Stewart’s Shops ice cream is turning 101, so we’re giving you the 101!

This year is our 101st anniversary of making ice cream! To celebrate, we will be giving our customers the 101 on our award-winning  ice cream.

Our ice cream originally started as Dake’s Delicious Ice Cream in 1921. The Dake brothers realized there was a market for ice cream and sold 4,000 gallons in the first year! By 1923, Charles and Percy Dake were already delivering ice cream to Saratoga, Troy, Schenectady, and Albany for $5 per 5- gallon can.

Thank you to all our local and loyal customers over the years that have treated themselves to Stewart’s ice cream, we couldn’t have done it without you! We also want to send out a huge thank you to our shop partners for scooping and selling all the delicious ice cream!

Here’s the 101:

Want the 101 on keeping your ice cream fresh? Look no further!

Did you know that the best way to store your prepackaged pints is upside down? When you put a pint in the freezer, the water from your melty ice cream starts to evaporate and will form ice crystals on top of the ice cream. If the pint is stored upside down, these crystals will form on the lid, so no more freezer burn!

Have you ever noticed that thin piece of plastic inside your Stewart’s half gallon? This isn’t just a part of the packaging, it’s actually meant to prevent freezer burn as well! After dishing yourself up a bowl of ice cream, press the piece of plastic down until it’s pressed against the ice cream. This will prevent those ice crystals from forming and keep your ice cream fresher for longer!

Over the past 101 years, our ice cream recipes have changed quite a bit! Did you know that even now, not all of our ice cream uses the same recipe?

That’s right! Our Prepackaged Pints are made with a super-rich formula that takes deliciousness to a new level. The formula incorporates more fruit, nuts, swirls, and candies to give you some extra sweetness in every bite.

We even use more cream when making our pint ice cream, giving it a heavier, creamier consistency! Not only do we add more cream, but we also incorporate less air into the ice cream. Air is added to ice cream during the manufacturing process to produce ice cream that is light and creamy. Premium ice creams like our Prepackaged Pints contain less air, which results in a creamier, richer ice cream!

Fun fact! If you ever want to compare ice creams to see which has more air, just take a scoop from each and place them on a plate at room temperature. The scoop that melts the quickest has more air!

Did you know that eating ice cream actually makes you happy?

Have you ever had someone suggest that when you’re feeling down, you should indulge in some ice cream? Turns out that’s some pretty good advice, because ice cream can ACTUALLY make you feel happy! Scientists have studied this theory and found that when we eat ice cream our brains release serotonin, a hormone that our bodies need to boost our mood. These studies found that eating ice cream triggers the same pleasure center in our brain that would light up when listening to your favorite song or even winning the lottery! So the next time you need a little boost to your mood, or just want a sweet treat for a little extra happiness, swing by Stewart’s Shops for some delicious ice cream!

Our dairy products have always been fresh and local, which results in some very tasty ice cream.

Our first ice cream plant was located right on Route 9N. The first Stewart’s ice cream shop is located right in Ballston Spa, New York at the site of our current Church Avenue Stewart’s Shop. Both are only a short drive from our plant in Greenfield, New York. Currently, we pick up milk from over 20 local, family- owned farms in Saratoga, Rensselaer, and Washington counties. Our trucks pick up the milk daily and deliver it right to our plant. Next, we do an extensive quality check on the incoming milk, looking for any bacteria and antibiotics. After testing the milk is stored in one of our two 30,000-gallon silos.

To start the ice cream making process we need to first pasteurize our milk. Many dairy products are ultra-pasteurized, not ours.  Dairy products that are ultra-pasteurized have a longer shelf life but lack flavor.

When it comes to nutrition and taste, ultra-pasteurization leads to less flavor, less nutritional value, and a lower quality product. Companies that ultra-pasteurize their products need the extended shelf life because of how long it takes their dairy products to get from farm to fridge. Stewart’s dairy products ship fresh to our shops within 48 hours! This is part of our vertical integration and is something that makes us who we are.

The ice cream process starts with ice cream mix, which is a blend of cream and milk. Each one of our flavors starts with either a white base or a chocolate base with just the right amount of air added. The addition of air is an important step because too much air and the ice cream is too light, too little and the texture is off. Some of our competitors will add more air to try and cut costs, but we make sure the air level is just right.

The hardening room is the next step. The ice cream needs to freeze quickly. We keep the freeze at 25 degrees below zero. It is so cold because a faster freeze results in a better quality of ice cream. The result of this process is a super creamy, rich, dense, and award-winning ice cream.

Stay tuned to learn more ice cream facts all month!

We MOO for you!