Maud’s Ice-Cream Factory Tour experience

If you’re native to our gorgeous fields of green & banter a-plenty A.K.A Northern Ireland, then you’ll know there is only one ice-cream brand in our eyes & our hearts. Maud’s. We all know there is only one pooh bear ice-cream that will just make you happy with the sight of it {the taste will blow your mind} & deliciously delicate Belgian chocolate shavings to make you giddy for more – let’s not forget the delicious {and cute} Teddy bear wafers! 

Last week I was kindly invited along to the Maud’s Ice-cream Headquarters for a tour of their factory floor and to see how they make our much-loved ice-cream. Which is multi-award winning, don’t you know! We met with David, one of the Directors at Maud’s Ice-cream and also the Grandson of the woman it was named after – Maud – who just so happens to be his Grandmother. 

Maud's ice-cream factory tour

Maud's ice-cream factory tour

We were also introduced to Siobhan, a long-standing employee at the Maud’s Factory, who has actually worked there since before Maud’s Ice-cream was even a thing. She was hired as a young girl, by David’s Father back in the late seventies and she is still there to this day – incredible. If you’re interested, you read all about the History of Maud’s ice-cream over on their website. 

Maud's ice-cream factory tour

Our first stop of the factory tour was to be shown where it all begins – pasteurisation. This was exceptionally cool as nobody, hardly ever gets to have a look on the upper floor – so it was a real privilege to have our tour start here. 

It was so interesting, hearing about the insane volumes of milk that are brought in to be pasteurised. It was fascinating to see just how simple yet intricate the process is and the smell of the milk as it’s heated up is just the more amazing smell! So delicious and home-like. I could have just sat there smelling it all day! 

Maud's ice-cream factory tour

Maud's ice-cream factory tour

Did you know that Maud’s Ice-cream makes all of their own honeycomb? I know! Pretty cool, right? Siobhan told us that years ago when a 2-tonne slab of honeycomb was made that it was usually broken up by hand. Which is impressive in itself.

Nowadays, thanks to a nifty little machine, the workers have more time to do other tasks on the factory floor as I can imagine breaking up 2-tonne of honeycomb is a pretty massive job. 

Maud's ice-cream factory tour

We were then taken round to watch some of the factory employees making some of the infamous poohbear ice-cream. Which, here in N.Ireland, if you’re not familiar, is pretty iconic.

You pour in some honeycomb, let some ice-cream pour in, stirring so that each gallon carton has the perfect consistency of honeycomb to ice-cream ratio. More honeycomb, more ice-cream and you continue that until it’s full, sprinkle some honeycomb on top and pass it along to be levelled and sealed. It is a constant flow and I have to say, it was impressive to watch. 

Maud's ice-cream factory tour

These girls have some serious skills because the pipe of ever-flowing ice-cream never stops! You can slow it down, or speed it up to suit your speed but after having a go myself, I’ll hold my hands up – it’s a lot harder than it looks!

Then, once the ice-cream is sealed and taken along the conveyor belt, it’s taken into the freezer, which sits at minus -24 degrees. We got to walk through, in whatever we were wearing and of course our factory floor coats, hair nets & shoe covers and let me tell you – it was cold! Once you walk in it’s a proper fresh feeling but if you stand still for longer than a moment, you can really feel it. A chill to your bones as some would say! But it was pretty neat to see ice-cream either being lifted out to be delivered or stacked to be left to freeze.

From what I had seen of our factory floor experience, it is a beautifully run factory. Freshly sourced ingredients from all over the world, with some made in the factory itself, and it’s all put together with nothing but care, love and attention to detail. Everyone knows their job and each of them doing it to perfection.

Maud's ice-cream factory tour

After the factory tour and before we headed up to David’s office for a chat, we were kindly given some freshly made pooh-bear ice-cream and some Belgian chocolate drops to enjoy. I mean, I am all for ice-cream at any time of the day but literally freshly made that moment ice-cream? Yes, please!

It tasted incredible and I won’t even let you in on how amazing those Belgian chocolate drops tasted because you’ll hunt me down if I told you! 

Maud's ice-cream factory tour

We had such a lovely time at the Maud’s Ice-cream Factory for our tour. It was so amazing finding out so much more about not only our much-loved ice-cream but about where it came from too. How it came about to have the name it did – David’s Dad calling it after his own Mother as a Mother’s Day gift – and so on. I mean, it just made me, personally, fall in love with the brand even more. 

Maud’s is so much more than ice-cream – it’s family and it was a privilege to have a glimpse of that during my visit. Thank you so much for having me and for my extra special gift as I left – a party gallon of poohbear ice-cream which, I have to admit, is almost all gone! I just cannot help myself! Nor can the kids – it’s just TOO GOOD! 

Maud's ice-cream factory tour

What is your favourite flavour of Maud’s Ice-cream? Let me know in the comments! 

Disclosure: I was invited along to have a tour of the Maud’s Ice-cream Factory HQ in return for a blog review of my experience

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9 Comments

  1. 11/10/2018 / 12:59 PM

    This sounds like a super fun day out! What was your favourite part?

  2. 11/10/2018 / 1:03 PM

    Oh I’m so jealous! I would love to go on a factory tour, I find watching those sorts of videos on Youtube so soothing.

  3. 11/10/2018 / 8:13 PM

    Oh I love this – drooling at the thought! I’m heading over that way in the half-term so will have a look into it 🙂

  4. 11/10/2018 / 9:22 PM

    I really want some ice cream now! Haha! What an awesome place to get to go and tour and you got to sample at the end – perfect !

  5. 12/10/2018 / 6:59 AM

    This looks like a fab day out, I really would love to make my own ice cream

  6. 12/10/2018 / 9:54 AM

    WOW this sounds like a fantastic experience and how fab that you got see production from start to finish! I have never tried Maud’s ice-cream but it sounds like I need too!

  7. 12/10/2018 / 2:59 PM

    How fabulous, I went ot an ice cream factory in France when I was a kid and still remember it now. Mich x

  8. 14/10/2018 / 10:59 AM

    What an amazing looking tour! I think I’d just want to eat ALL the icecream on the way round though. Haha

    Louise x

  9. 15/10/2018 / 10:31 AM

    Wow I want to climb in that vat of ice cream! Looks fab and the poohbear sounds delish

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