Apr 24, 2014
Looking for locally made ice cream? Here are a few spots in and around the three cities that make their own ice cream. Know of some not listed here? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll inform other ice cream lovers in a future Weekly Dish column.
• Arnie’s Place, 164 Loudon Road, Concord, 228-3225
• Axel’s Food & Ice Cream, 608 DW Hwy, Merrimack, 429-2229
• Blake’s Creamery & Restaurant, 53 Hooksett Road, Manchester, 627-1110; 353 South Main St., Manchester, 669-0220
• Central Square Ice Cream Shoppe, 5 W. Main St., Hillsborough, 464-3881
• Connolly Brothers Dairy Farm, 140 Webster Highway, Temple, 942-5002
• Cremeland, 250 Valley St., Manchester, 669-4430
• Granite State Candy Shoppe, 13 Warren St., Concord, 225-2531
• Hayward’s Ice Cream, 383 Elm St., Milford, 672-8383; 7 DW Highway, Nashua, 888-4663
• Jake’s Old Fashion Ice Cream and Sweet Shoppe, 135 State Route 101a # 4, Amherst, 594-2424
• Jim’s Ice Cream Barn, 1 Duffy Avenue, Salem, 890-3500
• Liliuokalani’s, 956 Weirs Blvd., Laconia, 366-9323
• King Kone, 336 DW Highway, Merrimack, 424-6848 (soft serve)
• Moo’s Homemade Ice Cream, 27 Crystal Ave., Derry, 425-0100
• Puritan Backroom Restaurant, 245 Hooksett Road, Manchester, 669-6890
• Richardson’s Farm, 170 Water St., Boscawen, 796-2788
• Roselynn’s Ice Cream, 153 Exeter Road, Epping, 765-9615
• Summer Freeze Whipple Twist, 74 Fisherville Road, Concord, 228-0579
• Swan Chocolates, 436 DW Highway, Merrimack, 423-5950 (gelato)
More local scoops
Here are some more places to head for a cool cone. Know of some not listed here? Let us know at email@example.com and we’ll inform other ice cream lovers in a future Weekly Dish column.
• The Big One, 185 Concord St., Nashua
• Brick House Drive-In, 1387 Hooksett Road, Hooksett, 622-8091
• Bessie’s Restaurant & Ice Cream, 266 Route 125, Epping, 642-4132
• Center Scoop, Route 121, Chester
• Chill, Grill & Pizza, 15 Chester Road, Auburn, 483-0336
• Chuckster’s Ice Cream & Mini Golf, 9 Bailey Road, Chichester, 798-3555
• Clam Haven Restaurant, 94 Rockingham Road, Derry, 434-4679
• Country Brook Farms, 175 Lowell Road, Hudson, 886-5200
• D.W. Diner’s Ice Cream Parlor, 416 DW Highway, Merrimack, 424-1116
• Devriendt Farm, 178 S. Mast Road, Goffstown, 497-2793
• Dodge Farms, 32 Dodge Road, New Boston, 487-3339
• Dudley’s Ice Cream, 846 Route 106N, Loudon, 783-4800
• Findeisen’s Ice Cream, 297 Derry Road, Hudson, 886-9422
• Flying Cow, 10 Main St., Hampstead, 329-4874
• Frekey’s Dairy Freeze, 97 Suncook Valley Road, Chichester, 798-5443
• Goldenrod Drive-in Restaurant, 1681 Candia Road, Manchester, 623-9469
• Greaney’s Farm and Ice Cream Stand, 417 John Stark Highway, Weare, 529-1111
• The Haven Restaurant, 272 Calef Highway, Epping, 679-1427
• Hawksie’s Ice Cream Factorri, 146 Main St., Salem, 898-8968
• High Tide Take Out, 239 Henniker St., Hillsboro, 464-4202
• Inside Scoop at Mel’s, 454 Charles Bancroft Highway, Litchfield, 424-1804
• The Inside Scoop, 260 Wallace Road, Bedford
• Intervale Ice Cream, 931 Flanders Road, Henniker, 428-7196
• Larry’s Clam Bar & Ice Cream, 172 Plaistow Road, Plaistow, 382-6587
• Mack’s Ice Cream Stand, 230 Mammoth Road, Londonderry, 434-7619
