Filed Under Businesses

Del's

Stop at the Sign of the Lemon

“Stop at the sign of the lemon!” declares the Del’s soft frozen lemonade slogan. The Del’s symbol, a frost-covered lemon, can be seen everywhere during summer in the Ocean State.

Made from crushed ice, lemons, and sugar, Del’s sells their signature product at their franchises, trucks, stands, and at the grocery store. The company dates its production back to 1840 in Naples, Italy, when its founder’s great grandfather made a mixture of sugar, lemon juice, and snow, which he sold at the local market. The founder’s grandfather, Franco DeLucia, brought the recipe to the United States at the turn of the century.

After developing a machine to produce the frozen lemonade, Angelo DeLucia created Del’s Frozen Lemonade in 1948. He first opened a small stand in Cranston and later began serving his product from mobile carts, or Del’s Trucks, which spread his business throughout the state. A sign of summer, Del’s carts begin cropping up across the state as the months get warmer.

An iconic Rhode Island beverage, Del’s unfortunately lost the competition to become the official state beverage to coffee milk, but their shared southern Italian origins and continued popularity signal an abiding influence of Italian foodways in Rhode Island.

Video

VIDEO: A Slice of Del's This short documentary on Del's Lemonade trucks features interviews with customers about the classic Rhode Island summer treat. Source: Standstill Pictures Creator: Tim Labonte Date: 2012

Images

Del's Frozen Lemonade Watercolor This painting depicts the original Del's stand in Cranston alongside the famous mobile version. Now, you can find Del's trucks across the country as the successful franchise business continues to grow. Source: About Us – Dels Frozen Lemonade. https://dels.com/about-us/. Accessed 2 Aug. 2018.
A Del's Mobile Truck In a typical summer, Del’s juices about 300,000 lemons, selling frozen lemonade to beach-goers across Rhode Island and the country. Source: “Del’s Lemonade | Up Close.” Julie Bidwell, New England Today, 15 May 2015, https://newengland.com/yankee-magazine/living/trivia/dels-lemonade-up-close/. Date: 2015

Location

1260 Oaklawn Avenue, Cranston, RI 02902

Metadata

Maggie Unverzagt Goddard, “Del's,” Rhode Tour, accessed December 2, 2022, https://rhodetour.org/items/show/66.