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Mar 1, 2007 06:16 AM

Ice Cream wholesalers

Tried an Internet search without success.

Planning for the summer and am considering selling ice cream, not a lot, maybe four flavours to choose from but don't want the "supermarket" brand.

Was hoping a Greg's or Ed's Scoop might sell wholesale but can't locate their website. Any suggestions and recommendations?

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  1. Have we all forgotten about the old-fashioned telephone?

    Here's a Yellow Pages listing for ice cream retailers in Toronto:

    Actually, there's a little ice cream shop on Lonsdale Rd. in Forest Hill Village called The Village Chill which carries Greg's ice cream. I'm sure it's doable.

    1. Never been a fan of Greg's personally...don't get all the hype. I find the ice cream tastes like water (not "creamy" enough for my taste).

      5 Replies
      1. re: Splendid Wine Snob

        Greg's ice cream is made from a stabilized mix and has a relatively low butterfat content. It's the flavours (or, at least, most of them) that are special. They don't taste nearly as intense as many artificial flavours do, but are usually much better. And I love the coffee-toffee and roasted marshmallow.

        Ed's doesn't have high butterfat either - it's posted in the store.

        1. re: embee

          Much better how exactly??? I am assuming you mean health-wise because the flavours of his ice cream (and I've tried them all) don't come through to me.

          I want ice cream to be creamy (hence ice CREAM). I've had great ice cream sans artificial flavours that tasted fantastic.

          1. re: Splendid Wine Snob

            I assume your question is rhetorical. But if it isn't, I can only say it's just a matter of personal taste. I wasn't getting into the "health" aspects because I don't delude myself that ice cream is health food. Greg uses fresh fruit in some flavours, while fruit extracts have a stronger taste. Real maple syrup has a faint flavour compared to artificial as does real vanilla that isn't at least double strength. I'm also not suggesting that more strongly flavoured ice creams aren't "real". I find the flavour of, say, Haagen Dazs strawberry and coffee to be quite pure. (But Haagen Dazs vanilla tastes like alcohol to me.)

            "Creaminess" is also a personal preference. Although the very creamy Haagen Dazs and B&J have very high butterfat, creaminess isn't necessarily butterfat related. Seems you can create very creamy ice cream with a well-chosen chemical matrix. (Haagen Dazs has butterfat and eggs; B&J butterfat and a chemical mix.) Breyers long made a "natural vanilla" flavour (the black carton) that tasted of pure vanilla but had low butterfat was very watery. It was also about 50% air. They now declare it to be "double churned", and suddenly it is creamy. It's still low butterfat and high air, and it has nothing to do with a "churn". The newly added chemicals create a mouth feel that fools you into thinking otherwise.

            The creamiest gelatos have under 4% fat and a couple of creamy-tasting Gelato Fresco flavours have none.

            So the bottom line is that you don't find Greg's ice cream creamy enough for your taste, so go with something else and enjoy :-)

            (But you can't tell me that the roasted marshmallow taste doesn't come through, whether you like it or not.)

            1. re: embee

              Points well taken-yes definitely a matter of personal taste. Highly agreed on HD's vanilla, and I've never seen the roasted marshmellow flavoured stuff at Greg's so I'll try it next time. I'm so obsessed with HD's strawberry that I guess it's possible I don't give enough objective "taste room" for other brands...

              1. re: Splendid Wine Snob

                Yes, HD strawberry is the ONLY strawberry ice cream I've tasted that's worth eating.

      2. Gelato Fresco...all the way.

        1. I have heard that Gelato Fresco sells out of their head office near Eglinton/Dufferin on Tycos Dr. - look them up and check it out as I believe they are only there at certain times during weekdays only.

          7 Replies
          1. re: downtown

            I've never seen Gelato Fresco served at ice cream stores. I know that they custom-make ice cream in quantity for restaurants, but I'm not so sure that they have big tubs available for retailers.

            It's worth a call though. Their ice creams, particularly the creme caramel, 0.B.F. chocolate, and chocolate raspberry are amazing.