• Magoo’s Ice Cream, 221 Route 114, Goffstown, 497-4670
• Marrel Homemade Ice Cream, 388a S. Broadway, Salem, 893-0035
• Milford Coffee & Ice Cream, 770 Elm St., Milford, 672-5464
• Milkn It, 574 Mammoth Road, Londonderry, 624-5900
• North East Ice Cream, 14 Star Drive, Merrimack, 423-9299
• Pappy’s, 1531 Elm St., Manchester, 623-3131
• Peach Tree Farms, 88 Brady Ave., Salem, 893-7119
• Pete’s Scoop, 185 Rockingham Road, Derry, 434-6366
• Poor Boys Drive-In, 9 Nashua Road, Derry, 434-3838
• Porkie & Petunia’s, 34 Pinkerton St., Derry, 437-9250
• Putnam’s Waterview Restaurant, 40 Main St., Goffstown, 497-4106
• Sunshine Scoops, 210 Lowell St., Manchester, 668-0992
• Uncle Benz Ice Cream, 10 Rebel Road, Hudson, 598-8242
Drive for a scoop
Willing to take a drive for some ice cream? Here are some places a bit farther afield that offer ice cream.
• Aloha Ice Cream, 69A Ocean Blvd, Hampton Beach
• Annabelle’s Natural Ice Cream, 49 Ceres St., Portsmouth, 436-3400
• Appleview Orchard, 1266 Upper City Road, Pittsfield, 435-6483
• Beach Plum, 17 Ocean Blvd., North Hampton, 964-7451; 2800 Lafayette Road, Portsmouth, 433-3339
• Beaches ’N Cream, Ocean Boulevard, Rye, 427-5364
• Beech Hill Farm & Ice Cream, 107 Beech Hill, Hopkinton, 223-0828
• Big Dipper, 222 Route 108, Somersworth, 742-7075
• The Big Lick, 77 Lafayette Road, North Hampton, 964-2662
• Ceal’s Cold Creations, 220 Ocean Blvd., Seabrook, 474-1995
• Dipsy Doodle Dairy Bar, 143 Park St., Northfield, 286-2100
• Dover Delight, 20 Chestnut St., Dover, 817-8522
• Dunlap’s Ice Cream, 418 Route 286, Seabrook, 474-7272
• Flurries, 41 Route 25, Meredith, 279-5554
• Gail’s Short Stop, 584 Turnpike Road, New Ipswich, 878-4446=
• Golick’s Dairy Bar, 4 Dover Point Road, Dover, 742-1230
• Got the Scoop, 80 Main St., Newmarket, 292-3338
• Go Robert, 200 Griffin Road, Portsmouth, 436-3400
• Ice House Restaurant, 112 Wentworth Road, Rye, 431-3086
• Izzy’s Frozen Yogurt, 33 Bow St., Portsmouth, 431-1053
• JB Scoops, 5 Weeks St., Weirs Beach, 366-5800; 56 Daniel Webster Highway, Meredith, 279-5551; 105 Pleasant St., Salem, 894-6703
• Johnson’s Dairy Bar & Restaurant, 69 Route 11, New Durham, 859-7500; 1334 1st NH Turnpike,
• Jordan’s Ice Creamery, Route 106 & North Main Street, Belmont, 267-1900
• Just the Wright Place for Ice, 95 Portsmouth Ave., Stratham, 775-0223
• Kellerhaus, 259 Endicott St., Weirs Beach, 366-4466
• Lago’s Ice Cream, 71 Lafayette Road, Rye, 964-9880
• Lago’s Lone Oak Ice Cream, 175 Milton Road, Rochester, 332-1809
• Lone Oak Ice Cream, 175 Milton Road, Rochester, 332-1809
• Martin’s Family Drive-in, Milton Road, Rochester, 332-1302
• Memories Ice Cream Inc., 95 Exeter Road, Kingston, 642-3737
• Nelson Candy & Ice Cream, 931 Ocean Blvd., Hampton, 758-1252
• Petey’s Summertime Seafood Restaurant, 1323 Ocean Blvd., Rye, 433-1937
• River Bend Ice Cream, 65 Henry Law Ave., Dover, 749-6249
• Sanctuary Dairy Farm Ice Cream, 209 Route 103, Sunapee, 863-8940
• The Sandwich Creamery, Hannah Road, Sandwich, 284-6675
• Sawyer’s Dairy Bar, 1933 Lakeshore Road, Gilford, 293-4422
• Scoop 33 Ice Cream, 780 Portsmouth Ave., Stratham, 319-8384
• Screamers Café, 72 Portsmouth Ave., Stratham, 775-7577
• The Soda Shoppe, 901 Central St., Franklin, 934-0100; 30 Beacon St. East, Laconia, 524-2366
