A lot goes into making Kimball Farm’s legendary homemade ice cream, and we’re thankful for the team that makes it happen day-after-day, year-after-year.
We sat down with Jill Curran, our Director of Ice Cream Operations, to look back at her history with Kimball’s, and talk about what the future holds.
How long have you worked at Kimball Farm?
I’ve been at Kimball Farm for 24 years. I started at the Westford location as an ice cream scooper at age 14, and I loved it so much that by the time I turned 17 I was a manager. I continued to work at Kimball’s through college, and after I graduated the Kimball family offered me a full-time management position at the Westford location. It was then that I began to get involved in ice cream production. Today, I oversee all ice cream production and employee management for all locations.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
This is a tough question! Of course I love making the ice cream. But aside from that (and some people find this weird!) — I love to do the schedule! I guess that’s the organizer in me. I also love to teach. I went to school for teaching and in this job I’m able to teach in so many ways, especially life skills.
Where do the ice cream ingredients come from?
Most of our ingredients are locally-sourced or grown right here in the United States! For example, our strawberries are from the Northwest, and our supplier has already contracted our crop for the 2022 season.
How many gallons of ice cream do you make each day during peak season?
We make between 600-750 gallons of ice cream each day.
Which flavor is most “challenging” to make?
Oh that’s definitely Peach! Let’s just say A LOT of peaches go into one batch and even then I’m always questioning if it has enough peach flavor.
What flavor do you sell the most of?
Vanilla is our most popular because it’s a staple in all of our sundaes, banana splits, and of course our Kimball Special.
What seasonal flavors do you have?
We always make Peach the last two weeks of July, and our regular customers look forward to that! The second week of August we start making our Fall Flavors: Pumpkin and Gingersnap Molasses. These two flavors are VERY popular, so we’ll continue to make them until the end of the season.
What’s the strangest request you’ve ever gotten for a new flavor?
Hmmm… Maple Bacon and Clam Chowder are definitely up there!
What are some ice cream trends you’re really excited about?
We began to notice that our customers love “stuff” and “texture” in their ice cream. So we added some new flavors like Vanilla Blueberry Crumble, Salty Caramel Pretzel, S’mores, and Coffee Turtle (just to name a few). For example, with Vanilla Blueberry Crumble you get the smoothness and sweetness from the blueberry variegate, and then the “crunch” from the oatmeal cinnamon crumble pieces.
What was it like developing Kimball’s new vegan ice cream, and what inspired you to go for it this year?
I’ve been researching vegan ice cream for the past four years, and always wanted a cashew milk or oat milk-based mix because I think those have a very nice, rich taste. But I had such difficulty finding something that met my flavor standards, until one of my suppliers recently introduced me to their coconut milk and oat milk base (which is what we’re currently using). I was hesitant about the coconut at first because I thought the coconut flavor would overpower the ice cream flavors… but it doesn’t! So far we’ve made Black Raspberry, Strawberry and Coconut Fudge, which we offer on a rotating basis. We’ll be introducing a new vegan flavor soon, but that’s under wraps for now. So be sure to keep an eye out for it!
What’s “next” for Kimball Farm ice cream?
I think an off-site catering ice cream truck would be pretty cool. Something like this would be great for weddings, bbq’s, graduation parties, etc. So, stay tuned! In the words of Peter Kimball “anything is possible!”
Last but not least: what’s YOUR favorite Kimball Farm flavor?
I’m simple, I LOVE Mint Chocolate Chip!
Check out our full list of ice cream flavors here, and don’t forget to say hi to Jill next time you’re at our Westford location!
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