Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze & Observer 06-25-2020

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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THE VALLEY BREEZE | SUMMER 2020 9 9 9 Nothing stops Palagis from bringing the goods PAWTUCKET – Palagis ice cream mobile trucks have been ringing their bells along streets in local communities since 1896. Peter Palagi originally started selling ice cream from a freezer, which he eventually loaded onto a wagon pulled by a horse. That ice cream wagon made a daily route through the streets of Pawtucket. We caught up with current owner Alex Arteaga, a member of the Palagi family, who's owned the company since 1998, to get the lowdown on how the Palagis drivers deliver their cold treats. How is business these days? With captive audiences staying at home during the pandemic, Arteaga says the company's drivers are regular- ly selling out of their popular items, all adding up to a banner year for Palagis even despite the lack of business from youth athletic events or other large gatherings. Continued limiting of large events this summer is expected to help keep neighborhood business strong. Is there an overarching strate- gy for ice cream truck drivers? Certain times down certain streets? Certain parts of town they know will never be profit- able? There is no policy or best practices, as so much of good ice cream truck driving goes by feel and luck, says Arteaga. Particularly with regular Little Leagues and other sports not in ses- sion through spring and early summer, "there's no strategy" in the neighbor- hoods, he said. It's all about just going up and down streets in search of a friendly wave. What are some of the favorites? SpongeBob and Spider-Man popsicles are favorites among children, as are Two-Ball Screwballs and Snow Cones. For adults, the Big Dipper ice cream cone in mul- tiple flavors and Cookies 'n Cream Screamers are two that are particularly popular. Can anyone drive an ice cream truck? Palagis is looking for personnel to fill positions as a driver/salesperson to drive trucks and sell ice cream in a Rhode Island community. They must be honest, reliable and responsible, at least 21 years old, have a valid driver's license, a good driving record, a clean background check, have good communication skills, be able to work long days, and be a self-starter. All are welcome to apply at Palagis Ice Cream Co., 55 Bacon St., Pawtucket, RI.

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