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Family Owned Business Awards

The Frozen Farmer

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Founded: 2015

Generations: Two

Employees: 28

(L-R) Kevin and Katey Evans, Jo Ellen Algier and Terry Algier. | Photo by Luigi Ciuffetelli

Farmers Kevin and Katey Evans, along with their accountant and Katey’s mother Jo Ellen Algier, first started the Frozen Farmer out of a 600-square-foot, walk-up location that was an old storage closet in 2015.

Now, the family has watched the ice cream and sorbet brand grow through food trucks, various retailers and grocery stores in Maryland and Delaware, and new opportunities through ABC’s “Shark Tank.” The business is rooted in a third-generation family farm that now uses misshapen and bruised fruit in sweet, frozen treats.

Not only is the Frozen Farmer a family enterprise, it also builds off the Evans family legacy. Kevin Evans’ mother came from a prominent dairy farm in Kent County and his father was a second-generation produce farmer. His parents transitioned from selling fruits and vegetables to a primarily grain operation that produced corn, soybeans and wheat. When Kevin got involved, he returned it to selling vegetables and included a retail and packing facility. 

These days, the family makes it a point to source local milk to honor its dairy roots as the Frozen Farmer continues to grow.

While Kevin continues the farming legacy out in the fields and grows fruits and vegetables to be sold to grocery stores and used for Frozen Farmer ice cream, Katey handles sales and marketing for the farm and The Frozen Farmer. Jo Ellen walked away from a six-figure salary in the finance sector to help establish the brand.

Katey Evans said that at staff meetings with her family and fellow colleagues, they start by reminding each other that this is business, not personal.

“At the end of the day, you’re still family, and we all have the same goal: to create a legacy for the next generation and for the farm and Frozen Farmer to succeed,” she said.

In 2020, success for the Frozen Farmer will include seeing its ice cream hit every Giant Foods store in the nation. Growing success in the retail realm is another key focus point for the family, who hope to be stocked in more stores in 2021.

Frozen Farmer may have started out as the underdog as the newest creamery in Delaware, but for Katey, it’s also about a labor of love.

“Entrepreneurship means finding something you love so much you make a life at it … It means not minding a 19-hour work day because it means you just set a company record of sales and orders need to be fulfilled, and taking a certain level of pride in the fact that we’ve built this business that is a part of people’s lives in ways we might not even realize,” she said.

 

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