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The “World’s Best Chocolate Ice Cream” recognition comes on the heels of Gifford’s Ice Cream having earned the “World’s Best Vanilla Ice Cream” award, also at the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin, two years previously. Ice cream entries at the Expo are judged according to flavor, body, and texture, color and appearance, melting quality, and quality assurance.
Additionally, the Gifford’s team recently earned the “Gannett Family Business of the Year Award,” which was presented on June 10th by Maine’s Institute for Family-Owned Business. Gifford’s Ice Cream earned the distinguished award in the Large Business category, which recognizes Maine businesses which have effectively responded to the challenges inherent in family businesses and which have demonstrated concrete success in crucial areas such as Business Success, Work Environment, and Family Participation.
“We were excited to present Gifford’s Ice Cream with our Gannett Family Business of the Year Award this year,” says Tom Juenemann, director of the Institute for Family-Owned Business. “When you combine the close-knit work environment the company is known for with its dedication to community, its creativity, and its commitment to excellence, you find at Gifford’s Ice Cream a genuine prototype of what it takes to succeed as a growing family business in Maine.”
The very popular ice cream, now being distributed throughout northern New England at Hannaford locations, Shaw’s Supermarkets, and Roche Bros. locations, also is offered in a growing number of additional family-owned supermarkets in the greater Boston and southern New England areas. Business outlook and prospects remain promising; the company continues to see an annual 7-10 percent growth rate.
Founded by Randall and Audrey Gifford in 1980, Gifford’s Ice Cream comes from a Maine family with over a century of direct experience in the dairy business.
“We still use recipes that our grandparents handed down to us, and we’re convinced that our approach makes a big difference in our finished product,” notes Roger Gifford, president of Gifford’s Ice Cream. “We stick to the belief that using only the finest ingredients–including fresh cream and milk from Maine dairy farmers–helps explain the incredibly broad and growing appeal of our ice cream that we’re seeing.”
Although the independent family business recently expanded into New York and New Jersey, it has not forgotten its Maine roots. The Gifford’s team firmly supports the Buy Local movement and, whenever possible, also uses locally grown produce such as Maine-made maple syrup and Maine wild blueberries.
The Gifford’s Ice Cream team, since its founding, has played an active role in Maine communities, having contributed to a variety of local charities, sponsored children’s athletic teams, and actively supported a growing number of grassroots causes.
In related news, Gifford’s recently rolled out its new flavors for 2008. At Gifford’s Ice Cream Stands and at retail market locations, new 2008 flavors include “Maine Lobster Tracks,” “Strawberry Banana Lowfat Frozen Yogurt,” “No Bake Cookie,” and “Peanut Butter Caramel Cookie Dough.”
“Our ice cream at Gifford’s has genuinely been our passion for decades now,” notes John Gifford, co-owner of Gifford’s Ice Cream. “It’s really exciting to have people try our product for the first time and become instant fans, but also incredibly rewarding to be contributing in a modest way to help Maine’s economy.”