Zippy’s Restaurants has agreed to continue scooping a lot of locally made ice cream in a deal that helps sustain Pearl City-based Dave’s Ice Cream Inc.
The Hawaii restaurant chain announced Tuesday that it signed a contract to serve Dave’s in all of its 24 restaurants.
Zippy’s said the arrangement will result in at least 23,500 gallons of vanilla and 16,000 gallons of chocolate ice cream from Dave’s being served annually in its restaurants as dessert and in milk shakes.
Dave’s has supplied Zippy’s since 2004 indirectly through Meadow Gold Dairies-Hawaii, which turned to Dave’s to supply restaurant customers after Meadow Gold discontinued its own ice cream production in Hawaii in 2003.
Recently, Meadow Gold’s Dallas-based parent, Dean Foods, informed Dave’s that it planned to supply Zippy’s and other Hawaii restaurant customers with its own ice cream made in Utah starting next month in the wake of Dean Foods seeking to shed debt in bankruptcy.
Dave Leong, owner of Dave’s, said the change stood to cripple his 37-year-old company because Meadow Gold was his biggest customer.
Leong expressed gratitude for the support from Zippy’s.
“I’m just trying to keep my staff employed during the holidays, and as long as I have a few more local companies like Zippy’s to jump on board, my 20 employees will continue to have jobs,” he said in a statement. “I can’t thank Zippy’s enough for their help and association.”
Paul Yokota, president of Zippy’s parent FCH Enterprises, said the firm is committed to supporting local product suppliers.
“We buy about 18 tons of ground beef from local ranchers for use in our famous chili each month,” he said in a statement. “We buy fresh, local eggs. Buying ice cream, or any other local product, from small local producers presents the risk of continuity of supply, but we urge other local companies to look at local producers, especially when the product is as high of a quality as Dave’s. We believe that local companies need to support each other. It’s good for jobs, for the economy, and for our shared food security.”
The contract with Dave’s goes into effect immediately, according to Zippy’s.
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