• Stillwell’s Ice Cream, 160 Plaistow Road, Plaistow, 382-5655
• Strafford Farms Ice Cream, 58 New Rochester Road, Dover, 742-7012
• Sumner Country Restaurant and Creamery, 417 Rochester Hill Road, Somersworth, 692-2200
• Town Docks, 289 DW Highway, Meredith, 279-3445
• Twin Lanterns Dairy Bar, 239 Amesbury Road (Rte 150), Kensington, 394-7021
• Twinkletown Mini Golf & Ice Cream, 3 Arrowcrest Drive, East Swanzey, 352-6784
• UNH Dairy Bar, Depot Street (at the Train Station), Durham, 862-1006
• Velvet Moose, 25 E. Main St., Warner, 456-2511
Some New Hampshire residents follow moose tracks while wearing a reflective orange vest and carrying a shotgun, but others chase them with a spoon. Utensils drawn, the chill-seekers travel to the state’s ice cream shops in search of the fudge ripple swirled vanilla, spotted with peanut butter cups.
Others treat a scoop of vanilla as a blank canvas, opting to paint it with hot fudge, strawberries, candy chunks and three kinds of whipped cream, as offered at Beech Hill Farm in Hopkinton.
“Ice cream shops have come out with a lot of outrageous flavors,” noted Gail McWilliam Jellie, director of Agricultural Development at the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food. “[Ice cream makers] put their toe in the water to see how flavors work out, and a lot times they work very well.”
Ice cream in the Granite State has become more than a warm-weather treat. It’s a source of pride for the farmers who make it and the co-eds who beef up their biceps scooping ice cream during their summer breaks.
“I love all kinds of ice cream,” McWilliam Jellie said. “I’m really not picky, so if you put ice cream in front of me, man, I’ll eat it.”
The bitter side of the sweet
Since 1970 nearly 700 dairy farms have closed down in the Granite State and only a few are able to produce their own ice cream. The equipment needed to produce ice cream at a farm, and the additional funds needed to staff the operation, can prove costly, said Amy Hall, director of Granite State Dairy Promotion.
“Dairy farmers take a loss most of the time … a lot of farmers haven’t got to the point where they want to make their own ice cream, and the ones doing [so] might have altogether lost their farm or it wasn’t working out for them to be able to do so,” she said, adding that ice cream can become a financial risk for many farmers when the costs of spoons, cups, facilities and code requirements begin to add up. “Farmers are in the fields 365 days a year and unless they have good financial padding to be able to start their [ice cream] business, it can be a very difficult financial decision,” she said.
The price of milk is controlled by the federal government and results in the average dairy farmer’s seeing only 30 percent of the price, Hall said.
Some dairy farmers who have been able to see themselves through tough economic times have opted to add ice cream to their offerings as a value-added product. “That gives them more direct control over the selling of their milk and the prices they can charge for their milk,” McWilliam Jellie said. Selling ice cream also gives farmers another market to break their way into, she added.
