Family Values At Heart Of Golden North Ice Cream

AustralianFarmers

As the days become warmer, our taste buds often get cooler. Ice cream conjures memories of Aussie summers, days at the beach and childhood. South Australian kids have been growing up with one particular brand for 100 years. Golden North started as a true family business and has grown to keep up with demand. It’s won the Canstar Blue Award for Australia’s Favourite Ice Cream Tub for six years and is officially considered an Icon of the state. The company’s Sales and Marketing Director, Dimi Kyriazis says a century on, family values are still very much at the company’s heart.

Where it all started

To understand why, it makes sense to start at the beginning in 1880. That’s when the Bowker family started selling fresh milk and cream from their dairy at Laura, 240km north of Adelaide. By 1923, they were mixing that milk and cream with ice at the factory in Laura, where the ice cream is still produced to this day.

There were a few firsts along the way. Golden North introduced pasteurised milk to the mid-north of South Australia in 1938, they became the first to manufacture the half-gallon (two litre) tub in 1940. Then, there was the longest milk run in the world from the Barossa Valley to Tennant Creek, covering more than 1200 miles.

But in 1883, a new era, as the Bowker family sold Golden North to Famers Union. Under new management, the company introduced a unique slice and serve sausage pack of ice-cream to the Adelaide Market.

Supporting local

In one more twist, five South Australian families bought the company in 2008. One of those men is Dimi Kyriazis. And things are going well.

Golden North has since celebrated becoming palm oil free, exports to China and has won the coveted Canstar Blue Award for Australia’s Favourite Ice Cream Tub from 2018 to the current day.

“One of the things that drives us, is we have 70 odd employees that rely on a pay cheque every week. Because this community supports us, we want to buy produce to make ice cream as locally as possible,” Dimi explains.

That means supporting local farmers.

“We’re taking all these great things from South Australia and taking it to the rest of the country and around the world.”

Dimi says he is often asked, why the product is so creamy.

“I personally find that quite humorous because it’s ice ‘cream’, not ice water, flavour, colour. Because we just use lots of fat and cream, it gives our product that distinct mouth-feel and taste,” he says.

So, what is it like getting to work in the ice cream world every day?

“We’re eating ice cream a lot in the office! We have to try things and there are new products to taste. Surprisingly, none of us are overweight,” he laughs.

A family business at heart

Dimi describes the workplace as a big family with many long-serving employees. There are also long-serving customers with some opting to serve Golden North at their child’s birthday party, weddings, and funerals.

“It really is a testament to the ownership our consumers and customers feel.”

Now that Golden North has expanded from South Australia to supermarkets around Australia and internationally, Dimi believes there is a misconception about the size of the company.

“Our brand is so much bigger than we are. People think it’s this big, massive $200 million enterprise and everyone’s driving Porsche 911s. It’s certainly not the case. We are all just normal people with families at home. We all live normal lives. We’re a medium family-style business.”

Fuelled by farm fresh cream and milk, no doubt the team has plenty of energy as they embark on the next 100 years.

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