Business has been bustling for Brookline Ice & Coal, which has been distributing more ice than in any heat wave, hurricane or power outage in memory, said Alice Signore, who is treasurer of Brookline Ice & Coal and the co-owner’s wife.
“You can gear up for [a heat wave] because it doesn’t suddenly happen,” Signore said. “This is a drop-dead water stoppage for everybody.”
Brookline Ice & Coal stores ice in Boston and receives shipments of ice from Rhode Island.
“We don’t even have a chance to count how many loads of trucks were brought in,” Signore said. The company ran out of ice for about 5 minutes yesterday.
“If a restaurant would normally need 15 bags, they’re taking 70 because they’re making up for more than their ice needs,” Signore said. “It’s unquantifiable.”
One such customer was Uno Chicago Grill in Kenmore Square, Signore said.
When the restaurant's general manager called Brookline Ice on Saturday evening to order 15 bags of ice, he could tell the company was deluged.
“I could imagine that their night was probably 15 times more hellish than ours was,” said Andrew Young, the general manager. “I talked to [the woman who answered the phone] and said, ‘I bet you’re having a heck of a night,’ and she started laughing.”
Young asked if she and her co-workers would like some pizzas. When he picked up the ice, he dropped the pizzas off free of charge, including a gluten-free pizza to suit the woman’s dietary restrictions.
At Brookline Ice, employees – and in at least one case, their families – who have been putting in extra time and customers have been “phenomenal,” Signore said.
“We have not had a single negative reaction,” she added.
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