Children and adults alike enjoyed their favorite frozen summer treat at the opening on Saturday of what is billed as the nation’s first ice cream exhibition hall.
The Yvette Ice Cream Dream Workshop in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Sindian District (新店) is a cooperative venture between the city government and Yvette Food Co, a manufacturer of ice cream, cakes and assorted pastries.
Yvette Food chairman Huang Hsien-cheng (黃顯成) and his son, company general manager Huang Ching-yuan (黃慶遠), welcomed visitors and invited them to try their hand at making their own ice cream and tasting the fruits of their labor.
The elder Huang, 76, recalled the big impact that the US ice cream brand Foremost made when it was introduced in Taiwan in the 1970s.
“It was made with milk and was tasty, soft and smooth,” he said.
“The delicious creamy taste was an immediate hit among Taiwanese,” he said. “That’s because Taiwanese were only used to eating popsicles during summertime, and [Foremost] started a craze for ice cream in Taiwan.”
Huang Hsien-cheng, who was in his 30s at the time, found a job at the Foremost ice cream plant, working hard to learn the craft of making ice cream. He later started his own company, which produced ice cream for many top Taiwanese companies.
“At that time, selling ice cream for half a year was enough to generate revenues for the whole year,” the younger Huang said. “People called it the ‘golden age’ of ice cream in Taiwan.”
Dedicated to the improvement of their product, the father-and-son team invested in research and development, as well as gaining technological know-how.
They established Yvette Food in 2001 to manufacture their own brand of ice cream and other desserts, which have received international quality control and product safety certifications such as ISO2000 and HACCP.
Although Yvette has gained a following among local consumers, it faces stiff competition from leading international ice cream brands targeting the high-end market.
Huang Ching-yuan said he hoped to make Yvette a leading global ice cream brand, which was what inspired him to set up the venture with the New Taipei City Government.
The Yvette Ice Cream Dream Workshop is a place for the whole family, he said. Children can have fun making and tasting ice cream, join the guided tour, visit the exhibition of various ice cream products and learn more about the ice cream industry’s history.