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Salvador's Ice Cream is in it's 70th years of operation.   
Here's a brief description of it's history: 

bulletFamily owned and operated since 1936.
bulletBuilding was originally located in New Bedford, MA across from Fort Rodman.
bulletSalvador's originally started with farming and milk in 1890.
bulletJoseph Salvador Sr. was the founder. In 1910, he retired and divided the farm and milk 
business between his two oldest sons: Joseph Salvador Jr., and Augustine ("Gus") Salvador.
bulletJoseph Jr. started his business on McCabe St. and called it "Ideal Dairy" (now known as State Fruit).
bulletGus continued on Tucker Road with Salvador's Dairy. In 1921, he moved to a building on Cove Rd., which is now known as the Plumbing Supply building.
bulletIn 1928, Gus married Lillian Brasells and bought farmland as well as a house and barn on Smith Neck Rd. They began building the Dairy, which took approximately 2 years.
bulletIn 1935, the giant "milk can" was moved from Fort Rodman in New Bedford to where it still stands today on Smith Neck Rd in Dartmouth.
bulletFrom 1935-1936 Lillian and her sister, Rose, were educated in making homemade ice cream at Amherst University.
bulletSalvador's opening season was in the spring of 1936. They served approximately 12-14 flavors, primarily those made with fresh fruit. Most popular flavors were: Vanilla, Butter Pecan, Frozen Pudding and California Fruit.The menu included Ice Cream, Sundaes, Banana Splits, Frappes, Hand-packed Quarts, Pints and Half-Pints.
bulletIn the mid 1960's, Gus became ill and was forced to retire. The giant milk can was rented out from 1967 until 1972. 1967 was also the year when Salvador's stopped the production of ice cream and milk on the premises.
bulletIn 1972, Lillian sold the business to her nephew, Ray Jr. and his wife, Doris. They were encouraged by Lillian to make the business succeed in order for it to stay within the family.
bulletIn 1983, Doris became the sole owner with the help of her three kids.
bulletIn 1999, Carol, Doris' daughter, took over the ice cream business. It was run with the help of her sister Sue and their friend Cathy De Balsi.
bulletIn 2005, ownership transferred to Len and Beth Gauvin. Len, Beth and their children, Ryan and Erica look forward to serving up scoops of ice cream in the summer of 2005. With the help of family and friends, renovations are underway to restore the 'CAN' to it's original colors. Check out our 'Renovation' page to view the efforts of the renovation.
bulletAugust 12, 2005. Doors reopened for business.
bulletMay 2006.  Len & Beth Gauvin receive accolades from the New Bedford Historical Society for their efforts in the restoration if this historical landmark.  [Click here to view the award]  
bulletMemorial Day 2006 - Open for the season.  This weekend, Len & Beth re-opened the door for business with 'Smith Neck Nellie' standing at attention on the top of the can.  A contest was held to name the cow.  As some might remember, a cow graced the top of the can when originally opened but came down in the hurricane of 1938.  

For information regarding the restoration, contact Len at: [email protected] .

We appreciate any information, pictures or stories related to the history of Salvador's Ice Cream. Please contact us at [email protected]


This page was last updated on 08/09/06.                                     Hit Counter