SWEET HEAT RELIEF
By Michael J. Solender | Photography by Grant Baldwin
Posted: Tuesday, Jul. 31, 2012
Babi Alarcon undoubtedly has the tastiest job in Iredell County.
The Huntersville resident is CEO and co-owner of the Mooresville Ice Cream Company (MICC), where daily tastings are all part of the job. Her Broad Street office in downtown Mooresville sits directly over the companys 84-year-old manufacturing facility and is adjacent to the companys new ice cream parlor, which opened in May.
R.C. Millsaps founded the Mooresville Ice Cream Company in 1924. Over the decades his children and grandchildren worked at the plant, which at one point produced 3,000 gallons of ice cream a week in 35 flavors.
Alacron, a native of Guayaquil, Ecuador, is part of an ownership group that paired her familys South American dairy business with the Iredell Countys Stamey family, longtime dairy cattle producers and friends. The two families formed an investment team that bought the ice-cream company and the Deluxe brand from the Millsaps in 2009.
Our family business imported dairy cattle from the Stameys back in the 70s, says Alarcon. When we looked to expand into new markets, specifically the U.S., we were looking for a yogurt or ice-cream operation where we could bring our expertise. MICC was an established family-run business. It was a great fit for us.
Alarcon, 45, has lived in the U.S. off and on for more than 12 years. She received degrees from Cornell and Harvard and worked for the industrial food giant Cargill, with stints in Minneapolis, Atlanta, and New York.
With MICC, Alarcon saw an opportunity to build upon the companys solid reputation as a manufacturer of quality ice cream and ice cream novelties with the Deluxe brand. The company entered into the premium ice-cream market early this year when they launched the Southern-lifestyle inspired Front Porch Carolina churned ice-cream brand, which uses only local milk and cream.
The brand aspires to capture the nostalgic feelings and homey moments experienced on front porches throughout the South. Southern-inspired flavors such as Sweetie Tea, Nanas Banana Pudding, Scarlett Red Velvet and Lemony Sunshine are part of a 15-flavor line up that has been a big hit at events such as Januarys Best of Our State festival in Asheville, and is selling well at supermarkets across the Carolinas.
Our launch has exceeded our expectations, said Alarcon.
MICC next plans to expand its distribution and add more Southern-inspired flavors. The company held a flavor development competition at Johnson & Wales Culinary Institute in Charlotte recently where entries included Cinnamon Bun Delight and Hummingbird Pie. Alarcon says they will continue to evaluate other flavors and add the best ones to their lineup.
Her favorite? Nanas Banana Pudding, she said smiling broadly, But of course I like them all.Mooresville Ice Cream Company
186 N. Broad St.