It has taken a great deal of time for family and friends to understand what our business does. With some processes, I don't even understand it. But it's fun to let loved ones come to the site or show them pictures to let them have a peak at our day-to-day processes. This afternoon, after numerous hurried projects, I went up to the office labs to check on two of our employees.
Here's the task that Carolyn, a Quality staff member, has been working on all day... and this is only about half of the samples set out in the micro lab this afternoon. She has placed small amounts of cocoa (taken from different packages) in petri dishes to test for molds and two other factors that may harm our chocolate milk products. After she mixes the cocoa with solutions, she places the petri dishes in incubators to see what will develop. It seems like a long tedious process.
Right next door, our resident ice cream maker and tester, Steve, has been rushing around making samples that will be sent to our customers. The customers will then determine if they like the flavors we make, if they'd like to adjust the flavors, or scrap the project.
So, today, I helped Steve with one of our newest ideas. I can't provide too many specifics about this flavor at this time, but here are the basics. First, we start with yummy vanilla ice cream.
Then we add chocolate covered cookies. OK, then we add even more chocolate covered cookies. Anything that you find within ice cream in the categories of fruit, chocolate chunks, sprinkles, cookies, nuts and the like are called inclusions.
Next, we transfer the basic mix of ice cream and cookies into small ice cream containers and layer it with a special salty caramel. Any syrup-like ingredient that is swirled through an ice cream, such as most fudges, caramels, and fruit fillings, is a variegate.
Steve makes up many of these little tubs for each flavor that the scientists develop. He'll then leave them in a special freezer overnight. Tomorrow, he'll package up the tubs in a dry ice filled coolers and make the long trek to the back loading dock. Less than 24 hours later, the ice cream samples will be in the hands of our customers, and those executives will make the decisions about what you find in your local grocery freezer.
Just thought I would provide a glimpse into what two of our co-workers do day after day after day, working very hard along the way. And, these are just two in the many steps of the process, so maybe I can capture more of them in future posts.
Do you have a favorite ice cream flavor (or many) that you crave or keep in your freezer?