Woodside doing drive-thru service for season opener

Staff Writer
The Community News
The Community News

One of Hockessin’s popular area businesses is keeping their annual “opening day” event on the calendar – albeit with a necessary twist.

On a typical year, the owners of Woodside Farm Creamery, Jim and Janet Mitchell, would pick a weekend in mid-to-late March for their big opening day, heralding in the spring/summer season for the many residents who form long lines for that first taste of ice cream of the year.

This year, faced with government-mandated restrictions on business in response to the COVID-19 crisis, Janet Mitchell said that they were faced with making a tough decision.

“We wanted to do what’s best for our staff, as well as our customers and the community,” she said. “We realized our traditional setup was not going to work, it was too risky putting people packed in a small place. So we thought; can we do something outside? We’ve got these trailers and a van, we could set up in the parking lot. So that’s what we’re doing.”

Visitors will be able to drive up to place their orders (cash only, remember), and will then be directed to a trailer to have their orders fulfilled. Woodside will continue to be drive-thru only until further notice.

Both cones and a limited number of quarts will be available, Mitchell said, with the number of flavors set at 14 due to space limitations.

“We understand some people may be disappointed if we don’t have their flavor on Saturday, but all the flavors will return when we get back to normal business this summer – hopefully, this summer,” she said.

Mitchell noted that for the time being, Woodside will remain “drive-thru only,” with guests not permitted to eat their ice cream on site.

She added that while the logistics may be challenging for her staff and the guests, she felt it was important to find some solution to the restrictions.

“I feel like people need something to look forward to, especially at so difficult a time,” she said. “And people are always anxious for us to open, so we felt like people needed something, and this is something where you can throw the family in the car, drive up, drive out, and enjoy your ice cream at home.”

Charlotte Howell, of Pike Creek, said that she and her family have not missed an opening day at Woodside since moving to Delaware in 2011.

“We’ve stood in the snow, in the rain – it wouldn’t feel like spring without them,” she said. “I need my Cappuccino Crunch. And if they’re out of that, then I need my Chocolate Thunder.”

Woodside’s opening day is Saturday, March 21, 12 to 6 p.m.

Cones, pints and quarts of ice cream, and eggs will be available for purchase.

Sundaes will not be available, and they will be suspending the usual banana split half-off deal until the official summer opening.

Toppings will be available, except for hot fudge.

Note that there is no parking and no exiting your vehicle. Ice cream is not to be eaten on the premises.

Staff will be taking precautions to limit contact, including wearing gloves.

Woodside will operate on limited hours for the spring season, Thursdays through Sundays 12 to 6 p.m., and will remain a drive-thru operation during that time.

Woodside is located at 1310 Little Baltimore Road, Hockessin.