About The Ice Cream Depot
The Ice Cream Depot is a Master Distributor of Chapman's Ice Cream for Alberta, as well as Blue Bunny, Mike's Cups, Cool Way and more for all of Western Canada. We have a depot in Calgary and headquarters in Edmonton, with a robust 31,500 square foot warehouse allowing us to service Alberta, Yukon, and Northwest Territories with Chapman's ice cream, and the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia with many other brands.
How It All Began
It all began nearly 40 years ago when Mike was on a trip that had nothing to do with ice cream.
"Back in 1980, I was in Seattle, Washington on the pier," Mike recounts. "There were people at this ice cream shop lined up around the block waiting for a hand-made waffle cone. Intrigued, I waited in line and I got one. The warm cone, the ice cream slowly melting, the smell, the cherry on top – incredible! When I came back to Edmonton, I couldn’t get that cone out of my mind."
Eager to recreate the taste sensation and customer satisfaction he witnessed in Washington, Mike sourced two waffle irons and started selling cones at trade shows and fairs.
"Lineups were incredible!" he laughs. "I called it the Monster Cone. I started selling large volumes of Palm Dairies ice cream – so much that they asked me to distribute for them, too. After Palm Dairies got bought out, I was the first to distribute Häagen-Dazs in Western Canada. After they got bought out, I became part of the Ben and Jerry’s network when it came to Canada."
Then he met the Chapmans.
Mike smiles, "Twenty years ago, Dave and Penny Chapman asked me to be a master distributor for their brand. I was the first to bring Chapman’s from Ontario to Western Canada."
Chapman’s is family-friendly, carrying a wide range of options for adults (such as their creamy premium caramel praline in a tub) and children (wrapped cones in fun flavours and in sizes suitable for little hands). As the demand for ice cream continues to evolve, Mike sees that people want more natural products. He’s happy to note that Chapman’s has not changed their formula to meet this demand—they didn’t have to because they were already well ahead of the curve.
"Chapman’s has always been true to the form and always makes everything with 100 per cent natural cream, supporting the dairy farmers of Canada. Chapman’s hasn’t changed because they don’t need to."
While our flagship brand is Chapman’s, we carry 480 different types and sizes of ice cream, and represent 11 brands. Most recently we've been developing our own brand called Mike’s Ice Cream. It’s ice cream in kid’s-sized tubs, and it will come in delightful flavours, such as Mike’s Marvelous Malt, Cookies n’ Cream dream and Mike’s Bubble Gum Burst.
Worlds Largest Sundae
Take two 45-foot semi-trailers filled with 350-pound slabs of ice cream in 63 flavours. Add a five-tonne truck filled with 45-gallon drums of six mouth-watering sundae toppings-chocolate, fudge, pineapple, caramel, strawberry and butterscotch. Using two forklifts and four electric power jacks, toss the ice cream and topping into an empty swimming pool temporarily set up in the middle of the main floor of Edmonton City Centre Mall. Top it off with whipped cream, and sprinkle copious amounts of crushed peanuts and maraschino cherries. Serve Cold.
That’s exactly what Mike and about two dozen friends and relatives did Sunday, July 24, 1988, to set a Guiness world record for the largest ice cream sundae – ever.
The colossal cool treat enclosed by the planet’s biggest sneeze guard – officially weighed in at 24.91 tonnes (54,917 pounds).
"I always wanted to get my name in the book," said Mike, Alberta’s undisputed ice cream king. "It is my little claim to the fame. We’re all entitled to 15 minutes. This was mine."
Although it took months and months of work and planning, his group assembled the gigantic frozen dessert with about $7,000 worth of ingredients – in about four hours at the mall, said Mike. "It was a fine-tuned military operation. It took me a whole year of work to do it. It was brutal. I’d never do it again. It was crazy."
Nevertheless decades later, the record still stands.
Mike figures his name will remain in the record books forever. That’s because Guinness no longer accepts attempts on historic food records due to the massive amount of wastage potentially involved, he said.
Only about half of the record-setting sundae ended up going to waste from what Mike remembers. The other half was sold for charity to the thousands in attendance on that mostly cloudy July afternoon nearly two decades ago when the mercury hit 24C.
Mike and his volunteers dished out about 5,000 two-litre pails at $1 a pop, with proceeds earn marked for the children’s ward at Grey Nuns Hospital.
Cleanup afterwards took about eight hours, and that was with steam wands and a sewage suction truck.
"It was a mess"
2017 Leaders Award
In June 2017, Mike won a Leaders 2017 Award through Business in Edmonton. This award is given to owners, presidents, and CEOs of small and medium-sized businesses for their innovation, business success, industry involvement, commitment to community, and philanthropy.