After an eight-year shutdown, the Cal Poly Creamery is back in the ice cream business thanks to a $68,000 donation from a Salinas Valley Farmer, according to the Cal Poly Magazine.
The creamery now produces four flavors, which are sold at the Campus Market and campus events. However, it will expand its menu options as interest in the ice cream picks up.
“We have the capabilities to (expand flavor options) but now we just want to focus on the best quality,” said Phil Tong, director of dairy products technology center.
In order to create an array of flavors, the creamery would require alternate packaging along with other production changes and at this time, it is not cost effective, Tong said.
The creamery, which is located off Mt. Bishop Road near the dairy farm, employs about 10 to 15 students in all majors. Besides Fresno State, Cal Poly is the only university in the state to have an on-campus creamery.
The process of creating the actual ice cream takes two steps, Tong said.
The first step is to make the ice cream mix, which takes about a half a day depending on the batch size. The second step is freezing the mix. In one day, anywhere from 500 to 1,000 gallons of ice creams are produced, Tong said.
But there is more to ice cream-making than just creating the actual product. Students have to set up, clean up and run testing to make sure the ice cream meets regulation standards, Tong said.
For special events, the ice cream is packaged in three-gallon containers but is generally sold in smaller quantities on a day-to-day basis, Tong said.
In order to produce and sell the products the creamery has to be commercially licensed and must have regular inspections, Tong said.
Salinas Valley farmer Arden John Oreggia donated $68,000 specifically to the creamery and, since his death in 2005, has donated nearly $900,000 to the College of Agriculture, according to the Cal Poly magazine.