Gifford’s ice cream makes its Capitol Hill debut

Posted July 22, 2014, at 1:37 p.m.

Is Maine-made ice cream rich enough to sweeten the sour gridlock on Capitol Hill?

Gifford’s Famous Ice Cream is giving it a spin. On Monday, the Skowhegan frozen dessert maker was touted by state officials in Washington to herald the company’s expansion into the mid-Atlantic states.

“The delicious and refreshing taste of Maine is undoubtedly something that even the most ardent Washington partisan can rally around,” Sen. Angus King said. He, along with Sen. Susan Collins, held an ice cream social to welcome Gifford’s to the Hill.

To announce their presence in Whole Foods Market and other grocery stores in D.C., Maryland and Virginia, the company is driving an ice cream truck around the capital area, dispensing wild blueberry, camp coffee and other Maine-centric flavors to the uninitiated for free.

“It’s quite exciting,” Lindsay Gifford-Skilling, the company’s general manager, said. “We are bringing a piece of Maine down to them.”

Those following @Giffordsmaine on Twitter and tweeting the hashtag #FreeGiffordsIceCream can get in on the sweet deal as the truck circles the D.C. this summer.

“A lot of people that lived in Maine or who have vacationed here are happy to see us,” Gifford-Skilling said.

The company, which opened in Skowhegan in 1983 but has been making ice cream for generations, “is a small, family business and a Maine success story,” Collins said in a prepared statement. “I applaud the company’s expansion into the Mid-Atlantic region, and wish the Gifford family and their dedicated employees much success.”