Framingham Online News

Sealtest Factory Selling Off Equipment

Filed under: Business by News Staff at 1:03 am on August 3, 2011

FRAMINGHAM, MA - Most people who have lived in Framingham for more than 30 or 40 years refer to the ice cream production facility on Old Connecticut Path, (across from the top of Speen Street), simply as "Sealtest" -- even though it hasn't produced Sealtest ice-cream for many years.

In-fact, no ice-cream at all has been made at the Framingham plant since April 31, 2011. That's when Unilever, the multi-national consumer product manufacturing conglomerate which owns the Sealtest, Breyer's and Good Humor ice-cream brands finally shut down the factory.

It wasn't a sudden closing, for a couple years Unilever had been warning the last 200 or so employees they would be shifting production to other facilities where utilities, taxes and wages would cost the company less.

After hearing the final days for the plant were numbered, in March (2011), Michael Montville who grew up in Bellingham, (and now lives in Danielson CT), made a special trip to Framingham.

Mike's dad and his uncle both worked at Sealtest for more than 30 years.  Mike had also worked at Sealtest for several summers during the 1990's.

Mike, who now works for EMC and is also an aspiring amateur photographer, decided to setup his camera and try to capture the perfect shot of the glowing red neon Sealtest sign at night. He hoped to capture the essence of the place -- he was shooting the photo as a gift, a keepsake for his dad.

Sealtest Ice Cream Factory, Framingham, MA - photo Copyright ©2011 Michael Montville, all rights reserved.

Sealtest Ice Cream Factory, Framingham, MA - photo Copyright ©2011 Michael Montville

When Mike recently asked his Dad who is now retired if there was anything he missed about Sealtest he said, "The people I worked with.  The people are what made that place."

To purchase a hi-resolution print or digital copy of the above photo, contact Michael Montville at (860) 230-6628, or by email to: montvm1@gmail.com

To view more of Michael's photography, browse his flickr account.

Some of Michael's photographic works can be purchased in the Art Gallery Hallway of the Silver Circle Art Studio, Putnam, CT, (now through October 2011).

Many hoped another manufacturer would pick up the property and begin making ice-cream again -- or that Unilever would reopen and rehire some of the laid off workers.  But it appears now that won't happen -- not now, and most likely, not ever.

Last Friday, EquipNet Inc., a surplus asset management company based in Canton, MA announced it has partnered with Unilever to sell off the entire contents of the factory including all of the equipment used for ice cream manufacturing and packaging.

In all, there's enough equipment to run a factory capable of producing up to one million gallons of ice cream a day.

There probably isn't a local buyer for "the works" -- but manufacturers, packaging operations and other businesses may be interested in some of the items up for sale.

There are all types of processing and packaging equipment, freezers, tanks, pumps, valves, palletizing and packaging lines, water purification systems, as well as warehouse, utility, and office equipment which could be used in a number of other industries.

EquipNet has one item listed for sale as "an antique" --  it's the neon Sealtest sign.

For more information or to obtain a list of items for sale, contact EquipNet, Inc., 50 Hudson Road, Canton, MA 02021, phone (781) 821- 3482, or email: sales@equipnet.com , or visit their website at www.EquipNet.com

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  1. The 4 summers that i worked there, i met a lot of very nice people. My Dad is right, the people made this place. The people that worked in this plant, cared about the ice cream, cared about the product, but most of all, they cared about each other. Many people worked there for decades, and they made many friendships, those friendships will continue to be strong, even with the plant closing.

    Goodbye Sealtest, it will be sad to see that sign go. It would be really cool if an ex-employee could somehow buy it. It would be even cooler if EquipNet and Unilever sold it and then donated the proceeds to a local charity in Framingham. To me, that would be the best thing that these two companies could do, and it would probably help repair relationships between Unilever, and its ex-employee’s of Sealtest.

    Comment by Michael Montville — August 3, 2011 @ 8:27 am

  2. Kraft should have never closed the sealtest or Breyers plants….they were the biggest dairy and ice cream sellers in the Northeast United States…there was sealtest everything….whipped cream,cottage cheese,sour cream,fruit drinks,milk, and of course,Ice cream…what i call a full service dairy carrying just about every type of dairy and ice cream item…why would you just close all of the plants and sell away the sealtest and breyers labels…is beyond me… but that is corporate america at its worst….not to mention all of the folks who lost their jobs thanks to Kraft Foods

    Comment by Robert — May 15, 2012 @ 9:51 pm

  3. I was brought up with Sealtest. Sorry to see it go.

    Comment by George Bess — February 2, 2013 @ 10:14 pm

  4. miss sealtest ice cream found a small lighted sign and have it to remember the good times

    Comment by Larry Lutze — March 10, 2013 @ 2:36 pm

  5. In my early teens, my mom and dad owned a grocery store in Tampa, FL and we sold Sealtest products exclusively. I remember the butter pecan flavor and to this day it is the best.

    Comment by Edward Lazo — March 28, 2013 @ 8:15 pm

  6. Sealtest had a dairy operation and ice cream counter at a plant on West Virginia Highway 2 north of Wheeling and just south of what was then the smaller community of Warwood, West Virginia. For many years, after WWII those trucks bearing the Sealtest logo could be seen delivering milk and dairy products to retail groceries along the Ohio River. It was one of the sights that my little brother and I saw as we drove north on the highway towards our grandmother’s home.
    The plant and building have been empty for many years–like other business in the Mid Ohio Valley, time has not been kind to the place that once made steel and so many other things.

    Comment by mikal — April 27, 2013 @ 7:26 pm

  7. My dad worked for Sealtest back when they did close or turn into Bryers.
    I always enjoyed visiting the plant. All the workers knew me as well as I knew them. My dad’s name was Clarence J. Freidhoff, at the Washington. D. C. plant.

    Comment by Frank — May 5, 2014 @ 6:25 pm

  8. My farther worked for Sealtest Ice Cream in New Haven,Ct he worked in the plant for more than 20 years,and then went to truck sales.I remember always having Ice Cream in our freezer.Then during the 1970’s They decided to move to Framington Ma and he had to make a decision,his decision was to leave the company.I’m glad although,I loved the Ice Cream my life would have been so different,I met my wife and had my kids,I married my child sweet heart and my life would have been different.I always loved Sealtest but my family is much more important.
    Sealtest was on Bristol St in New Haven,Ct,before they moved to Ma.

    Comment by Mark A Dobuzinsky — May 20, 2014 @ 11:30 pm

  9. I worked for Sealtest in Westlake, Ohio in 1969-1971 and yes the people were wonderful to work for. It was like a family. When they moved to Chicago I stayed in Ohio.

    Comment by Jean Smeal — November 7, 2014 @ 7:16 pm

  10. My dad worked at Sealtest for 40 years started in DC and ended up in Miami. We always had freezer full all kinds. I remember calling him at work and asking for some ice cream sandwiches he would bring home 2 dozen. He was to go to guy for ice cream at church barbque’s. The kid next door became cop I use to catch stealing ice cream bars from time to time. They had some great barbque’s. Shorty was the guy who could cook up the best chicken and ribs. It was family affair.Those were the days.

    Comment by Ray Gormley — January 31, 2015 @ 1:58 pm

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