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$35m ice cream factory brings jobs, forex
The newest company in the Hadco Group is a $35 million factory, Creamery Novelties Limited, located on the eTecK Diamond Vale Industrial Estate in Diego Martin. It is the result of an initiative launched three years ago when businessman Paul Gabriel approached the Hadco Group with a plan to distribute local ice cream. Following discussions and research, a partnership was born.
Hadco is the largest importer and distributor of ice cream products in T&T, responsible for premium brands such as Häagen-Dazs, Breyers, Nestlé, and Ben and Jerry’s.
Started in 1992 by three brothers, Robert, Joseph and John Hadad, it now consists of five divisions and 12 subsidiaries, representing 154 different brands.
Trade Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon, who toured the ice cream factory on Wednesday, praised the Hadad brothers for investing in the country at a critical time. She said the move not only generated employment but much needed foreign exchange.
“This is a huge investment and it’s a big punch for the investors also given the current economic circumstances,” the minister said.
The new factory operates in two buildings, of 10,000 square feet each—one for the ice cream, the other cones.
John Hadad said plant machinery was sourced from China and the products are made in a well-controlled, sanitary environment.
“Construction started at the beginning of last year and by the time the machinery came a year later we got everything set up. A lot of work has gone into researching the equipment, and we have started creating recipes for the various flavours,” he said.
Taste testing, research and development were done by the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (Cariri). Product development, including packaging and design, was also done locally.
“In addition, we will be collaborating with Caribbean CGA with respect to ingredient sourcing. We are still in the process of finalising the line and we have more products to come,” Hadad said.
He said the ice cream cone factory runs on 100 per cent locally sourced products, while 66 per cent of the ice cream ingredients are imported.
The products are currently in major supermarkets but Hadad said within the coming months they will be available “on every corner.”
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