Courtesy of Vermont Gelato Company
Flavors of Vermont Gelato Co.
Last Friday, Peter Solley, owner of the Vermont Gelato Company
in Brattleboro, was driving north on Interstate 89 in a van filled with his product when the check-engine light came on and the temperature gauge dropped to zero. Solley pulled over and popped the hood to find black smoke coming from the car. Next thing he knew, the engine was in flames, Solley told Seven Days
He was just north of Montpelier on a delivery run to Burlington when the mechanical failure occurred in his 2005 Toyota Sienna. Solley was able to pull just one of the five freezers of gelato from the back of the van, he said.
Though he was uninjured in the breakdown, Solley estimates the engine fire cost him $30,000 in equipment, gelato, the van, cash, checks and miscellaneous items. "It was a disaster," he said. "It's going to hit us hard."
Solley said the company will regroup and continue production, including making the organic gelato that it recently launched. On Monday, Vermont Gelato's Facebook page
said deliveries will resume on Wednesday.
"We're fully immersed in the gelato thing," said Solley, 68.
Making gelato is his second career — Solley was a rock-and-roll keyboard player and producer. His musical work included performing and recording with Eric Clapton (Money and Cigarettes
) and producing Peter Frampton.