Hawaii ice cream company facing potential thaw in business

HONOLULU (AP) — While a taste for its flavors may continue, a Hawaii ice cream company is facing an unsavory blow to its business after a supply partner declared bankruptcy.

Dave’s Ice Cream Inc. may have to reduce its supply after last month’s bankruptcy of national food and beverage firm Dean Foods, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

Dave’s sells around 15,000 gallons of ice cream made in Pearl City on Oahu to eateries and stores, owner Dave Leong said.

The company distributes its desserts under a wholesale arrangement with Dean Foods subsidiary Meadow Gold Dairies-Hawaii.

Meadow Gold plans to import ice cream from its plant in St. George, Utah, to supply Hawaii restaurant customers beginning next month, Leong said.

The move would cut off a third of Dave’s business, amounting to more than $1 million annually, Leong said.

“They’re my largest customer,” Leong said. “I’m crippled. I’m really crippled.”

Dallas-based Dean Foods said the change helps centralize manufacturing and provide better quality control.

Dean Foods spokeswoman Anne Divjak said in a statement that “we will continue to work with local ice cream manufacturers to develop specialty ‘island’ and other unique flavors preferred by our local consumers.”