Casper's ice cream opens in Providence
By Dave Mehr
October 11, 2006 | PROVIDENCE -- With a classy atmosphere
straight from the Jazz Age, the old blends with the
new at Casper's Malt Shoppe. Customers are welcomed
every day but Sunday to the store, located near Stadium
8 Theaters at 585 W. 100 North in Providence.
When Casper Merrill first opened his ice cream factory
in 1925, they were producing 360 to 540 ice cream bars
a day. Now, about 363,000 bars are made each day at
the factory in Richmond.
"The manufacturing facility is still owned by the
Merrill family, and the original recipe has changed
very little," said Tiffany Vega, owner of the Providence
The Malt Shoppe has been open now for about a month
and a half, and continues to attract new converts to
the famous ice cream. "They kind of wanted to get the
nostalgic feel of 1925," said Vega. Vega, who graduated
from Utah State University with a degree in marketing,
explained that the original store was located on Main
There are about 15 to 20 employees working at the
new store in Providence. Thomas Jarvis has been working
at Casper's since it opened a month and a half ago.
"People have been learning about it pretty quick,"
said Jarvis, "I love the atmosphere and the artwork
The colorful artwork, sleek tiles and ceiling, and
high booths are very impressive, and take you back to
the "roaring Twenties." There is also a large, flat-screen
television in one area, ready to entertain couples and
families with an episode of "I Love Lucy" or any other
Casper's is constantly bringing in new flavors of
ice cream. "We have pretty good cookie dough. It's got
fudge swirls in it," said employee Jessica Roberts.
"We have the best ice cream," said Jennifer Leishman,
who transferred from the factory to work at the new
There are plenty of desserts to choose from on the
menu. There's the famous ice cream, which you can get
in specially-made waffle cones dipped in a variety of
things, including Pop-rocks. There are tasty-looking
sundaes, called "Everydaes" at Casper's; banana splits,
shakes called "Liquid Bricks," ice cream floats, hot
chocolate floats, cookies, brownies, frappes, pies,
sodas and other treats to enjoy.
Vega hopes that Casper's Malt Shoppe will someday
become a chain. "There have been a couple people interested
in a franchise," she said. "We ship novelty bars from
Hawaii to Florida." She suspects that citizens may hear
of more locations in three to five years, and hopefully
the company will begin to sell their ice cream overseas.
"Maybe once the national market has been saturated enough,"
Casper's also caters for large group events such as
family reunions or office parties.