How’s this for synergy in the world of corporate takeovers? Maryland’s once-storied yet lately beleaguered Gifford’s Ice Cream chain has been bought up by a company from Maine called Gifford’s Ice Cream.

Full details in press release form below:


Deal combines two ice cream companies with long regional histories.

Skowhegan, Maine – Gifford’s Ice Cream, Maine’s fifth-generation maker of award-winning ice cream, has purchased Maryland-based Gifford’s Ice Cream & Candy.  The purchase joins two ice cream companies with long histories in their respective parts of the country, each with its own unique story.

“John Gifford built a business that sparks great memories for many in the Washington area,” says Roger Gifford, who owns Gifford’s of Maine with his brother, also named John Gifford.  “We’re committed to making quality ice cream he would appreciate.”

Although the two companies share the same name, the families are unrelated.

For Gifford’s of Maine’s Roger and John Gifford, their family’s devotion to making outstanding ice cream started with their great grandfather, Nathaniel Main.  Nathaniel’s passion for ice cream was passed down to his son, Chester, and then to Chester’s son-in-law, Randall Gifford.

Randall’s sons, Roger and John Gifford, grew up in their family’s dairy business.  They relied on this family experience and used long-held family recipes to begin making batches of ice cream in 1980.  As word about their ice cream spread and demand grew, Roger and John made a full-time commitment to ice cream in 1983.

Lindsay Gifford-Skilling, John Gifford’s daughter, is leading the next generation of Giffords as they carry on the family’s tradition of ice cream excellence.

“Everyone at Gifford’s is dedicated to quality and making delicious ice cream using only the best ingredients, fresh milk and cream, and antique freezers,” says Roger Gifford.  “We simply make the best ice cream we can make.”

Others agree:  Gifford’s of Maine won an unprecedented second overall grand champion award at the dairy industry’s most important competition.  Gifford’s World’s Best Chocolate ice cream was named Grade A & Ice Cream Grand Champion at the 2011 World Dairy Expo, repeating an honor it earned in 2010.

In Maryland, John Gifford started Gifford’s Ice Cream & Candy in 1938, when he opened an ice cream shop in Silver Spring.  Other stores followed, and for nearly 75 years, ice cream fans across the region – including President Dwight D. Eisenhower, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, and future movie star Goldie Hawn – enjoyed the area’s best ice cream at Gifford’s of Maryland.

“It’s uncanny that two companies, separated by hundreds of miles, have similar stories and even the same family name,” notes Roger Gifford.  “We understand and value John Gifford’s legacy, and are committed to restoring that legacy that so many ice cream lovers remember.  His family has shared original, hand-written ice cream recipes, and we’ll treat them with the respect they deserve.”

Gifford’s of Maine has retail and bulk customers throughout New England, New York and New Jersey, and operates five seasonal ice cream stands in Maine.

Neal Lieberman, one of the current owners of Gifford’s of Maryland, will help represent Gifford’s of Maine in the Mid-Atlantic region, which includes Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Delaware, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.

About Gifford’s Ice Cream (
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.

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