The Highly Caffeinated Genealogist Presents:
A Story of Home that Lives On...
|Photo by Midge Frazel, 2014|
The Family Business
Franco DeLucia's story of making the Italian ice treat with his own twist of lemon recipe is well known in Rhode Island. Franco made this lemonade in 1840s Naples, Italy and brought it to America at the turn of the century. (Source: Del's Web site: About Us)
His son Angelo (who I knew), brought it to Cranston, Rhode Island and invented the slush machine to keep Del's a consistent cold lemonade product. That was 1948, the year after I was born.
The first location was a small stand at the bottom of my neighborhood facing Oaklawn Ave. on Rt. 5 The building you see behind the Del's sign used to be a bowling alley and until I read Mr. DeLucia's obituary in The Boston Globe, I did not know he owned that too. Today, Del's Lemonade is a multi-million dollar company. Not bad for a wounded World War II Veteran, right?
Angelo worked hard for the money, building this business. But to us kids in the neighborhood, he was just the Dad who gave us the first Del's of the season. When summer was over, a sign went up on the building that read, "Had to close before we froze, see you in the spring when the crocus grows".
To me, Del's IS summer. His son and granddaughter keep the business going today. I am grateful.