How We Make Ice Cream

Every Gifford’s ice cream flavor is unique – and it’s not just what’s in it, but how it’s made that makes the difference. From a small yellow clapboard factory in the rural town of Skowhegan, Maine, each flavor is made on a single production line. Gifford’s is a small-town success story.

  • It all starts with the family recipes, created in part by great grandparents Chester and Fayolyn Main and passed down through the generations.
  • The Gifford’s team of ice cream-makers crafts 90 percent of our flavors from scratch using the freshest ingredients and steam kettles.
  • Gifford’s uses a special blend of fresh milk and cream from local farms delivered to the ice cream plant several times per week. This creamy base sets the stage for the creation of Gifford’s Famous Ice Cream flavors.
  • Once the flavors are blended in our mixing tanks, we begin the manufacturing process in our 1940s Cherry Burrell ice cream freezers. These antique machines slow churn each flavor to achieve maximum creaminess. The Cherry Burrells are an essential step in making Gifford’s ice cream famous!
  • After the slow churning process, we carefully fold special ingredients into each flavor– cookie dough, premium nuts, Maine wild blueberries from just up the road, and strawberries that have been thawed and sugared over two-days
  • At this point each delicious flavor is poured into its own container and is ready for the freezer. Then, hold on to your hat!
  • Each container travels along the conveyor belt into a hardening tunnel – something akin to the North Pole – with subfreezing temperatures and high wind velocity (yes, we add wind to make it colder!) Here, temperatures plummet to 60 degrees below zero!
  • For up to 8 hours the ice cream endures some of the coldest temperatures on earth! This magical step helps to produce a smoother, creamier ice cream. And yes, there are people at Gifford’s wearing parkas and hats in July – these ice cream makers are dedicated!
  • Our family name is on every package, and our reputation is on the line with every scoop. Using the best ingredients and a proven process for making ice cream helps make sure you’ll always come back for more.