Heard on the Street: Rochester plant wins top sherbet, frozen yogurt and ice cream awards

September 26, 2018

When it comes to frozen dairy treats, Rochester’s Kemps plant is number one … and two … and three.

Kemps, based in St. Paul, recently took home three rewards for its Med City-made creations at the 2018 World Dairy Expo Championship in Kansas City.

The national contest, sponsored by the Wisconsin Dairy Products Association, received more than 1,400 entries in 82 categories from across the U.S. this year.

Kemps is a subsidiary of the agriculture cooperative Dairy Farmers of America or DFA that makes all of its ice cream, frozen yogurt and sherbet at the 180-employee facility at 401 N. Broadway. It also owns a milk facility at 700 First Ave. SE in Rochester.

At the annual World Dairy Expo earlier, Kemps took home more than its usual awards.

It won first and second place awards in the sherbet competition for its raspberry sherbet and its rainbow sherbet, which features orange, lemon and lime flavors.

“We do make an awesome sherbet,” said Rachel Kyllo, Kemps’ senior vice president of growth and innovation.

Kemps also took a second place in the frozen yogurt category for its Twisted Dough, which is chocolate and vanilla frozen yogurt swirled with sea salt fudge, chocolate chip cookie dough and fudge brownies.

In the peanut butter-flavored category, Rochester took a third place for Kemp’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Pretzel Ice Cream.

“These awards reflect the hard work and dedication of both our farmers and the numerous Kemps employees who help produce these products, and we are thrilled to be recognized for delivering great-tasting, high-quality products in so many categories,” said DFA’s Vice President of Corporate Communications Kristen Coady in a statement about the victories.

DFA also won awards for cheese and butter products made in California and Texas as well as milk and half & half products from Maine. It also won for flavored cottage cheese and a cheese dip made in Farmington, Minn., and nonfat dry milk from New Mexico.

DFA acquired Kemps from HP Hood LLC of Lynnfield, Mass. in 2011, when the Rochester plant was producing about 35 million gallons of ice cream, sherbet and frozen yogurt a year.

Kemps’ origins can be traced back to the Parkin Ice Cream Co. of Rochester in 1911.

In 1924, the Kemps Ice Cream Co. was sold to Crescent Creamery. Soon after, in 1928, Marigold Dairies of Rochester was founded when W.R. Cammack, son of Crescent Creamery co-founder along with two former officers with the Vander Bie Ice Cream Co. of St. Paul, purchased Parkin.

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