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Few things symbolize summer more than a fresh cup or cone of homemade ice cream. For the legendary Wakefield/Narragansett’s Brickley’s Ice Cream and North Kingstown’s The Inside Scoop, these businesses have made the summertime symbol their livelihood.

Both ice cream shops are officially open for the 2022 season, ready to continue using new techniques they created during the COVID-19 pandemic to keep bringing the smoothest and safest service to their patrons.

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Bill “Timeless” Hanney, as he calls himself, sat in a rehearsal studio on Woodruff Avenue in Wakefield on a recent afternoon. It is close to a theater he owns in Matunuck.

Hanney listened to his hired performers belt out some songs for Theatre By the Sea’s summer season’s opening production of “Million Dollar Quartet.”

It’s about an extraordinary get together of  Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Elvis Presley at Sun Records in where they jammed together in one of the most well-known sessions ever.

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It is a busy spring season for construction, whether major renovations or even just some small projects like Matt Cavaco is doing at his house on the corner of Woodruff Avenue and Robinson Street in South Kingstown.

“I want to get this project done during April so that I have time for myself during the summer and it’s important that it gets done now with my son liking to run around,” said Cavaco recently as he and some friends nailed boards into posts to create a fence for his two-year-old son, Callan, and the family puppy, Lennox, a Golden Doodle.

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In a time where the outside world seems bleak, a stunning plant can brighten one’s entire day. Although there were no shortage of challenges throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Rich Clark, owner of Matunuck’s gardening center Clark Farms, said a silver lining was the emergence of new gardeners.

When people were spending an increased amount of time at home, Clark noticed people were turning to all kinds of home improvement, including sprucing up their gardens.

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There is a flat-screen in the break room showing a live feed which tracks the number of starving children reached by Edesia’s life saving peanut butter. On any given day an employee may be enjoying a yogurt from the dedicated fridge of chobani and watch as the number of children’s lives changed by the company they work for ticks up one by one.

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For homeowners, pest problems can range from something as simple as ants helping themselves to leftovers to the more devastating issue of termites gorging themselves on the home’s substructure. And with all the joys of spring, there also comes nuisances in the form of insects and vermin. Victims of these unwelcomed houseguests can rejoice, however, as one local exterminator is ready to help them get rid of and prevent pests.

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Soon after getting married, Julie and Dean Couchey left their home in Colorado and traveled for eight months, visiting 44 countries along the way. Their trip started in South America and wound across the Pacific to South East Asia, where some stops included Thailand, Japan, South Korea and Vietnam. Eventually, Julie and Dean landed in Europe, where they celebrated their anniversary in Paris. In each new place, the couple sampled foods and flavors, savoring dishes native to regional cultures.

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Around six years ago, Suzanne Mancini started The Sew-Op with a goal: Not just to teach people to sew, but to create a community space.

Mancini, a career sewist who worked as a designer in New York City and taught pattern-making at her alma mater, Rhode Island School of Design, envisioned the shop as a place where people of all ages could learn to sew and work on projects.

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For Erika Castaneda, a local pre-school teacher, life hasn’t been easy over the years, especially when providing gifts for her only child at Christmas.

Finances have been tight, something a single-mother like her gets familiar with. Yet, there’s still the tug to want to provide her son with the same kind of joy from getting presents that other kids – those from more well-off families – feel.

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Jennifer Dowell has been at the Wakefield Mall — a classic throwback to the 1970s-style indoor shopping centers — for over 25 years. She makes and bakes and sells chocolates of all kinds.

 Her business, “Jennifer’s Chocolates,” is right inside the main tall glass doors greeting anyone coming from a large nearby parking lot. This small mall, a large retail fixture in South Kingstown, is near the crest of Old Tower Hill Road, just before the Route 1 overpass.

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Scott Palumbo established Snowflake Farms in Richmond this year on 6.5 acres off South County Trail, and he decided that one of his first crops would be saffron, the world’s most expensive spice. The former director of grocery delivery for Amazon Whole Foods, he analyzed where most of Rhode Island’s produce comes from and targeted several products that come from especially far away to see if they can be produced locally. His aim is to reduce the carbon emissions of the supply chain.

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Down a picturesque lane in North Kingstown lies a haven for fall fun. Narrow Lane Orchard boasts 14 acres of apple trees, peach trees, nectarine trees, kiwi berries, blackberries and blueberries — all pick-your-own.

Owners Sharon and Steven Grenier purchased the property, which was already an orchard, in 2004 without intending to maintain the fruit business. However, after a couple of years and corporate burnout, Sharon decided that she needed some fresh air.

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The end of summer in South County does not mean the end of delicious food and specialty treats. In fact, it’s quite the opposite: across the county, restaurants, cafes, and farm stands alike are offering seasonal fall fare to set the mood for the chillier season. From donuts to lattes to soup, these culinary favorites pair well with a wooly sweater and a good book.

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Rhode Islanders are well accustomed to pizza, from New York and Chicago-style to wood fired and coal fired, thin crust to thick crust and of course, the Ocean State’s signature pizza strips.

However, one style locals may be less familiar with is Detroit-style pizza, which is a rectangular shaped thick crust pie baked in well-seasoned rectangular steel pans, making for a crust that is chewy on the inside and crispy and caramelized on the outside. The increasingly popular style has been absent from the local market until earlier this year, when Pizza Envy, the brainchild of Chef Ryan Miller and Tilly’s Cheesesteaks owner Jonathan Beres, opened its doors for takeout and delivery orders.

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In “Consider the Lobster,” author David Foster Wallace said, “Lobster is posh, a delicacy, only a step or two down from caviar.”

He offered that well-known sentiment in the August 2004 edition of Gourmet magazine.

It wasn’t always that way for these unsightly “cockroaches of the sea” that today have the revered reputation of being food of the well-off and bringing a chic sense of living when ordering it.

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