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Friday, May 25, 2012

More Than Just Ice Cream

It's an Experience -- The Turkey Hill Experience features 26,000 square feet of exhibits and includes nine interactive exhibits all about Turkey Hill Dairy and its ice cream products. Instead of opting for new construction,Turkey Hill Dairy, renovated the remains of the former Ashley & Bailey silk mill, turning it NOT into an actual creamery, but an interactive museum geared to kids, and  enjoyed by parents and grandparents, like Grenville and myself. 

The renovations included savaging an old a mill water tower to use as billboard advertising for the new museum which opened in June 2011. It's a show and tell of what happens in a creamery as it follows the production of ice cream with interactive exhibits that explain or simulate a process.
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But, it's really an interactive children's museum.  

Instead of opting for new construction,Turkey Hill Dairy, renovated the remains of an aging former Ashley & Bailey silk mill, turning it NOT into an actual creamery, but an interactive museum geared to kids, and  enjoyed by parents and grandparents, like Grenville and myself. The renovations included savaging a former mill water tower to use as billboard advertising for the new museum. THE opened less than a year ago in June 2011. It's a show and tell of what happens in a creamery and follows the production of ice cream with interactive exhibits that explain or simulate a process. 

First stop is a cow milking area where a large mechanical cow is ready for milking, complete with udders and a milking stool. It's not milk, but water, but kids and adults didn't seem to mind.  Many stations have hands-on activities. The Clean Up shows how milk is pasteurized by letting kids blast away unwanted ingredients with an air gun. The Mix & Match station has stampers that imprint flavor scents on a The Flavor Frenzy kept the kids busy for awhile.  It included empty containers of flavoring that they pretended to pour into mixers to create ice cream blends. Blending describes how all the ingredients come together to make ice cream. There's also an actual Turkey Hills Dairy truck to climb aboard. There was a packaging area where, with adult help, they could create a design and name for an ice cream blend.  A small room with fans blowing cold air demonstrated the freezing process. The most stop was an on-air area where kids (and adults) could make their own commercial.
Grandson Bobby tried nearly all the exhibit stops.
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Granddaughter Elizabeth at 10 months was a bit too young for the exhibits, so she napped and rode along.
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BEST part of this Experience  - at least for the adults present - was the unlimited sampling. The selections were not unlimited, and confined to about 15 Turkey Hill flavors, we found a couple to sample at least twice.

Turkey Hill Dairy began in 1931, when farmer Armor Frey sold bottled milk to neighbors from his sedan during the Great Depression years. Frey's family obtained the farm directly from Thomas and Richard Penn, sons of William Pan and the sheepskin deed to the farm refers to "turkeyhill". Turkey Hill Ridge was named by the Conestoga Indians for the wild turkeys found there, so the family decided to name their dairy after the name on the deed and the nearby geographical feature. Frey sold the daily to his three sons (Glen, Emerson and Charles) in 1947. Milking their cows and delivering milk to customers within a few miles provided these three families with a steady income. 

In 1980, the dairy began making ice cream, which sold well in Lancaster County. In 1981, they started selling it through a few independent stores in Pennsylvania before expanding into New Jersey and up the East Coast. In the early 2000s, Turkey Hill's products were sold further west as Turkey Hill rapidly expanded its distribution area. The ice cream is now sold in over 25 states. In 1985, the dairy and the stores were sold to a subsidiary of Kroger, a US supermarket chain. The Frey family remains active in the business and Quintin Frey, Armor Frey's grandson, is president of the dairy.

14 comments:

Daisy said...

Sounds like a fun place to visit. Those kids are so adorable! And now I'm hungry for ice cream, of course. :D

Lois Evensen said...

Your grand kids are precious! :)

Anyplace connected to ICE CREAM has to be pretty wonderful, too. :)

Fun post.

Montanagirl said...

We LOVE ice cream. It does sound like a great place to visit! Your grandchildren are adorable.

Out on the prairie said...

The dairy experience sounds fun. I went to a candy factory the other day.Those sweets call out to me.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Daisy, this experience was fun and delicious too, but needs a few more exhibits geared to younger kids.

Lois & Mona, thanks and we agree open the ice cream connection and the cuteness of the grands.

Steve, we do know what you mean. We also took the Hershey Chocolate World tour, which ends in. Large shopping area filled with sweets.

thecottagebythecranelakeolof1 said...

I would love to walk around there :-) Thanks for the history lesson too! To bad companies like this always is sold to big chains, they tend to loose a bit of their souls then.

Have a great day!
Christer.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Christer, what you said is so true, but it happens so often that smaller companies expand and then sell out to large corporations.

Sandra said...

i am happy they used the old building and woo hoo on samples. beautiful babies here also.

Ginnie said...

How interesting. I'll have to tell my kids who live in upstate NY. When they last visited me they brought Turkey Hill Ice Cream home from our local Food Lion & it's the first I'd tried it. It was good.

Doris said...

I've never been there but Ellen has. She enjoyed it. I've heard mixed reviews since it opened. We do LOVE Turkey Hill ice cream!

Those Grandkids are cuties!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Sandra, re-using an existing building is better than building news. We saw quite a lot of similar re-usage in our New England travels.

Ginnie, we can get Turkey Hill Ice cream at our local Food Lion as well, we like it and Blue Bunny brand.

Doris, we like it too and sometimes too much! Yup, we think the grands are quite the cuties too!

Kay G. said...

Like the idea of the ice cream samples.
Just wondering, have you ever milked a cow?

Maple Lane said...

What precious photos and this would be my kind of place to visit!

Cicero Sings said...

Now that Elizabeth ... she knows how to take the day. Nap a little, sight see a little, and all around be pampered a little ... packed here ... strolled there!

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