In a surprise announcement on their Facebook page Monday, Gifford's Ice Cream announced that their ice cream stand on Minot Avenue in Auburn is now closed for the season.

The first Gifford's Ice Cream stand in Maine opened in 1980 in Skowhegan and was followed by a stand in Farmington in 1982, Bangor in 1987, Waterville in 1991 and the Auburn ice cream stand in 2006. They've all been a huge success, so it's especially surprising that the Auburn stand is closing early for the season.

The reason for the closure is a problem that many Maine businesses are struggling with. They're having staff issues, finding it difficult to find and keep people working at the stand.

In the Facebook post, Gifford's apologizes and explains the situation, saying, "Like many businesses around the country and here in Maine, we have been working through significant staffing difficulties this summer, and our Auburn stand has proven to be the most challenging. At Gifford’s, we care greatly about the customer experience we provide at our family-owned stands, and right now, without adequate staffing, that experience doesn’t meet our standards in Auburn. This has led us to make this difficult decision to close early."

This is sad news of course, because what's summer in Maine without a visit to a Gifford's ice cream stand?

The good news is that Gifford's sells their famous ice cream at Hannaford Supermarkets and I have been buying it on a regular basis this summer. My favorite is peanut butter pie and I might have a slight addiction to it.

Jeff Parsons - Townsquare Media
Jeff Parsons - Townsquare Media

The Auburn Gifford's ice cream stand plans to open again next season, but in the meantime, if you need your fix, check out all these other flavors that are available in stores.

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