Rhode Island’s Newest Ice Cream Trailer

The trailer that once held horses, now holds fourteen different flavors of ice cream.

Photo by Samantha Labrecque.

On the corner of Douglas Pike and Limerock Road, sits Smithfield’s newest ice cream *ahem* trailer. The trailer that once held horses, now holds fourteen different flavors of ice cream. Opened for two weeks and the first of its kind to this area, customers can expect a fresh, locally made sweet treat on these sweltering summer days. We sat down with the Blackbird Farm Ice Cream Trailer owner, Ann Marie Bouthillette and her daughter-in-law Sarah Bouthillette, to learn more.


Where did the idea of converting an old horse trailer to an ice cream trailer come from?

AB: Last year I had the idea of setting up a tent with an ice cream cart underneath it, but the health department wanted me to sell ice cream sandwiches rather than the traditional offerings. My husband Kevin, wanted to sell the real deal. We were trying to figure out how we could get an ice cream stand in the works and expedited for this year, and it was around the end of March when my daughter-in-law, Sarah, mentioned she had a few ideas for an ice cream trailer. Sarah sent Kevin and I pictures and we discussed the concept of turning a horse trailer into an ice cream trailer. We explored the idea a little bit more while I looked around for something that would work, but it seemed as though there was only food trucks for sale. We finally found a horse trailer in New Hampshire on Craigslist. So, we picked it up, brought it back here to Blackbird Farm around April and took about three to four weeks to completely put together. The trailer was pretty much completed in May –we just had to wait for the health department to give us the okay to sell ice cream.


Where can people find the ice cream trailer? Is it on-the-go or stationary?

AB: The trailer will be staying here at Blackbird Farm and it is open seven days a week from noon–9 p.m.

Photo by Samantha Labrecque.


How many flavors of ice cream can the truck hold at once and what can people expect to see on the menu?

SB: The trailer currently holds fourteen different flavors of ice cream. We will keep it stocked with the classic flavors including chocolate, vanilla and coffee, but we will also switch off on three or four other flavors depending on people are wanting. We also sell ice cream sundaes and

ice creams float which are made with yacht club soda.

AB: You can also enjoy your ice cream on the wagon pull in the field right across the way. Grandpa Ted takes care of Sugar and Maple here at the farm and during the wagon pull rides, he talks about our oxen, what they used to do back in the day, what their weight is and more. It is a fun activity for the whole family.


Where do you source your products?

AB: Well, I sat down with executive chef Jonathan Cambra from Roger Williams University. He was my biggest inspiration on where to go for our ice cream. He introduced us to Rhody Fresh, which is where we get the local milk for the ice cream from, as our cows are for beef. My biggest thing to focus on for this whole project is that the ice cream going in to the trailer has to support Rhody Fresh and that pretty much everything we use has to be local. This includes yacht club soda for the ice cream floats and even the syrups which are from Rhode Island Fruit and Syrup Company. The ice cream is made locally with that Rhody Fresh milk, and to us, supporting people that have everything to do with locality and just providing the highest quality products at this farm is the most important thing to us. Nothing else surpasses that.


Is there a favorite flavor that people have been gravitating towards on the menu?

SB: So far it seems that the number one seller is the coffee ice cream.


What is your favorite?

SB: I really like the blueberry cheesecake, which has surprisingly been another favorite of customers.


Any future plans for the ice cream trailer?

AB: We are going to have a sugar and maple sundae named after our two oxen mascots here at Blackbird Farm. Eventually the trailer will have the farms own bacon to work into the sundae, too. Plus, we might turn the trailer into an espresso, coffee and hot chocolate wagon once the weather gets colder around the time when we sell Christmas trees.

Photo by Samantha Labrecque.


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