SKOWHEGAN, Maine — Gifford’s Ice Cream reports a strong 2012, announcing increased sales, expansion into new markets, top honors at a leading dairy competition, and being chosen by L.L.Bean to develop a special ice cream for the outdoor retailer’s 100th anniversary.
The family-owned ice cream maker recorded notable growth for its premium bulk and premium retail lines. In 2012, year-over-year sales increased 15.3 percent for the company’s premium bulk products and 11.5 percent for the company’s premium retail products.
Gifford’s continued its focus on growing within and beyond New England with the hiring of sales representatives to develop new accounts in Maine; in the Mid-Atlantic; and in New York, New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania.
Susan Fenocchi joined Gifford’s in 2012 to lead sales in the New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania markets. New account activity in the region has focused on independent restaurants in northern New Jersey and New York state.
After purchasing Maryland’s Gifford’s Ice Cream & Candy in late 2011, Gifford’s hired Patricia Thomas to head the company’s development of new business in the Mid-Atlantic. In the first full year of sales in the Mid-Atlantic region, Gifford’s established a strong presence in numerous restaurants throughout the region, signing deals with Burger Joint locations, Glory Days Grills and Luke’s Lobster locations.
Gifford’s Ice Cream took home top ice cream honors at the World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Contest when its Vanilla Bean was named 2012 Ice Cream Grand Champion.
This award is the latest win for Gifford’s at one of the world’s leading and most prestigious dairy competitions. Other best-of-category wins include Old Fashioned Vanilla; Orange Sherbet and French Vanilla. Gifford’s swept the competition in 2010 and 2011, when Gifford’s World’s Best Chocolate earned both Grade A and Ice Cream Grand Champion awards, given to the overall dairy product winner. Winning both awards two times in a row is unprecedented.
Gifford’s created Muddy Bean Boots ice cream in partnership with L.L.Bean to help the iconic outdoor retailer celebrate its 100th anniversary. The special-edition Muddy Bean Boots ice cream was well received at Gifford’s five family-owned stands in Maine, at independent ice cream stands throughout New England, and in retail quarts at leading grocery chains in the region.
In 2012, Gifford’s recognized the service of three long-time employees who have played a vital role in the company’s success. Production Manager Joel Violette, one of Gifford’s six original employees, has been with Gifford’s for 35 years, Stands Operations Manager Carol Goldsmith has been with Gifford’s for 25 years, and Sales Director Arland Gifford has been with Gifford’s for 26 years.
Samantha Gifford, who joined Gifford’s in 2012, is the sixth Gifford family member of her generation to join the company, working as a sales representative developing additional accounts in Maine.
The first Gifford’s family-owned ice cream stand, in Farmington, Maine, opened 30 years ago, and the second, in Bangor, opened 25 years ago. The company currently operates five seasonal stands in Maine.
Gifford’s Ice Cream sources its fresh cream and milk exclusively from independent family farms in Maine. The fifth-generation, family-owned company relies on antique 1940s Cherry Burrell freezers, coupled with a state-of-the-art freezing system, to achieve its award-winning, creamy texture and fresh-churned consistency. Gifford’s uses only the finest ingredients, including nuts, berries, and fresh fruits to premium chocolate, imported vanilla extract and pure, all-natural Maine maple syrup. It has earned numerous international and national “First Place” and “World’s Best” awards for Gifford’s premium ice cream and sherbet, and continues to expand its distribution and offerings.