McWilliam Jellie noted that the formula used for selling milk at the federal level and in worldwide markets is complex. “Factors, at times, have resulted in an excess of milk that has driven the price down and have then resulted in a situation where the price farmers get paid is less than what it costs for them to produce milk,” she said. “When you have that kind of situation, not many dairy farms can stay in the market very long — they just can’t stay in business like that.”
Other factors contributing to the closure of New Hampshire dairy farms are retirement or the death of the farm owners, McWilliam Jellie said.
“Sometimes none of the children of the farm are interested in carrying on [the tradition] and that farm gets sold sometimes for development,” she said. “It rarely gets turned into another type of farm operation.”
Most recently, McWilliam Jellie noted, farmers were getting paid at the 1970 rate.
“If they have the wherewithal to hang in there when the milk prices are low, they are living off savings in many cases and let repairs and other infrastructure needs go as long as they can,” she said. “It’s hard to get caught back up when prices are good.”
Hall echoed the thoughts of McWilliam Jellie.
“It’s a struggle,” she said. “That’s why we exist at GDSP — these are hardworking people that love what they do … we just want the population to know how many [dairy farms] we have lost and that we might continue to lose them.”
“It’s heartbreaking, that’s what it really is,” Hall added.
From the udders
Thirty-six cows boasting such monikers as Bermuda, Yoda, Molasses and H1N1 are milked twice daily for ice cream production at Connolly Brothers Farm in Temple.
“I could probably identify them all just by looking at their udders,” said Chris Connolly of the cows he owns with his brothers Michael and Patrick. “They all have a personality, just like people.”
Connolly and his brothers began producing their own ice cream and selling their own bottled milk at the farm in 2001, and theirs is one of the few dairy farms in the Granite State to do so. Connolly’s parents purchased the dairy farm in 1982 and were bought out by their three sons in 1996.
“We started making ice cream and bottling raw milk because we were trying to take control of our own destiny,” Connolly said of the brothers’ effort to avoid the fixed price of milk. The Connolly brothers are now able to eliminate the middle man and control where their products are sold, allowing them to adjust the prices based on their costs.
As they have not yet purchased the equipment to pasteurize their own milk, the Connolly brothers send their milk out to the H.P. Hood plant in Concord to have it pasteurized and to have the cream and sugar added to transform the product into ice cream mix. Cream used at Hood is also from the Connolly brothers’ cows.
The udders of each cow are washed daily to prepare them for the valves of the milking vacuum and 12 gallons of milk ? 60 gallons a week ? of their milk is used for ice cream production. “It doesn’t seem like a lot,” Connolly said. Jersey cows, which make up the Connollys’ entire herd, produce milk with the highest cream content ? five percent butterfat ? the kind needed for ice cream, cheese and other dairy-based products.
“And it has a higher percent of protein and lactose,” Connolly said, adding that Stonyfield Yogurt had used milk from his cows until the facility moved to Londonderry. Milk from Holstein cows carries a butterfat content of less than 4 percent, he added.
Connolly hopes to one day be able to pasteurize the milk at his farm so he and his brothers would no longer have to outsource their milk to be made into ice cream mix. The project, he noted, would cost $250,000.
When asked if you can really taste the difference between ice cream made commercially or with local products, Connolly said to ask his customers.
“The proof is in the pudding,” he said. “Our customers keep coming back and quite a few of them drive up from Boston.”
In the small store and kitchen connected to their dairy barn, the Connolly brothers and their wives and mothers first pour the ice cream mix into an ice cream maker, a device that spins the dairy for 10 minutes, allowing for the cream to freeze to the outside of its drum. Blades then scrape the frozen cream and mix it into the middle of the dairy substance, where it crystallizes and ends up similar to the consistency of soft-serve ice cream.
An average of two and half gallons of ice cream mix is used to produce four and a half gallons of ice cream, Connolly said.