            1. re: FlavoursGal

              Gelato Fresco indeed has specialty lines. They have a whole range (which are usually bought by restaurants) in 4.5 litre tubs. Cost dependent on flavour but around $35-40. They will also make up special orders (I had 9 litres of 'Port' icecream made for me for about $75).
              They use to have a small retail 'counter' available downtown (near Sam the Record man) - but it closed. They also have 'branded' bicycle carriers with a cooler attached. The Tycos 'factory' is open during normal office hours, but it's a very small operation - best to call for an appointment.
              Their 'factory outlet' at the same location is barely open now. They used to sell-off surplus at around $2.50 per 500ml, but now it's $4.50 and always 'whatever's available'. This use to be a regular stop for me - but given the price increase I've tried all the other outlets I can find. Metropolitan has one, but their product isn't anywhere near the calibre of Gelato Fresco - has a coarser mouth-feel and tastes sweeter.
              Tropical Treets is pretty nasty. VERY sweet and no balancing acidity. Tastes artificial. HOWEVER - despite that, as a business venture, it's well worth considering as they have many unusual flavours (Caribbean and Indian) and a semi-constant supply at low prices.
              Also tried Movenpick - mostly air - it's whipped up and a half-litre weighs far less than Gelato Fresco - and that's common for most mass-marketed brands (as is using imported milk-powder as the base ingredient - you can feel the texture difference).
              And to round out the various taste-tests, if you want stuff scattered in chunks throughout the ice-cream then Haagen Dazs is the best.
              I've also seen 'Dippin' Dots' make an appearance here. It's a gimmick - but maybe there's another opportunity to be exploited.
              But, simply, for pure flavour Gelato Fresco can't be beat. But quality costs - and my guess is that cost control is the key to a successful business venture, unless you're looking at a premium niche.

              1. re: estufarian

                I find Ben & Jerry's ice cream with "stuff" in it more to my taste than similar Haagen Dazs flavours. But both of these brands are now owned by multinationals and I suspect you need to buy an expensive franchise, plus pay ongoing royalties, to scoop either of them.

                I'm curious where you found Movenpick. The split between Movenpick and what is now Richtree was apparently an extremely acrimonious one. I agree with you about their ice cream. They had some interesting flavours, but with more overrun than even Breyers.

                1. re: embee

                  I found Movenpick at their "outsourced supplier" (who asked me to be discreet about their involvement). I believe it has subsequently been either discontinued or outsourced to a 'new' supplier.
                  Incidentally, the Richtree 'split' occurred about 15 years ago (when it became a Canadian company - I was approached to invest). Of course, there was a more recent split between the management and investors (I believe Movenpick remained as a 'silent' investor and supplier in the original Richtree Inc). And the 'new' Richtree (aka Richtree Market Investments) I'm not too familiar with (no longer have those contacts and the current Board of Directors are unknown to me).

                  1. re: embee

                    I also love "stuff" in my ice cream, particularly nuts, and wish that Gelato Fresco and Greg's would put things into theirs. Aside from Greg's Coffee Toffee, I don't think any of his flavours contain chunks. I don't count chocolate chips as good "stuff." Frozen chocolate chips just don't do it for me.

                    1. re: FlavoursGal

                      Greg has always sold "mix-ins" at his store. You could add stuff from a fairly large selection of goodies. The mix-ins were his original gimmick, but it's more about the natural flavours these days. The new, much smaller, store still has the mix-ins, but I've never seen anyone order them.

                      I don't know about Gelato Fresco, other than that "stuff" isn't really typical in gelato (though Hollywood does it well - I love their coconut cream pie flavour).

                      1. re: embee

                        Their lemon meringue pie is incredible, too.

            2. Greg Mahon will certainly sell sell the packaged cartons wholesale. I'm not sure about tubs for scooping, since he was never keen about expanding on his own, much less by selling to competitors. It's definitely worth calling him. He's a very nice guy; not a faceless corporation. I've seen it scooped in a few places over many years, but not recently.

              Ed Francis is also a very nice man. and worth calling. He doesn't appear to be geared to what you want, but you never know.

              Gelato Fresco makes some wonderful flavours for the trade. Personally, I find most of their regular retail flavours kind of boring. The Devils Chocolate is great but their plain vanilla, still the best seller in most places, has little taste.

              Of the factory brands, I find Kawartha Dairy tastes better than most of the others. It is definitely available wholesale and is not all that common in Toronto.

              Maypole specializes in this type of business. I don't find it all that good.

              You could also try Tropical Treets. Their conventional flavours are apalling, but some of the "exotics" are very good (e.g., coconut, mango, pistachio kulfi)

              1 Reply
              1. re: embee

                This thread is bringing back memories. I did not know that Gelato Fresco still existed(I knew they were a Toronto company). I haven't seen Gelato Fresco available here in Montreal for close to 10 years. And you mentioned that Greg has always sold "mix-ins." I've only seen mix-ins in Boston(where it was invented). I remember eating at Greg's ice cream years ago on a visit to Toronto.