Thanks to President Ronald Reagan, we celebrate National Ice Cream Day every third Sunday in July, meaning July 21 this year. In 1984, he decreed a day for ice cream, and also proclaimed July as National Ice Cream month, describing the frozen treat as ‘‘a nutritious and wholesome food enjoyed by over 90% of the people in the United States.’’

Check out our recent interview with Wells Enterprises on their New York expansion plans and more. Plus, here's a look at some of R&FF's other ice cream coverage.

Through the Fire

Gifford’s Ice Cream in February started making ice cream again at its Skowhegan, Maine, plant for the first time in a year, after a fire ripped through production facilities, forcing them to rely on co-packers.

To get back up and running, the family-owned ice cream company carved out a smaller production area—roughly 30% of actual size once the factory is fully restored—and has two lines running to produce quarts and bulk flavors for its wholesale customers. Meanwhile, Gifford’s continues to rebuild its offices and larger production area.

From the Cold Corner Podcast logo

Gifford’s Making Their Famous 'HomeMaine' Ice Cream Again After Fire

Listen to more From the Cold Corner podcasts.

We All Scream for Ice Cream

Altamont Capital Partners (Altamont) announced an investment into Mini Melts USA, LLC (Mini Melts), a leading brand in premium, beaded, single- and bulk-serve frozen novelty products based in the Philadelphia area. Altamont is partnering with the CEO and Founder of Mini Melts USA, Dan Kilcoyne, to provide growth capital to support the ongoing expansion of the company's distribution footprint and manufacturing capabilities.

From its humble beginnings two decades ago with a single vending machine, Mini Melts now serves over 30 million cups per year of its premium frozen novelty products. The company distributes nationally to over 15,000 locations, including convenience and drug stores, family entertainment centers, zoos, amusement parks, malls, sports venues, and more.

Another ice cream factory under construction is Tillamook's Illinois facility, its first owned and operated manufacturing site outside of Oregon.

From the Cold Corner Podcast logo

Tillamook’s New Illinois Ice Cream Plant is Full of Firsts

Listen to more From the Cold Corner podcasts.

The Tillamook County Creamery Association (TCCA), which is currently renovating the Illinois site, announced that Patrick Criteser, president and CEO will step down later this year. The TCCA Board of Directors has selected David Booth, TCCA's current EVP of Brand Growth & Commercialization, to succeed Criteser.

Criteser has led the farmer-owned cooperative since 2012. Under his leadership, the beloved regional heritage brand has been transformed into one of the largest, most respected and fastest-growing dairy companies in the country

"Our vision of becoming a premium, multi-category, national dairy brand has been realized, and the cooperative is optimally positioned to thrive well into the future," said Criteser. "I have accomplished what I hoped to achieve for the farmer-owners of this amazing cooperative, so I've decided that the time is right for this transition. Serving in this role has been the greatest honor of my professional career, and I am absolutely certain that our board has chosen the right person to succeed me in David."

Green Ice Cream

Ice Cream Business Group’s four U.S. factories has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy for award negotiations of up to $20.9 million of support. The proposed project would cut 14,000 metric tons of carbon emissions per year, a major step in moving toward carbon neutrality for the factories that produce Ben & Jerry’s, Talenti, Magnum, Breyers and other leading brands.

Specifically, Unilever Ice Cream will replace natural gas boilers with electric boilers and industrial heat pumps using waste heat recovery. Unilever reached 100% renewable grid electricity globally in 2020. The facility upgrades will significantly reduce carbon emissions and will create a pathway to address 100% of heat-related process emissions at the factories in Missouri, Tennessee, and Vermont.

This project was chosen as a selectee for award negotiations by the U.S. Department of Energy as part of the Industrial Demonstrations Program (IDP) for its potential to reduce emissions, benefit local communities, and serve as a model for further decarbonization throughout the food and beverage sector.

Celebrity Sightings

Snoop Dogg, "Kitty XO" star Anna Cathcart and social media influencer Tinx are among the latest to bring star power to the freezer aisle.

Legendary hip-hop artist and visionary entrepreneur, Snoop Dogg, and Happi Co. are bringing Dr. Bombay Ice Cream to an Albertsons Cos. grocery store, including Safeway, Albertsons, ACME, Jewel-Osco, Shaw's and Vons, near you this January.

Dr. Bombay Ice Cream is disrupting the freezer aisle one store at a time, and is now available at Albertsons Cos. grocery stores. Albertsons customers can currently enjoy six of Dr. Bombay Ice Cream's original flavors, including Bonus Track Brownie, Iced Out Orange Cream, Rollin' In the Dough, S'more Vibes, Syrupy Waffle Sundaze, and Tropical Sherbet Swizzle. A seventh flavor, Fo' Shizzle Almond Fudge, exclusive to Albertsons will hit shelves in February. Prices start at $5.99.

Cathcart teamed with Bomb Pop on a new Unicorn Wonder flavor, while Tinx and Hollywood's own Craig's Vegan partnered to promote Tinx's Hot Girl Sundae pints.

What's Old is Cool

For Ohio-based Graeter's Ice Cream, production is a marriage of old-school freezing technology and addressing the future by sticking to the past. Employees at the 13-year-old production facility in Cincinnati conduct their tasks around the tightly spaced floor with a rhythm that’s often done with the accompaniment of music, either from the radio or from the workers themselves singing. While making Graeter’s Chocolate Chip ice cream, for example, giant blocks of chocolate are melted in a vat, transferred to buckets and then poured into the custom-made French pots full of vanilla ice cream that’s been hand stirred.

Learn more about what made Graeter's FOOD ENGINEERING Fabulous Food Plant.