Ice cream produced at Connolly Brothers Farm is only slightly whipped to prevent a lot of air from setting up shop in the mix. “As the ice cream crystallizes … if you let it beat, it keeps freezing and gets fluffier,” Connolly said, adding that the low-whip method allows for more ingredients and flavor to fill the cartons. Hard-packing the ice cream also allows for air to be squeezed out of the product, he added.
The cold ice cream mix is then extracted from the machine and put into food-safe pails.
Hard ingredients such as chocolate chips, peanut butter cups or nuts are added by hand with a big spoon.
“Once [the ice cream] comes out of the machine it is fairly labor-intensive,” Connolly said. “We try to make each batch as uniform as possible ? the volume of ingredients is always consistent.”
Finished ice cream is left in the freezer for 24 hours, sometimes more if it is being shipped, to allow for it to set to a scooping consistency.
A farm stand in Grafton, Vt., goes through 40 gallons of Connolly Brothers a week because, Connolly said Green Mountain Staters are tired of the same old Ben & Jerry’s varieties.
The Connollys used to sell their ice cream at farmers markets, but carrying freezers around got to be too much for them.
“The ladies do the packing … you don’t want to arm-wrestle them,” Connolly said.
A family tradition carried on
Diners may not know that behind the bright dining room, countertop and sundae station at Blake’s Ice Cream on Manchester’s West Side sits a full-service ice cream manufacturing facility.
In 1998 Ann Mirageas bought Blake’s Ice Cream, an iconic Queen City creamery that was opened by Edward Charles Blake in 1900, with her business partner and fellow former H.P. Hood coworker Rick Wolstencroft. Blake’s daughter and son-in-law had still owned the company until the purchase.
“We took a leap of faith and here we are 13 years later,” Mirageas said. “It is so important for me to see this company continue ? not too many companies can say they are 111 years old and have been located in the same place.”
Ice cream was already flowing in Mirageas’ veins before she started working as financial analyst at H.P. Hood in Charlestown, Mass., later advancing to director of the group responsible for overseeing juice and cultured products. Her grandfather had run an ice cream business until the Great Depression and then began selling cool, creamy treats from a truck, earning himself the moniker “Nick the Ice Cream Man.”
“I liked counting his change,” Mirageas said. “I thought he was rich,”
Opened as a plant that bottled milk from local farms, Blake’s began producing and selling ice cream in 1963. Mirageas called it a “testament of sheer will” that Blake’s was able to reinvent itself in a time when glass bottled milk service was becoming outdated.
“Blake’s is truly a neighborhood restaurant,” Mirageas said. “It’s really cool how many generations have worked here.”
Ice cream mix is now purchased from H.P. Hood to create Blake’s creamy and frosty offerings, but Mirageas noted that Hood mainly uses milk from New England dairy farms. All flavors are added to Blake’s ice cream on site, she said. The additional ingredients are fed into the mix with a metal scoop before the ice cream is pushed into the drums.
At Blake’s, large metal tanks are filled with the ice cream mix before it passes through the freezer and is squeezed through a clear plastic tube and funneled into three-gallon cardboard drums. Each drum, Mirageas said, holds 15 pounds of ice cream. After the ingredients are churned in and swirls go through a variegate pump, the drums are stored at 12 to 20 degrees below zero for 12 hours, until the ice cream reaches scooping consistency.
“You can’t stand in the [freezer] too long or your nose hairs will freeze,” Mirageas said of the five walk-in freezers on site where you can see your breath before you see the ice cream cartons lining the shelves.
First-shift staffers of the Blake’s Ice Cream manufacturing plant arrive daily at 4 a.m. and start making ice cream at 6 a.m. Ice cream boasting a peanut butter base or nut ingredients is made at the end of the day, as Mirageas said her staff has to be conscious of food allergies. Clean-up after ice cream-making takes three hours for the same reason, she said.
Ice cream production begins at Blake’s in late January and continues throughout the summer to meet demand. Aside from being sold at the shop’s three Queen City locations, including the Mall of New Hampshire, Blake’s ice cream is available at a handful of local farm stands and is distributed to ice cream shops across New England. Despite the rapid growth in popularity, Mirageas noted that the primary focus of the company remains on the Granite State.
