BIDDEFORD – Sweetcream Dairy will debut 10 new flavors this week in a love letter to the city of Biddeford, each one inspired by a different local business.
Co-owners and spouses Jacqui DeFranca and Jon Denton will debut the flavors on Nov. 30, using 10 of 12 available slots in their freezer to showcase these odes to local business, leaving two open for vegan options.
The flavors will be inspired by favorites both old and new, featuring Palace Diner, Elda, Rover Bagel, Elements Coffee, Banded Brewing, Round Turn Distilling, Reilly’s Bakery and Rabelais.
“We’ve been conceptualizing this for about a year, but have really started to get it in motion over the last month,” Denton said.
“The flavors are too good for us to not release,” added DeFranca.
For some of the flavors, Denton, a 2003 Biddeford High School graduate, is able to pay tribute to some of his childhood favorites, including Reilly’s Bakery on Main Street. The flavor for the Reilly’s Bakery ice cream is inspired by Denton’s favorite item from the shop, the butter cookies. To make the ice cream, the butter cookies are ground and mixed into the ice cream to give it the signature Reilly’s flavor.
Departing from the expected comes a flavor inspired by Rabelais, a bookstore located on Main Street that specializes in cookbooks. For this flavor, the Sweetcream duo and Rabelais proprietor Don Lingren harkened back through history to one of the first cookbooks with a selection of recipes on ice cream.
“(Don) showed us this book of all these ice cream flavors, and we were so inspired,” DeFranca said.
To make the Rabelais-inspired ice cream, Sweetcream drew from an old recipe that uses toasted bread for the confection. To make this particular flavor, locally sourced brown bread will be toasted and incorporated into the dessert. Toasted bread in ice cream may raise eyebrows, but both DeFranca and Denton have testified to its delicious flavor.
Denton and DeFranca met in New York City in 2012, where they both worked in the same restaurant. Both shared a love for milkshakes and ice cream, and on a walk home from another lackluster ice cream experience five years ago, an idea was hatched to open a shop of their own.
At first, they envisioned exclusively a milkshake stand, functioning at farmers markets. Denton even took an ice cream intensive course at Penn State to ensure success in creation.
“We would host nights were friends would come over and we would have a selection of a bunch of different vanilla ice creams from different companies and we would include ours, and our guests would do a blind taste test. It was fun, and it helped us improve,” DeFranca said.
When the costs for even renting a booth at a farmers market proved to be exorbitant in the city, the couple decided to move back to Maine to open up shop. The couple looked at many locations before seeing the space at the Pepperell Mill Campus, which would allow them both a storefront and a production space in one. Sweetcream dairy opened in the Pepperell Mill Campus in July 2016.
“We had been thinking about moving back for a long time, so this seemed to be a sign. We thought we would end up in Portland, but when we saw the potential here in this space in the mill, we were sold,” DeFranca said. “Jon was surprised at how great the mill was, because as a kid they were so dilapidated.”
This is not the first time that Sweetcream Dairy has collaborated with their neighbors, having previously released flavors inspired by two other Pepperell Mill businesses, drawing from the flavors of the beer at Banded Brewing and the gin of Round Turn Distilling. For the Banded Brewing collaboration, Sweetcream took the flavor-rich wort, or the liquid that results from the distilling process, which created a malted flavor for the stout-inspired ice cream.
For Round Turn, inspiration came to Denton, a former bartender, from the gin gimlet, using fresh lime juice and zest mixed with the juniper berry flavor from the rum to create a sherbet.
For Denton and DeFranca, this is an opportunity to give back and honor a community that they say has given them so much since they opened.
“We have been so happy with the amount of love and support we have received from this community. Everyone really does care and look after each other, and it’s really unique,” DeFranca said. “It’s been wonderful to have this amount of support in a new business.”
The 10 flavors will be available starting Nov. 30 and will then be rotated in with other usual favorites, such as its Sweetcream vanilla and seasonal-favorite, pumpkin pie. The team hopes to continue to collaborate with other businesses moving forward to maintain a community-focused initiative within the company.
Contact Staff Writer Abigail Worthing at [email protected].


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