After all four stores closed last year following a dispute between the owner and the chain’s wholesalers, Gifford’s Ice Cream reopened its doors in Chevy Chase today. Artfully Chocolate Kingsbury Confections, or ACKC, a cocoa bar located in Washington, D.C., and Virginia, manages Gifford’s Chevy Chase location. In addition to Gifford’s ice cream, the store features ACKC products, store manager Lee Marcum said.
“We think it’s a good business opportunity for us since we don’t currently have any stores in Maryland,” Marcum said. “It’s good to be associated with a well-known local brand, and we’re also glad to help Gifford’s out.”
All ACKC and Balducci’s stores have recently started selling Gifford’s ice cream, and The Burger Joint in Bethesda serves Gifford’s milkshakes.
Neal Lieberman, CEO of Gifford’s Wholesale Ice Cream, sold all Gifford’s retail ice cream outlets to Luke Cooper, a Baltimore-area investor, in 2009. All four Gifford’s locations closed last summer when Lieberman found Cooper selling Hood Ice Cream, a mass-market brand, as Gifford’s Ice Cream. Lieberman has now reestablished control over retail and the Chevy Chase location is the first to reopen.
“It’s a great community ice cream shop,” said David Smith, CEO of Chevy Chase Land Company, which leases the space to Gifford’s. “We are really excited to see it back and running.”
Smith said he expects there to be a demand for Gifford’s ice cream, despite the setback the company experienced last year.
“I don’t think it will take a long time for people to go in to Gifford’s and say, ‘Gifford’s is back and the ice cream is as good as ever,’” Smith said. “I expect the news will go around through word of mouth really quickly.”
Gifford’s is a renowned establishment in the Washington area, Smith said. SOURCE:Black & White