12,000 gallons a day.” Shoppers, it turned out, were buying
Halo Top differently from how they’d bought ice cream in the
past. Rather than purchase the occasional pint, many customers were scarfing down a pint of Halo Top every night.
The behavior took both supermarkets and Woolverton and
Bouton by surprise. Shelves went bare; inventory dwindled;
Eden Creamery began having trouble filling its purchase
orders. Its co-packer was reluctant to give it excess capacity
at the expense of its other clients—a frequent problem in the
industry, says William Madden, a food and beverage supply
As the summer of 2016 approached, the founders looked for
ways to make more ice cream. They worried that if
they failed to fill their orders, a big competitor could clone
their product, ramp up production, and push them off the
shelves. Bouton and Woolverton decided to make a big bet.
They did a deal with DariFill, a maker of ice
cream–manufacturing equipment, and
approached co-packers with an offer: If they
built a new line dedicated to Halo Top, Eden
Creamery would finance the new equipment
purchases and guarantee a full production run
for an extended period of time. By the summer
of 2016, Bouton got two co-packers to agree to
the deal. Halo Top now had its own dedicated
assembly lines—factories within factories—giving the company
the freedom to manufacture what it wanted when it wanted.
IN A LITTLE LESS THAN T WO YEARS, Halo Top’s relentless sales
growth has afforded the founders something most entrepre-
neurs only dream of: They run a profitable company, at
scale. They retain majority control. Their debts are paid
off. “My credit score is finally above 600,” says Woolverton.
This summer, financial news outlets reported that the
company had hired Barclays to shop it for a $2 billion
acquisition. Woolverton and Bouton say that’s untrue. They
acknowledge they’ve had conversations with bankers and say
they’ve been pitched relentlessly by private equity firms and
other would-be buyers, but they are having too much fun to
sell. They opened their first shop, Halo Top Scoop Shop, in
L.A., and they continue to add new flavors, both in their stan-
HALO TOP HAS FOUND ITSELF AT THE CENTER OF A DEEP PHILOSOPHICAL DIVIDE: THE ICE CREAM PURISTS VERSUS THOSE HUNGRY FOR A CHEAP CALORIE THRILL.
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