Creamery Team Spotlight: Sue Gillen

Sue Gillen works alongside Debbie and Joanie making ice cream in small batches at the Creamery. Sue is one of Dan’s five siblings. She began working with her family at the Creamery in February 2016. With her upbeat attitude, Sue is quick to laugh and fun to work with. Soon we will celebrate Sue’s first year at the Creamery, and we are grateful to have her here.


What is your role at the Creamery?

I make ice cream mainly, but I also help bag fresh cheese curds and take inventory.


What have you learned during your first year?

The first thing I learned was how to make ice cream. After a little more time I picked up on how a family business functions, as well as how the family dairy farm works.


What do you do outside of the Creamery?

I have a couple in-home businesses: custom framing and winemaking. Making wine is a fun pastime. We have 125 bottles ready to be filled at home. The batch we have right now has been aging for one year. I like the wine we make, but I also love the Cedar Ridge wine we sell here at the creamery!


What do you love about your role at the Creamery?

Sampling! [Laughs] It is! When we’re making things I usually say “we’d better try that!” I am quality control for the cheese curds and the ice cream.


What do you think you bring to the ice cream team?

Debbie: Laughs!

Sue: I do like to laugh and to make others laugh. I pick on my sidekick Joanie… and spray her with the hose!


Do you have a favorite product made at the Creamery?

I would have to say my favorite product we make is the ice cream. Ice cream and cheese curds are pretty close, but the ice cream is just a notch above for being my favorite. My favorite ice cream flavor we’ve made so far is the Purple Cow Pie, which is a black raspberry pie flavor. I also love our Butter Pecan.


How have you seen the Creamery grow in the past year, and how do you think it will continue growing?

I think our business has doubled in the last year. The biggest challenge of making ice cream is keeping up with the demand. Going forward, I would love to see our products available across the state of Iowa! We’d have to hire more employees and delivery drivers but it would be awesome to see that.


What is it like working with your family?

Sue: People often ask me if it’s hard to work for family, and I say it’s absolutely not hard to work for this one! It’s great! Before I started working here I only got to see my brother Dan and his family on Christmas and maybe family reunions. They are so busy with their farm that we didn’t get to see them very much. But this situation is great.

Debbie: I’ve seen [Sue] more the last year you’ve been working here than in the previous 20 years.

  • Posted by Josie Rozum
  • On January 26, 2018
Tags: bio, employee, team