Company Timeline

Making ice cream since people had iceboxes.

Late 1800s
Our great-grandfather, Nathaniel Main, starts a home delivery milk and ice cream business in Connecticut with a horse-drawn wagon.

1913
Refrigerators for home and domestic use are invented in Indiana. Freezers develop soon after.

1915
Nathaniel’s son Chester joins his father’s milk and ice cream business.

1947
Audrey – Chester’s daughter – marries Randall Gifford her college sweetheart, who hails from Portland, Maine.

1970stimeline1
Randall and Audrey move to Maine with their four children Arland, Donna, Roger and John. They purchase a dairy in Farmington and eventually another dairy in Skowhegan where the Gifford’s Famous Ice Cream factory remains today.

1980
The first Gifford’s ice cream stand opens in Skowhegan. Followed two years later by a second stand in Farmington.

1983
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.

1987timeline2
Gifford’s opens their third ice cream stand in Bangor. Three 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.

2006
Gifford’s opens its fifth ice cream stand in Auburn.

2011
Gifford’s expands into Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia with the purchase of Gifford’s Ice Cream & Candy Co.

2012timeline3
L.L.Bean chooses Gifford’s to make Muddy Bean Boots – a special edition ice cream for its 100th anniversary.

2014
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.

2015
Gifford’s announces the biggest expansion in its 41-year history and celebrates anniversaries at two of its five family-owned cream stands in Maine: Skowhegan turns 35 years old and Waterville turns 25.

2016
The 3,810 square foot expansion is completed and the capacity to double production is put to good use. On another front, Gifford’s inks a 3-year partnership with the Boston Bruins. The deal includes a custom ice cream flavor – Power Play Fudge – and a shared goal to grow the game of hockey through community service and outreach.