Temporary Ice Cream Production Solutions Put in Place to Meet Demand Following Fire
March 8, 2023 – Skowhegan, Maine – Gifford’s Ice Cream announced today that its family- owned stands are opening as scheduled, and that the company has partnered with a network of ice cream companies to meet production needs following the February 2nd fire at its Skowhegan plant.
“The fire at our Skowhegan factory has put us in a challenging position, but one that we’re working through to the best of our ability, and with the support of some like-minded folks in the industry,” said Lindsay Skilling, CEO and fifth-generation ice cream maker. “As we considered next steps in the wake of the fire, we faced some tough choices; getting back up and running was never in doubt, but the timing has been uncertain. Ultimately, we decided to push forward — with the help of a network of partners. There may be snow on the ground, but it’s ice cream season in New England, and we wouldn’t miss it. It feels good to be getting back to business and to know that we can keep this Maine summer tradition going for residents and visitors to our state.”
Gifford’s family-owned stands, except for the Auburn location, will open one at a time starting on Friday, March 17 for the next few weeks.
- Gifford’s Bangor Family-Owned Stand – Friday March 17, at noon.
- Gifford’s Waterville Family-Owned Stand – Friday March 24, at noon.
- Gifford’s Farmington Family-Owned Stand – Friday March 31, at noon.
- Gifford’s Skowhegan Family-Owned Stand – Friday April 7, at noon.
Last August, Gifford’s had to close its Auburn stand early, and the stand will not be reopening this year. According to Skilling, “As we began planning for 2023, we decided that we would not reopen our Auburn stand. The decision was made well before the recent fire at our Skowhegan plant, and was a very difficult one for our family to make. We loved being in the Auburn area and are so thankful for our time there. We’ve made so many memories, and formed relationships with so many Gifford’s fans in the community. It’s been an honor to serve the people of Auburn.”
Production to Start with Partners While Family Repairs Factory
In addition to the stand openings, the fifth-generation ice cream company also announced it is currently working with four partners to temporarily produce the company’s ice cream for its retail, food service and partner stand channels while the family makes the necessary repairs to the building and prepares the factory to make ice cream again. These production partners meet Gifford’s stringent standards, and will use Gifford’s recipes and ingredient specifications. A few Gifford’s flavors will not be available for a short period of time as these partners are unable to duplicate the proprietary process for certain bases and ripples that the family makes in house. Those flavors will return once the company is manufacturing again from its Skowhegan plant.
“The fire severely damaged the infrastructure of our ice cream production area,” said JC Gifford, COO and fifth-generation ice cream maker. “Walls, electrical, plumbing and some machinery has to be replaced,” he noted. “We still have a lot of work to do before we can make ice cream in our factory, and have had to find a temporary production solution. We’ve found four incredible partners willing to work with us that meet our high quality standards.”
Family Business, Helping Family Business
To provide ice cream to its four family-owned stands, Gifford’s has partnered with a family-owned Florida-based ice cream company. Gifford’s plans to temporarily purchase and serve the Florida-based company’s product at its stands until the Maine-based company can get back to producing its own ice cream.
“We’ve had so many in the industry, especially other family-owned ice cream makers, reach out to us following the fire,” said Skilling. “This is a family-owned business that we know and trust; they have similar values as ours and they make high-quality products. No other stand in Maine serves their ice cream, and we are so thankful for their help during this challenging time.”
Introducing Upgrades & New Leadership at Gifford’s Family-Owned Stands
When visitors arrive at a Gifford’s family-owned stands, they will notice some improvements made over the last six months. The Skowhegan stand and the mini-golf courses have been freshly painted; all of the stand signs have been updated with the company’s new branding. The batting cages were removed from the Waterville location in order to expand mini-golf and parking.
Gifford’s is also introducing a new member to its leadership team, but she is certainly no stranger to the Gifford’s family. Staci Gifford is the new Vice President of Gifford’s Family-Owned Ice Cream stands and fifth-generation ice cream maker. Staci started working at Gifford’s when she was a kid helping after school and on weekends, then worked at the Skowhegan stand from the age of 14 throughout college. Staci rejoined the family business in 2022. She is from Cornville and just moved back to Maine after living in Manchester, New Hampshire for the last 15 years.
About Gifford’s HomeMaine Ice Cream
Gifford’s HomeMaine Ice Cream is a fifth-generation, family-owned company that still makes ice cream the old-fashioned way — from scratch, with fresh milk and cream from local dairy farms. Gifford’s uses antique Cherry Burrell freezers to slow churn the most delicious, creamy ice cream possible. The company has earned numerous international and national “First Place” and “World’s Best” awards for its premium ice cream, frozen yogurt and sherbet, and is the official ice cream of the New England Patriots, Boston Bruins, Boston Celtics, Maine Celtics and the Portland Sea Dogs. As New England’s ice cream, the company sells its products throughout New England and its family-owned ice cream stands in Maine. For more information, visit www.giffordsicecream.com or follow Gifford’s Ice Cream on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.