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Richardson’s president Dave Daniels gets a kick out of the ice cream business.

Making ice cream isn’t just a job for Dave Daniels, it’s his life. The new president of Richardson’s Ice Cream in Middleton (and Reading at Jordon’s Furniture) recently sat down with us to talk about the family business, runaway cows, and frequent kicks to the chest.

What’s the hardest part about milking a cow? Once in a while, they kick. That hurts. If they really get you, it’ll leave a nice black-and-blue mark. People who milk them every day are used to it. They see it coming. They kick a lot.

The Richardson family has owned this farm since 1695. You grew up in the farmhouse and started working at Richardson’s as a child. What’s your earliest memory of this place? Chasing down the cows. They used to get loose all the time. We’d have to get some grain and shake it in a bucket so they’d follow us back to the barn. Sometimes, we’d get behind them and push them in one direction. But they’re fast when they want to be. If they’re scared they’ll run. They’re a lot faster than me-it’s not even close.

How do you come up with new flavors of ice cream? New flavors are like specials in a restaurant: you throw ingredients together based on whatever is in your head and it usually comes out pretty good. Flavor companies also come in with ideas and new extracts. We put them together with other ingredients and then we’ve got a new flavor. Every time we run a new batch, we always taste some to make sure the flavor is perfect. We’re working on a new flavor that has a whole bunch of candy in it. We might call it “Candy Shop.”

How do you stay fit eating all this ice cream every day? Just a spoonful at a time. This is a hands-on job but I try to focus on quality control, more or less putting out fires.

Any celebrities come here? We had the premier of China, Wen Jiabao, come four years ago. There were 125 police officers here for protection. We gave him a set of samples and he helped make the ice cream by pouring chocolate chips into the tubs. I also remember scooping as a child and Jim Rice came to the window. That was pretty cool.

What’s the best part of your job? When I hand children ice cream and see how happy they are, that’s what makes it so much fun. Everyone’s happy when they’re eating ice cream. -Jack Morris