Picture this: You step through the frosted glass doors and take in the scene around you as pharmacists cheerfully fill prescriptions, greeting each customer by name. You approach the gleaming wooden soda fountain and settle into an evergreen velvet stool, peering at the menu, filled with seemingly endless choices. A cherry phosphate? A chocolate egg cream? What sort of wonderful concoction will it be today? No, this isn’t a stage direction from a deleted scene of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town – it’s actually just a day in the life at the Green Line Apothecary.
What began as a romance on an MBTA Green Line train in Boston (get it?) blossomed into a booming business for husband and wife duo Ken and Christina Proccacianti, and they just welcomed a brand new brick n’ mortar outpost — an expanded location steps away from the former home of their Wakefield flagship. The new spot boasts extensive seating at the comfortable soda bar that’s polished to a luster that would rival the dapperest of gentlemens spit-shined spats, shelves stocked with dozens of local goodies, and a carhop-style pick-up, so you don’t even need to leave your vehicle to take advantage of this warm and welcoming spot that strives to be Rhode Island’s community pharmacy.
Christina grew up working alongside her father delivering greeting cards to local drugstores and saw the clear difference between the personalized feel of these small businesses and large chain stores. She wanted to replicate that authentic and personalized feel in her own business. Everyone who walks through the sliding doors are treated like members of the family, and it’s details like this that really set Green Line Apothecary apart from the big box competitors.
Of course, Green Line wouldn’t be Green Line without their fabulous selection of vintage victuals and vittles. It’s hard to pick between the seasonal Banana Split Ice Cream, the Strawberry Soda with syrup made in-house or the Donut Ice Cream Sandwich, but the Coffee Egg Cream is the true star of the show. This soda fountain staple that dates back to the 1880s consists of soda water, milk and syrup, but Christina and Ken pay homage to Rhode Island Coffee Milk with Dave’s Coffee Syrup added to the mix. It’s a delightful blend of old and new, with a touch of Li’l Rhody thrown in for good measure!
The Proccaciantis have truly made Green Line Apothecary into a family business — their three daughters serve as taste testers for the homemade ice cream and are integral players in developing the soda fountain’s menu. “They’re our biggest supporters, but also our biggest critics,” says Ken, laughing. Their oldest daughter will tie on the iconic green soda jerk bowtie this summer and try her hand at serving up sweets. Who knows? This could be the start of the next generation of ice cream soda superstars!
No matter how the Green Line Apothecary expands (and boy, do they plan to!), you can count on the Proccaciantis to deliver friendly and one-of-a-kind service with a smile. “Pharmacy is personal. And the community has embraced our modern and personalized version of the classic American drugstore,” says Christina. I’ll raise an ice cream soda to that!
Green Line Apothecary has two locations: 905 North Main St, PVD and 245 Main St, Wakefield. For more, go to greenlineapothecary.com or follow them @greenlineapothecary.