Original article published August 17, 2023


Reprinted with permission of the Chronicle written by Christina Styan


Salvadorís re-opening is a very Welcome treat


With a new foundation, wiring, scraping, painting South Dartmouth landmark Salvadorís affectionally referred to as The Can re-opened last Friday evening with 16 flavors of ice cream and the usual selection of sundaes, frappes, and other cool treats.


The new owners Len and his wife Beth Howland Gauvin along with their friends and relatives recently finished renovating the dilapidated replica of a milk can in an amazingly short period of time.


The effort paid off handsomely Friday night with business booming after word spread that The Can was open.Within four hours we served 200 people, cone after cone, and frappe after frappe and sundae after sundae, said Ms. Gauvin.


Against the backdrop of the Brownell sheep farm and new picnic tables locals, summer visitors and tourists may once again biking, walking or driving to this popular destination on Smith Neck Road.


On Friday the Gauvinís planned to open at 5:00 PM but local ice cream lovers had other plans.†† The first customers were a couple from the beach and two nine year old boys on bikes who arrived at The Can at 3:45 PM.Ms. Gauvin couldnít turn them away.


This has been like a blur.This couple came from the beach and five minutes later two local kids came and the green shirts were still in the dryer, said Mrs. Gauvin.Before long there were so many cars in the parking lot they were forced to open earlier than planned.


The employees will all be wearing green shirts a nod to history.Green is apparently the original color because we found some green paint chips on the building," explained Mr. Gauvin.


The opening day was not without some glitches.While scurrying to help a long line of customers Mr. Gauvinís Uncle David Hartigan noted they had an early morning problem with the compressor on one of the freezers and he quickly switched the ice cream to another freezer.While he couldnít help the entire weekend he was very excited with the initial response.


Customers stopping at Salvadorís will enjoy Giffordís ice cream from a family owned business in Maine.They pride themselves in being a premium ice cream with a high butter fat content, explained Ms. Gauvin.The only ice cream not made by Giffords is the original Frozen Pudding continued to be made by Hood.Giffordís and other places have tried to make frozen pudding and cannot duplicate the taste, explained Ms. Gauvin.In addition to the regular flavors the menu includes maple walnut, butter crunch, black raspberry and moose tracks.


The Gauvins consider an ice cream called yellow cake dough which contains chocolate swirls to be an extra tasty treat.A sample did indeed contain bits of yellow cake and chocolate pieces and tasted very sweet.The kids like that, said Ms. Gauvin.


Due to the large response on Friday night the Gauvinís had to restock their supplies to last through the weekend. They also serve linquica and hot dogs, tuna rolls, and stuffed quahogs.


The Gauvinís plan to hire family members and local youngsters to work in the business.We want to support local kids and to support the community, said Mr. Gauvin.The Can will be open seven days a week from 11:30 a.m. to 9:00 P.M.


In 1935 the giant milk can was moved from Fort Rodman to its current location and opened in 1936 serving 12 to 14 flavors.The Gauvinís painted the renovated structure a color similar to the original sliver and the trim matches the original green color.We plan to remake the handles, put back some of the original windows, the old fashioned gooseneck lights and replace the cow on the top, noted Mr. Gauvin.


The couple is looking for pictures or details to assist in the continued restoration of The Can.††† We would especially like pictures of the building when it was located at Fort Rodman said Mr. Gauvin.Anyone interested in contacting them can stop at Salvadorís or visit their website at www.salvadorsicecream.com.†††††††


On Sunday Nonquitt summer resident Maura Perkins rode her bicycle past the can.Every year we come and I constantly have been checking to see if it was open, she said.From Newburyport she has visited Salvadorís for many years and was very happy to have The Can reopened as a familiar landmark.


She is not alone as more than one car has gone by with kids screaming and waving out an open window Thereíre open.