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Bakersfield Houses World’s Largest Ice Cream Facility

Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream recently expanded its Bakersfield operation, making it the world’s largest ice cream plant. The $100 million expansion of the Bakersfield Operations Center more than doubles the size of the facility, from 250,000 square feet to 650,000 square feet. The plant has the capacity to churn out 70 million gallons of ice cream in addition to 98 million dozen frozen snacks per year.

Many factors played into the decision to expand, but one significant reason was Bakersfield’s proximity to the dairy supply. Milk has a short life span, and the Bakersfield location allows for an average turnaround time from cow to ice cream of less than a day. Other factors contributing to the decision included the capabilities of the plant’s workforce and Bakersfield’s location. Dreyer’s operates its own distribution system, employing its own drivers to deliver cartons to grocers. The facility distributes products in the western United States and ships to all the company’s international markets.

The City of Bakersfield provided assistance through Team Bakersfield, which brought all city departments together to discuss the expansion project before the plans were even drawn. This allowed for discussion with the company to develop building plans with fewer corrections, saving time and money. Due to the increased production, the city accelerated its sewer capacity to meet Dreyer’s needs. Bakersfield also expanded its enterprise zone to enable the company to receive tax credits for hiring its employees from specific low- to moderate-income areas or workforce categories.

Before the expansion, the Bakersfield location employed about 500 people. The expansion added another 300 jobs, which allows the company to focus on its people and capitalize on the skills that exist with-in the community.

Contact: Charles Webb, economic development associate, City of Bakersfield Economic and Community Development Department; phone: (661) 326-3765; e-mail:

This article appears in the May 2006 issue of Western City
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