Tuesday 5 July 2022

Ice Cream, Ice Cream, we all scream for Ice Cream!

During the late 1970s, Lever and Kitchen built a new powder manufacturing plant at Minto. The company specialised in making dishwashing products, detergents, washing powders, and some personal care products. This was to ease the pressure on the Balmain plant. Built in what was then a rural setting, the plant was on the main road and railway route from Sydney to Melbourne.
The architect who designed the factory as also responsible for finishing the Sydney Opera House. Even the crane, used to erect the concrete Opera House sails was used to build the factory. Aiming to build an industrial park that was pleasing to the eye as well as agreeable to work in, some 3,200 indigenous plants trees were planted to create screening and an attractive appearance.
The area changed, with its housing estates and industrial developments, and the factory remained a local landmark. In 1987 a liquid detergent factory was opened adjacent to the powder plant. Ten years later, after the powder plant was demolished, Streets Ice Cream used the available site to build on of the most modern factories of its type in the world. In a Mayoral Minute from early 1996, Mayor Meg Oates “verbally advised council that she had received confirmation that Streets Ice Cream would be relocating to the Lever and Kitchen premises in Minto, and proceeding with a $70million development involving the creating of up to 300 jobs.”

A birds eye view of the Minto site c1998 (Streets brochure)

 Streets had been founded in the 1920s by Edwin (Ted) Street – Australia’s first ice cream hero. Ted began by hand churning frozen custards in his back shed in Corrimal, which he would sell to neighbours along with sweets, cakes and lemonade. As the popularity of his sweet treats grew, Ted started using a cart, then a one horse-power motorbike to transport and sell his delicious ice creams.
On vacant land next to the new Streets facility, Woodmasons Cold Storage was constructed. It was connected to the ice cream factory by an underground tunnel, which automatically conveyed ice cream by pallet to the cold storage facility for completion of freezing and distribution.
Today, Streets Ice Creams made at the factory in Minto are sold throughout Australia and New Zealand. On any given day, they make around 200,000 litres of ice cream which is equivalent to filling a couple of backyard pools! The street leading down to the factory is appropriately named Magnum Place. 

Streets Factory, Magnum Place, Minto,

Written by Claire Lynch
Streets Ice Cream brochure 1998

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