I scream, you scream: Gifford's wins award
Locally owned and operated Gifford's Ice Cream was honored at the 2009 World Dairy Expo for producing the "World's Best Chocolate Ice Cream." Over 65,000 people from more than 80 countries gathered for the Expo in Madison, Wis. this past September. Gifford's beat out 25 other entrants in the chocolate category to win the honor.
"We were extremely surprised," Gifford's Vice President of Sales Lindsay Gifford said. This is the second year that Gifford's has been recognized for its chocolate ice cream at the convocation--it won the same award in 2007. This year, however, "[we received] a perfect score," Gifford said, "which is something we've never accomplished. We are proud of our plant and our employees."
Some of Gifford's other recent achievements include "World's Best Orange Sherbet," which it won at the Expo in 2008, and "Best New Flavor: Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip frozen yogurt," as judged by the National Ice Cream Retailers Association.
With five local ice cream stands in central Maine, Gifford's is often the place of choice for local sports teams to celebrate a win or students at the College to unwind after a hard week of studying. While most famous for its ice cream cones, Gifford's menu also boasts sundaes, parfaits, frappes and ice cream sodas. A unique "dog-bone sundae," complete with a dog biscuit, is available for customers looking to treat their canine companions, proving that there is something for everyone at Gifford's.
Co-owners Roger and John Gifford are determined to continue improving the family business by stocking supermarket shelves with what they call "the ice cream stand ice cream" that customers throughout New England have enjoyed for over a century. Many Gifford's flavors can be purchased in increments of both quarts and half-gallons, and food service providers are now able to purchase Gifford's ice cream in bulk.
For the past few years, Shain's of Maine had been the ice cream brand offered in the dining halls at the College. This year, Dining Services decided to reinstate Gifford's as the ice cream available to students in every dining hall. Associate Director of Dining Services Joe Klaus said that Dining Services "had used Gifford's up to about six years ago and had stopped because they had switched to a distributor that we had a lot of issues with. This year [Gifford's] agreed to go back to direct distribution....[We also] had a few issues [of] limited variety with Shain's during the winter."
Dessert connoisseurs may have noticed a variety of new flavor offerings, such as Peanut Butter Caramel Cookie Dough and Maine Lobster Tracks--both a hit in the dining halls--as well as some of the classic indulgences like French Vanilla and Moose Tracks. "We rotate through their top 20 list," Klaus said, keeping after-dinner treats exciting.
Gifford's appreciates all of its local distributors and customers. "We're just really excited to be partnering with Colby College, and we hope to provide some good quality products for all the students and faculty there," Gifford said. In addition to inventing more mouth-watering dairy concoctions and expanding its fan base, Gifford points out that the successful ice cream corporation "hopes to grow with Colby."