates anniversaries at two of its five family-owned ice cream stands in Maine: Skowhegan turns 35 years old and Waterville turns 25.


Partnership With Boston Bruins is Announced

Gifford’s inks a 3-year partnership with the Boston Bruins, including a custom ice cream flavor: Power Play Fudge!


Partnership With New England Patriots is Announced

Gifford’s announces a multi-year sponsorship as the Official Ice Cream of the New England Patriots and creates a custom flavor, Dough Your Job, to honor the Patriots and their fans.


New Partners, New Packages… It’s a New England Thing.

The family unveils new packaging, new partnerships with the Celtics and Sea Dogs, four new flavors, and begins work on the stands of the future.


Partnership with the Boston Celtics is announced.

Gifford’s becomes the official ice cream of the Boston Celtics with a multi-year partnership. A new Gifford’s flavor –Full Court Pretz — is created in honor of the Celtics and their fans.