Summertime at the Delaware beaches is wonderful. But getting stuck in summertime traffic? Not so much. How many of us have found ourselves trapped in bumper–to–bumper backups along coastal roadways?
If you’re frustrated sitting in traffic or just need a delicious treat to beat the summer heat, Fenwick Ice Company may be your antidote. Now open for its second season, the cool Sussex spot hopes to be a sweet detour, a place that melts away the tensions of the road like soft-serve ice cream on a hot afternoon.
Started in the early summer of 2020, Fenwick Ice Company began as the physical manifestation of the creative vision of owners Rob and Erin Bradley. From the vintage VW bus, custom designed by an artist in Chile, to the groovy, easygoing energy of its locale, Fenwick Ice Company has become a popular dessert destination for locals and
According to General Manager and Director of Operations Joe Del Puppo, the excitement about this endeavor all stems from sharing what Bradley has coined “the good vibe” with customers.
“Rob came up with the slogan, ‘Share the good vibe,’ and that’s what we’re trying to do. Share the good vibe,” Del Puppo says. “We want to share the good vibe, and we do everything we can to embody that.”
So far, they are succeeding. There is rarely a moment that staff are not serving a line of customers who stop in to soak up the scene, and they never seem to stop coming. You would think this might lead to some disgruntlement, especially if people have been waiting any length of time in the heat. But not at Fenwick Ice Company. Part of the good vibe is taking the time to just enjoy the moment.
“It seems like we got a line a mile long sometimes, and there’s never an upset customer,” Del Puppo says. It also helps that when it comes to product, Fenwick Ice Company delivers. With 45 flavors of shaved ice, including sugar-free options, what is made on the bus is not your grandfather’s snow cone.
“We actually take a big block of ice and we put it on this little press. It’s got a crank that holds it in place, and there’s a blade that comes up, and the ice spins around, and it shaves off little bits at a time,” Del Puppo says. What you get isn’t just tiny ice chunks but a smooth, textured ice that according to Del Puppo, “Melts in your mouth.”
As Fenwick Ice Company looks toward the future, they are considering adding another mobile bus for private catering, starting a breakfast truck and even mini golf.
Del Puppo’s past will certainly be helpful in crafting the future of Fenwick Ice Company. As a former chef in the Shenandoah Valley, he put his all into creating quality dishes customers would love. When he made the move to shaved ice, he brought that same mindset to the job.
“It’s about doing the best you can, putting out the best product you can,” Del Puppo says. “And while the product is important, satisfying the customer is always our goal.”