Ice cream means many things to many people. It can bring back memories of childhood, celebrations, special events, and even serve as a minor indulgence that brings out the kid in all of us. While most of us run to the nearest store, ice cream parlor, or restaurant to enjoy this treat, the team at the Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream Food Service Division, located at 4301 Hacienda Drive, ensures that it gets to the right place at the right time, making it available for all ice cream lovers to enjoy.
"Our department takes care of the needs of food service customers through our direct store routes," says Carlen Sabagquit, manager of the food service division customer management center. "We manage about 3,500 customers across 23 markets. We work with our local distribution centers to make sure that we're meeting their order deadlines and taking care of service issues. We're also responsible for building and maintaining relationships with customers who buy our Dreyer's, Edy's, Haagen Daz, and Nestle brands for sale in their markets - including grocery stores and restaurants. We set up accounts and manage promotions to help enhance loyalty. It's a really unique department."
Not many people know that Dreyer's began as a local business. William Dreyer started making ice cream in 1906 to celebrate his arrival in the U.S. In 1928, the original ice cream plant that he and his partner opened was on Grand Avenue in Oakland - hence the name Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream. Dreyer's partner in the venture, Joseph Edy, was a local candy maker. To this day, Edy is not left in the cold as far as product branding is concerned. East of the Colorado Mountains, Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream is known as Edy's Grand Ice Cream. Another little known fact is that Dreyer's invented the popular rocky road ice cream flavor back in 1929. In fact, company insiders know that the little character used as an apostrophe on the Dreyer's and Edy's packaging is the company mascot, named Rocky to commemorate this innovation.
By 1994, Dreyer's had become the number one packaged ice cream in the U.S. The organization merged with Nestle Ice Cream Company in 2003, adding both Nestle's branded treats as well as the Haagen Daz line. Currently, the company has seven manufacturing plants in the U.S., 67 offices, and in the area of 10,000 employees, with more working in other divisions around the world. In Hacienda, the Dreyer's Grand Food Service Division employs 10 people in its 3,700 square foot facility. The division moved into its location on Hacienda Drive in June of this year.
"Dreyer's is really all about making happier moments and bringing smiles to the faces of children, families, senior citizens, and anyone else who loves ice cream," Sabagquit says. "It's a great company to work for. It fosters a spirit of ownership among its employees that makes us feel that we can all make a difference in the business, and it's reflected in the way we market and promote our products. Our goal here is to provide world-class customer care and focus on service. Because we're one of the few groups in our company that speak directly to our customers, we try to bring that spirit and focus to their businesses."
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