Trading cows for ice cream
Beech Hill Farm in Hopkinton is one of the New Hampshire ice cream shops that carry Blake’s Ice Cream.
“It is important for us to buy local and buy a good product,” said Donna Kimball, who owns the farm with her husband, Robert. “Ice cream is an art; we decided to go with the best.”
Beech Hill Farm opened as a dairy farm in 1771 but its herd was sold off in 1996 under the ownership of the ninth generation. The dairy barn has since been transformed into an ice cream shop.
“We couldn’t do milk and ice cream at the same time,” Kimball said. The farm also sells ice cream from Richardson’s of Middleton, Mass. When her children were young, Kimball would hand-crank out vanilla and strawberry ice cream for them at their home on the farm’s property.
“We can’t keep up with the volume to be able to do that here now,” she said.
Open from May through the end of October, the shop saw its busiest July this year. Kimball attributes the growth in sales to both the warm weather and the poor economy.
“Our business is weather-related,” she said.
What’s your flavor?
Thirty flavors are offered at Connolly Brothers Farm on a rotating basis, including vanilla, chocolate, black raspberry, Kahlua Brownie Chunk, Orange Creamsicle and Coffee Heath Bar. The Connollys have made it their focus to use local ingredients to enhance many of their flavors. Strawberries from Barrett Hill Farm in Mason are used for the strawberry ice cream, blueberries picked locally by their mother and wives for the blueberry variety and maple syrup from Ben’s Sugar Shack is used for maple walnut. Local products are also used to make seasonal flavors at the farm such as Spiced Apple, Pumpkin and Eggnog.
“We always use New Hampshire products,” Connolly said. “It’s important to keep the money local and try to help everybody out.”
The Connollys do not offer scoop service at their shop as they would need to obtain a scooping license. “We would like to get one down the road,” Connolly said.
“We got wiped out yesterday,” Connolly said, pointing to the handful of ice cream cartons remaining in the glass-topped freezer. The Connolly Brothers make five gallons of ice cream at a time, filing up individual, pint, quart and half-gallon containers. They also sell ice cream pops and ice cream sandwiches.
The ice cream recipes were developed through trial and error and the brothers still keep a log book to write notes in after every batch, tweaking and adjusting the ingredients to taste.
“If we get a lot of good feedback, then we go with that recipe,” Connolly said. “That way, if any of us come in to make ice cream there is a standardized recipe in the log book.”
Beech Hill Farm offers 75 flavors of ice cream that are always available at Beech Hill Farm, including pumpkin.
“It’s a very popular flavor,” Kimball said. “Some people don’t care what month it is, they still like it.”
The shop also offers frozen yogurt that is 99 percent fat-free and has seen the Purple Cow (black raspberry with white chocolate chunks) and Peppermint Patty varieties grow in popularity. For ice cream, Moose Tracks and Mint Chip have come in at a close second to plain old vanilla.
Blake’s ice cream menu boasts both classic and new-age flavors.
“Through the years people want more and more stuff in their ice cream,” Mirageas said.
Edward Charles Blake’s original recipes are used to create the classic flavors, which include vanilla, black raspberry and maple walnut. Once a year Mirageas brings in 100-percent maple syrup from a local farmer for the maple syrup flavored ice cream, usually in the spring right after maple producers have begun to tap their trees.
A significant number of flavors at Blake’s came as a result of the staff working with ingredients to meet the demand of their customers. Mirageas noted that some flavors were also influenced by the offerings of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream line. The number of varieties at Blake’s has grown to 80 flavors including newcomers Graham Central Station (graham-based ice cream, graham cracker swirl, chocolate-covered crisp candies), Fool’s Gold (caramel ice cream with a chocolate cookie crumb swirl and chocolate “flecks”), White Diamonds (dark chocolate ice cream with white chocolate chips), Black Magic Cheesecake (mocha ice cream with cheesecake bits and a chocolate cookie crumb swirl) and Columbian Coffee (dark roast coffee flavor).
