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While plowing out Cremeland in Manchester - which opens for the season today - Bill Theodosopoulos, standing, got his truck stuck in snow and had to call Zachary Ziakas to pull him out during the cleanup after yesterday's storm. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

Cremeland gets a jump on spring

MANCHESTER -- The official first day of spring may not be until March 20, but Manchester's real start to spring is the opening of Cremeland.

The Valley Street eatery, now in its third generation of family ownership, opens every year on the second Saturday of March.

A problem clearing the parking lot of snow Friday morning was just a temporary glitch. By afternoon, the parking lot was clear and scallops were being floured, in anticipation of today's opening-day seafood rush.

Owner Nicole Queena said: "We're known for our fresh, quality product." While seafood is a big draw, there are staples for the non-seafood crowd.

Queena said although some would call it fast food, that's not accurate. It may not take long for an order to be ready, but it's not like the fast food of many restaurants.

"We're not pulling it out of a freezer and zapping it in the microwave," she said. It's cooked for the customer and they have to wait for their order number to be called.

Queena said there's a good reason to open in March when business isn't as intense as in the summer months. "A lot of it is training the help. Fine tuning," she said.

If your tastes run more to dessert than the main course, fear not.

Although the peak of the ice cream season is June, July and August, Queena said Cremeland is prepared for year-round ice cream lovers on opening day. "All the favorites," she said.

Queena doesn't worry about snow cutting into business. "We've been fairly lucky," she said. "We always get one storm." but it doesn't last like it would in January.

That said, she's happy that the forecast is for warming temperatures through the weekend.

"If we get 50 or 60 (degrees), this place will be hopping," she said.

Cremeland, at 250 Valley St., is now open with spring hours of 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.


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