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Made in the Midwest: We All Scream for Ice Cream

Posted at: 02/11/2013 4:21 AM
Updated at: 02/11/2013 8:00 AM

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- If you're from around here, chances are you grew up with the Kemps name in your refrigerator.

The Minnesota-based company has quite a history in our area, especially at its Rochester plant where it makes ice cream and other frozen treats.

Just off Civic Center Drive and North Broadway is a name Minnesotans know all too well, Kemps.

The next time you go to the grocery store take a moment to look at all the ice cream with that famous cow on its packaging.

From chocolate monster to frozen yogurt and you cannot forget those classic ice cream sandwiches. Those and hundreds of other sweet treats are made inside the Rochester plant.

"[It's] one of the largest ice cream manufacturing plants in the U.S.," said Mike Hinrichsen, operations manager of the plant.

This plant goes way back in Rochester history when it used to be known as Marigold Foods.

Today, Hinrichsen says there are 190 employees clocking in.

"190 people that support local business which is good I think for the Rochester area," he said.

Dedicated workers like Mark Kvittem, a production foreman, who has been on the job for 31 years.

"It's a great place to work. Good benefits, good people, kinda like a family," said Kvittem.

Employing locally and using local dairy products.

"Kemps's core market is the upper Midwest which Rochester is ideally located," said Hinrichsen.

When we visited the plant, strawberry ice cream was being made. By the end of the day 26,000 gallons will be shipped out.

That's part of the 18 semi loads of product shipped out each day and 600,000 gallons of product each week.

New flavors are always being tested but there's only one flavor that remains popular.

"The vanillas are still holding strong. I think because people like to doctor their own ice cream," said Hinrichsen.

So what's next for the plant? For one, more strawberry ice cream.

"We are coming out with some new flavors," said Hinrichsen.