People and Places with Pierce: Main Street’s Ice Cream Café

VANCEBORO, N.C. (WNCT) – When you lose a piece of history, more often than not, it’s nearly impossible to get it back. But a small ice cream shop in Vanceboro has managed to recreate some magic.

“Main Street’s Ice Cream Café started actually in 2009,” said Donna Wright, owner of Main Street’s Ice Cream Café.

But it’s another shop that people remember fondly.

“Back in the ‘50s and ‘60s it started out, Pat’s Soda Shop,” said Wright.

“Pat’s Soda Shop was pretty much known from Maine to Spain over the years,” said Chad Braxton, the mayor of Vanceboro.

“This is a landmark,” added Brenda Wilson, who owns a business next door. “You tell people where the soda shop is. Oh I know where it’s at and they come right on to it.”

“We purchased this real estate, this building, and actually my son, Anthony Wright, he purchased it just for resale, and we said, you know, since it originated as Pat’s Soda Shop, let us continue to do so as an ice cream shop,” said Wright.

And the rest you could say is history.

“As a kid growing up, I always remember coming down after school,” said Braxton.

“We have a lot of customers that come and say when I was a little girl or a little boy, we used to come and get orangeades or ice cream,” said Wright. “We are most known for the orangeades.”

“If you want the best orangeade, come to Vanceboro,” added Wilson. “They’re mainly known since Pat has been gone that they’ve kept up the tradition.”

“The orangeades are delicious,” exclaimed Braxton. “Can’t be beat anywhere! I’ll go on record as saying they’ve got the best orangeades in North Carolina.”

As a throwback to the days when Main Street’s was once known as Pat’s Soda Shop, you can still find the original orangeades sign right outside the front door. But many who stop in would agree, it’s the atmosphere inside that keeps bringing them back.

“Ms. Donna and Mr. Robert are so welcoming to folks,” said Braxton. “They greet them when they come in and thank them when they leave.”

“Ms. Donna treated me like a princess,” said Susan Lackey who stopped in from Dover. “She brought my food and laid it right here in front of me, always with a smile.”

“I enjoy it,” said Wright. “I enjoy people. I enjoy working with people and hearing their stories. We are here to serve.”

It’s a small ice cream shop that’s sharing the love all while carrying on a huge legacy in a tight knit town.


Pierce is always looking for interesting and unique people and places to visit. If you have an idea, send him an email or a message on Facebook or Twitter.


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