“I would never want to change a classic flavor but people that drink coffee want something stronger,” Mirageas said.
Flavor recipes are tested regularly at Blake’s, even after the main ice cream season has died down, Mirageas said.
“Everyone thinks we have a lot of downtime once September hits,” she said. “That’s when we sit down, breathe and discuss what worked for flavors.”
By the end of December all new flavors are selected, and ice cream production is back in full swing less than a month later. Mirageas and Wolstencroft are both closely involved with production.
“People think of ice cream as happy, and it is,” Mirageas said. “We sell a little bit of happy and want that experience to be the best it can be.”
Ice cream at both Blake’s and Connolly Brothers clocks in at 14 percent butterfat, making it premium ice cream. Ice cream can come in as low as 10 percent butterfat, Mirageas noted.
“The higher percentage of butterfat, the creamier and richer it is,” she said. An ice cream with a butterfat level of more than 16 percent (the limit for premium ice cream) would likely be very expensive and also cause a lot of belly aches, Mirageas said.
Vanilla reigns supreme
A blank canvas for ice cream sundaes and a neutral addition to ice cream floats and sodas, vanilla ice cream still holds the top spot at many local ice cream shops.
“True ice cream aficionados can have vanilla ice cream and will know it’s good, quality ice cream,” Mirageas said. “It’s pure and simple. The flavor and richness of the ice cream comes through.”
Vanilla is also a best-seller at Beech Hill Farm in Hopkinton.
“You can put any topping on it … it goes with anything,” said Beech Hill Farm owner Donna Kimball. “You can’t go wrong.”
Guides to goodness
To promote dairy farms and the New Hampshire ice cream industry, Granite State Dairy Promotion (www.nhdairypromo.org) has put together an “Ice Cream Trail” brochure, highlighting nearly 30 farms and ice cream shops in New Hampshire that Hall said are committed to serving local products. The idea for the map was suggested by Langdon dairy farmer Steve Holmes at a GDSP meeting last year.
“All of the farmers’ jaws dropped … we knew immediately it would be a gem in terms of wisdom and as a way to promote New Hampshire dairy farms and products,” Hall said. “It was a great way to put information out there as well about the decline of New Hampshire dairy farms, the health benefits of milk and fun ice cream facts.”
Hall noted that the trail map supports the shops and farms listed and thanks them for supporting a local industry that has struggled for so many years. The shops pegged on the map stretch from the southeastern part of the state through Chichester, Barrington, Littleton and Dover and along Interstate 93 and NH Route 4.
“It is a wonderful opportunity to recognize them … and an easy way to support the New Hampshire dairy industry,” she said.
The map is already slated to become an annual publication as more shops and farms have shown interest in becoming a part of the project.
“It could almost become a collector’s edition that you could save through the years,” Hall said. “It will be a living, breathing trail that changes every year.”
New Hampshire residents Susan Scacchi and Richard Colfer spent most of their time last year putting together The Big Scoop Book: An Ice Cream Lover’s Guide to New Hampshire, a book filled with the history of more than 40 ice cream shops in the state, all organized by region.
To further promote New Hampshire dairy, GDSP also hosts many open barn events at Granite State dairy farms, letting consumers meet the farmers and the cows.
“It’s a great educational opportunity to ask questions and see milking demonstrations,” Hall said. GDSP staffers are also on hand at the event to serve complimentary ice cream.
“It’s a nice way to bring ice cream promotion full circle,” Hall said.
The open houses allow consumers to see how committed New Hampshire dairy farmers are to the care of their animals. The production of superior cream and milk from local farmers, Hall said, is a direct reflection of their commitment to the quality and care of their animals that “really makes it that much better in terms of flavor and quality.”
“It comes down to the pride that every single New Hampshire dairy farmer takes in what they do every day,” Hall said.
|®2014 Hippo Press.