I oversee food safety, security, sanitation and quality assurance programs, all of which help provide safe products for Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream. I also take part in research and development of new flavors.
I started working at Chocolate Shoppe in 2007 as a production worker helping to fill ice cream cartons and decorating ice cream cakes. I worked for the company for one year when Dave Deadman, vice president of the company, asked if I would like to become the quality assurance specialist.
When I first started working here, I was going to school at UW-Madison for electrical engineering. I also attended Madison Area Technical College nursing courses. I have taken course work for food safety, security and sanitation. The Internet helps me keep up with changing rules and regulations. I also took a food defense course through the American Institute of Baking.
I write and implement food safety and quality assurance programs and conduct daily lab testing. I verify the correct amount of ingredients is being used for each batch. I test for food-borne bacteria and can proudly say that I’ve never found any in our products.
I helped to develop the world’s first highly caffeinated ice cream brand — Bing! Bang! Boom! — which recently was introduced at Chocolate Shoppe stores. It contains as much caffeine as a cup of coffee. I participated in helping to create many test formulations and batches before the right combination was determined.
Chocolate Shoppe started when Chuck Deadman Sr. and his wife, Nancy, began making and selling 19 flavors of ice cream at Chocolate House Candy and Ice Cream on Madison’s East Side in 1962. In the mid-1970s, the company name changed to Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream, and now there are three company-owned shops in Madison and wholesale business in nine states. There are 110 flavors, including no-sugar-added, fat-free and dairy-free Italian ice and soy flavors.
Chuck Sr. and his sons, Chuck Jr. and Dave, run the plant. Chuck Sr. took me under his wing and allowed me to grow. He saw that I’m a hard worker and that my science and math background made me the perfect candidate for this job.
Steve Heaps, the owner of the State Street location, is also a mentor. He’s like Bill Nye the Science Guy with a lot of great ideas and knows the business of selling ice cream.
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