When I started my company, I didn’t plan to be “artisanal,” it just turned out that way.

I wanted to make the ice cream I was unable to purchase at the store and use real ingredients, not industrial flavorings with no personality. The aim was to make ice cream as honestly as possible, and to create flavors that are unexpected but not sensational as well as elevate the classics.

We try to make everything from the bottom up - when we make our Madagascar Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, we cut the vanilla pods and scrape the beans out and cook them in the milk. When we make chocolate we use Callebaut, Vahlrona,  or Askinosie bar Chocolate and cook it in milk and cream. If we’re making banana ice cream – there is a pile of peels to show for it!  We deseed our blueberries by hand to process, we squeeze our lemons by hand. I think you get the picture.   

MDIIC never rests on its laurels – we are constantly thinking about our recipes, and when necessary we’re revising and improving.  Because of this, I can easily say that our product is even better than it was when I started 10 years ago. 

It’s much more expensive, but the difference in taste is one that cannot be ignored. Some people think that most ice cream is created equal.  However, many ice cream producers call their ice cream “homemade” but there are varying degrees of homemade. In the same way you can make a cake at home with a Betty Crocker mix, you can likewise assemble ice cream rather than make it from scratch. A lot of ice cream makers purchase 10 pound cans with labels like “Chocolate Base” and just open and pour into the milk and cream and blend. This doesn’t mean the ice cream will be terrible, it just can’t compare to an ice cream made with actual chocolate and not a syrup-based flavoring. (Incidentally, when you try Chocolate Ice Cream made this way, you can identify a taste not unlike Jello Chocolate Pudding – more like a fudge pop rather than Chocolate.)   

Some other simple ways to identify quality in ice cream is to look at its color. When you go into an ice cream shop (or gelato) is the Mint Ice Cream green? That means it’s made with dyed flavoring. I also see a lot of “Green Apple Gelato” that is green that is suffering from the same use of dyes. Our Mint Ice Cream is white with some light green hue – because we make our mint with mint leaves.  Our apple ice cream is brown, that’s what happens when apples are baked. What color is the strawberry ice cream? If the ice cream is too pale, it means the maker probably hasn’t mastered the art of working with strawberries yet (it’s not an easy fruit), if the strawberry is too bright pink, the likelihood is high that the maker is using a pre-made strawberry syrup for flavoring.  

Through the years I have decided that I’m not satisfied with owning a company that just sells a widget, analyzes the bottom line then makes decisions from that vantage point. I wanted my company to be about much more than that.

We try to be as environmentally conscious as possible by using responsible ingredients, responsible packaging and recycling just about everything we can.

I also have tried very hard to create a great workplace – a happy workplace where employees can enjoy themselves, feel respected and are paid well. All employees start at $10.15 or more, salaried managers make very livable salaries and are paid year round, not just seasonally.