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FROM THE COW TO THE CONE
by Bob Carter Travelbits

Have you always dreamed of going to Willie Wonka's Chocolate Factory? Here's a factory tour that's even cooler! Did you ever want to feel surrounded by the sights and scents of ice cream? If so, plan a trip to tour Dreyer's Ice Cream factory and get a taste for how ice cream is made!

Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream offers public tours of its Union City, California, manufacturing facility, complete with ice cream taste tests. Tours are given to groups, individuals, and families of all ages and include the formal tour and a stop in the Double Scoop Depot for a video on the art of ice cream appreciation and a 2-flavor tasting.

The $12 million, 60,000 square foot ice cream plant is designed to enable viewing above the state-of-the-art equipment used in each phase of the manufacturing process. From stainless steel mixing tanks and 500 gallon flavor vats to ingredient feeders on the production line, each step of the manufacturing process is demonstrated while and expert tour guide describes the procedure.

The guided tour also includes a brisk walk through a 20 degree below zero freezer before moving on to the tasting room for a sampling of the day's wares.

A word of warning. Reservations are a must! Tours are available five days a week at 9:15 a.m., 11:15 a.m., and 2:00 p.m. and are scheduled by appointment only. Reservations must be made by calling 510-471-6622. Small groups and families are combined with others to form a larger group. There's a $2 per person charge, payable upon arrival.

Tours are accessible and parking is available. Recreational vehicle travelers should request parking details and availability when calling for tour reservations. The Dryer's Grand Ice Cream plant tours are located at 1250 Whipple Road, Union City, California, 94587. In states east of the Rocky Mountains, Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream is marketed as Edy's Grand Ice Cream.

For more information, check out their web site at http://www.dreyers.com.


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