WESTBOROUGH, Mass. ‒ Spring must be just around the corner. Uhlman's, the popular Westborough ice cream destination, opens for the season Friday, March 1, at 11 a.m.
Owner Richard Smith says he has opened on the first weekend of March for years and adds that his staff is ready for the crowds.
"Last year we had a great turnout because of the weather," he said. "It was warm and people were thinking spring."
Smith says he has run the East Main Street stand for about 25 years.
But he has known ice cream since he was a child. He says his father, George, opened Smithfield Ice Cream in 1940 as a sit-down ice cream parlor and it grew to 12 shops throughout Worcester County.
His father was a friend of Howard Uhlman who opened the current stand in 1967. By 1987, Smith says, he had taken over the operation full-time.
"It was much easier then," Smith says. You didn't have all the many flavors you have today."
Uhlman's was also a campaign stop. In July 2012, U.S. Sen. Scott Brown visited while campaigning for re-election. When asked if he expects a candidate or two to arrive during this special election, Smith says, "I don't. I'm an independent."
On Friday, when the roadside stand opens, Smith says he expects vanilla to be the biggest seller because it goes well with different toppings and sundaes. "Chocolate is a distant number two," he said.
Rounding out the top flavors, he said, are the "fancy" ones: Oreo cookie, chocolate peanut butter, chocolate chip and cookie dough.