Gifford’s Ice Cream is going to the Big Apple

Bangor Daily News file photo by Kevin Bennett
Posted Oct. 03, 2011, at 7:08 p.m.

SKOWHEGAN, Maine — Gifford’s Ice Cream is expanding its sales outside of New England.

The Skowhegan-based ice cream company announced new retail, restaurant and wholesale relationships in the New York City area.

“We are expanding into a whole new market for us, which is very exciting,” Lindsay Gifford-Skilling, vice president of sales, said Monday in a telephone interview. “We’re definitely getting on the map in that area.”

King Kullen, a leading grocery chain in Long Island, partnered with Gifford’s to sell ice cream in its stores. It’s the first supermarket in the region that has partnered with Gifford’s.

“Like Gifford’s, King Kullen is a multi-generation, family-owned company, and we look forward to a lasting and productive partnership,” Gifford-Skilling said in a press release.

Gifford’s also will be sold at Food City in New York City and Dolce and Clemente’s in Robbinsville, N.J., as well as New York City-based restaurant Schnipper’s Quality Kitchen. Food City has locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Westchester County.

Traveling New Yorkers were part of the reason for the expansion to the New York City area.

“We have a unique offering and a lot of folks from that market come up to Maine on vacation. They may have tried it at one our stands and went home looking for it,” said Gifford-Skilling.

“It will get our name out there more and people will go to the grocery stores and ask for us,” she added. “Any new business is good business for Gifford’s.”

Gifford’s began its ice cream business in Maine in 1980. It’s a fifth-generation company.

Gifford-Skilling said expanding into the New York metro market is a first step toward increasing Gifford’s reach.

“We have room in our Skowhegan plant to double the size of our business without any major capital expenditures,” said Gifford-Skilling. The Skowhegan plant has 20 employees.

“People were wanting to buy our ice cream,” she said. “Since [our ice cream stands are] closed in the winter time, the next logical step is to get into the grocery stores in that area.”

Gifford’s is also working with Associated Wholesalers Inc., which not only will increase its presence in the New York-New Jersey area, but also Pennsylvania.

Gifford-Skilling said the brand is offering a new flavor for fall called Toasted Coconut.

“It’s flying off the shelves,” she said.

Gifford’s also has fall favorites Pumpkin and Apple Pie. She said the company has “improved both of them.”

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