Ice cream maker intent on survival

By Rhonda Miller
PBN Staff Writer

Warwick Ice Cream owner Jerry Bucci Jr. is the third generation in a family business founded in 1930. He hopes one of his sons will one day run the company. More

To continue reading this article, please do one of the following.


Ice cream maker intent on survival

GONE COLD: Jerry Bucci Jr., owner of Warwick Ice Cream, has run the family business for 35 years. A recent decision by corporate giant Unilever has put the company on shaky ground.

By Rhonda Miller
PBN Staff Writer

Posted 2/11/13

Warwick Ice Cream owner Jerry Bucci Jr. is the third generation in a family business founded in 1930. He hopes one of his sons will one day run the company.

But that’s an idea that became a bit more distant recently due to what he describes as a sudden and unexpected cut-off of the supply of popular treats including Ben & Jerry’s, Good Humor ice-cream-on-a-stick and Choco Tacos from the global consumer-goods company Unilever.

Bucci says he’s had a working relationship with Unilever for 30 years, and Warwick Ice Cream has been the authorized distributor of Unilever ice cream products in Rhode Island.

“We built the reputation for Good Humor here in Rhode Island. We’ve had contracts with Unilever for freezers,” Bucci said last week. “About half my business is Unilever products.”

Unilever, however, in a Feb. 4 email to Providence Business News, says it has never had a formal agreement with Warwick Ice Cream.

“Warwick Ice Cream was not the sole distributor in Rhode Island,” company spokesman Jeffrey Graubard said. “Warwick Ice Cream has been a sub-distributor of another Unilever distributor in Southern New England for multiple years.” Graubard said Warwick Ice Cream was a sub-distributor for Dari Farms.

Bucci said he has been getting Ben & Jerry’s ice cream from Dari Farms, a Connecticut distributor.

“Warwick Ice Cream was notified in December and was given [more than] 30 days notice before any market changes took place,” Graubard said.

Bucci became president of the family ice cream business about 35 years ago, shortly after he finished college.

In those days, the company only sold its own brand of products. Bucci said he saw the need to expand and signed a contract with a company called Gold Bond Ice Cream for specialty products. In 1989, Gold Bond was acquired by Good Humor, which itself had been under the Unilever umbrella since the early 1960s, according to Unilever’s corporate website.

Next Page
PBN Hosted

Join PBN for the best networking event and party of the winter - January 15, 2015 - the Book of Lists Party at the Providence Public Library. Reserve your spot early!
  • Best Places to Work
    Enrollment is now open for the 7th annual Best Places to Work program. Winners w ...
  • Manufacturing Awards
    Applications are now being accepted for the 2nd Annual Manufacturing Awards. Dea ...
Purchase Data
Book of Lists
Book of Lists cover
PBN's annual Book of Lists has been an essential resource for the local business community for almost 30 years. The Book of Lists features a wealth of company rankings from a variety of fields and industries, including banking, health care, real estate, law, hospitality, education, not-for-profits, technology and many more.
Data icons
Data can be purchased as single lists, in either Excel or PDF format; the entire database of the published book, in Excel format; or a printed copy of the Book of Lists.
  • Purchase an e-File of a single list
  • Purchase an e-File of the entire Book of Lists database
  • Purchase a printed copy of the Book of Lists
    Latest News