June 8 was recognized as National Chocolate Ice Cream Day, and in keeping with the observation the U.S. Small Business Administration highlighted local small business Warwick Ice Cream.
Founded in 1930 by Charlie Bucci, Warwick Ice Cream has been family-owned and operated for 88 years, consistently focusing on locally sourced ingredients and quality product.
Warwick Ice Cream has a long relationship with the U.S. Small Business Administration, including the use of SBA loan programs for both growth and disaster recovery, participation in technical assistance through programs such as the Emerging Leaders initiative, as well as being named the 2010 Jeffrey Butland Family-Owned Small Business of the Year.
Today, the fourth generation of the Bucci family is leading the way. Thomas Bucci Jr. a recent graduate of the SBA's Emerging Leaders program, is dedicated to ensuring that Warwick Ice Cream continues to grow but not at the expense of quality, "We source each individual ingredient; our cream comes from local farms here in New England so the dairy for what we are producing next week is still on the farm right now," said Thomas Bucci Jr. "That process is so close to our facility that it really is from cow to cone," he added.
The Bucci's understand that small business cannot necessarily compete with big business prices and have adjusted accordingly, "People think ice cream is ice cream but there are so many different qualities of it," said Bucci. "Our family's philosophy is to make the best ice cream, using fresh local ingredients and charge what we have to charge. Bigger companies make their ice cream on a price point where you can get a product for $1.99 but you look at the ingredients statement and you can't even pronounce the words that are in it," he affirmed.