Ice Cream Vendor Working With Park Service

National Park Service rules stipulate that mobile vendors must move, but Mitch Peters and the NPS are working on a compromise.

Mitch Peters enjoys parking his truck in , selling ice cream to visitors and giving real, townie directions to tourists.

“I’ve been doing this truck for about 20 years now,” Peters said. “It’s not just an ice cream truck. It’s part of the community.”

When people ask him for local advice, he said he always sends them to local businesses.

But, as in earlier years, he faces a potential challenge this year form the National Park Service.

“In order for a commercial operation such as a stationary vendor to be permitted on National Park Service property in Monument Square, we would have to allow the general public to participate in an open bidding process for that business opportunity,” said Sean Hennessey, a spokesman for the National park Service, in an email.

“Mr. Peters would also need to obtain a Stationary Vending License from the City of Boston, which he does not have,” Hennessey added.

Peters could get around the issue by driving his truck to different locations, but he said that poses a challenge.

The truck dates back to 1984, Peters said, and it struggles with gas mileage. Driving it to different locations throughout the day could get prohibitively expensive, he said, and other locations just aren’t as lucrative as the monument.

Most of his business comes from kids on field trips, he said, and he estimates that only about half of those children make the trip from the monument to .

Hennessey said that The National Park Service would never "want to get rid of" Peters’ ice cream truck.

“We understand that he is beloved and respected and the service he provides to the community is highly valued in the neighborhood” Hennessey said. “That was made very clear to us at a public meeting hosted by the Charlestown Neighborhood Council on June 24, 2009 and has been reinforced to us by Mr. Peter's many friends and supporters.”

In the mean time, Peters said, he and the National Park Service are trying to work out an agreement.

mudder April 01, 2012 at 12:49 PM
Mitchell works the truck 90% of the time the only other time is his daughter an that's not Judy.
lee braun April 17, 2012 at 05:35 PM
So it seems that an agreement was not reached between Mitch and the Park Service. On Sunday, his daughter who was manning the truck was asked to leave or be arrested. I live on the Monument and it seems that the Park Service is trying to assert its ownership in some negative ways, such as making Mitch leave the location he has used for years. I am not pleased that one of our local vendors is having his livlihood challenged for some obtuse bureaucratic reason after 20 years. Mitch's ice cream truck is a summertime institution and one that enhances the quality of our neighborhood. My 6 and 8 year olds were so outraged they started a petition and have collected 200 signatures (so far) from residents and visitors from around the globe. More to come.
mudder April 18, 2012 at 12:52 PM
Typical bureaucratic crap. It's pretty funny how the Park service acts when there's leaves on the trees, I've gone by the Monument in winters past AND witnessed a couple of neighbors shoveling the sidewalk along the Monument. Is the Park service just a summer job? I think not, but they decide to flex their muscles when the temp gets above seventy..Very shameful of those frauds that run around like "Mister Ranger Sir".......here's another *piccanic basket Boo Boo... *ps I tried to sound like Yogi Bear...doah!!!..Howie Carr should expose these frauds....
John June 28, 2012 at 05:28 PM
Peter's ice cream, I am triplets ice cream from east Boston. I am trying to obtain the sitting permit too. If you can help please email me at giadig@gmail.com. Thank you.
Jennifer O'Brien Wellink October 02, 2012 at 06:53 AM
Let Mitch stay put! My family had the pleasure of meeting him back in May 2012. What a sweet and sincere guy. Enjoyed his interesting stories and facts about Charlestown as well as his ice cream. He is a real gem in the neighborhood and we hope to find him the next time we visit Boston.


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