I had not seen a Pine State Creamery truck in decades. Looking across the rural countryside, there it was, just as I remembered it. Through much of the 20th century, Americans enjoyed home dairy delivery. In North Carolina orange Pine State trucks facilitated that process. Instantly I was taken back to mischievous middle school days.
As I child I knew what was in those trucks. It was good and it was cold. We learned from the Wake County School System that orange trucks brought milk and ice cream. The frozen treat was in small cups with flat, wooden, figure-eight shaped spoons. I go back in my mind now and remember how special that ice cream was. I’d lick every dip of sweet flavor until all I could taste was the wood of the utensil.
Those orange trucks came to schools, but they also brought our dairy needs to the side porch through their home delivery service. It was usually a gallon of whole milk, twice a week. Those were the days before 2% became so popular. My mother would leave an order form by the door to ensure a proper request.
I remember once near Christmas time my brother and me adding to the order: a half gallon box of peppermint ice cream. We watched and waited for the delivery man in his orange Pine State truck.
The ice cream block was as hard as a rock. We attacked it with a knife and a hammer, sort of chisel style. Shavings and chunks of it slid across the counter, some onto the floor where we’d wipe them off and keep eating. It didn’t matter. It was ice cream; it was Pine State.
We had to finish the entire box before my parents came home and knew we had it. I remember fighting the ice cream headaches and cold burn in my adolescent chest. Oh, but it was so good.
I miss Pine State and sitting in the back seat of an old Pontiac speculating the orange truck was coming to our house. “Mom, if we beat him home can we change the order to chocolate milk?”
Those trucks are all but gone now. Today they’re not much more than rusting relics of a changing America.
Pine State was about quality and service, great ideals for sure. But 35 years ago you went to the grocery store every two weeks on pay day, and milk was delivered Tuesdays and Fridays. We now live in a different society. It’s a “now” society. We shop more frequently and don’t wait for milk.
Local college bookstores pride themselves on quality and service too. But are those ideals enough these days? Are students going to hold their books all semester waiting for your store to open buyback for a few days during final exam week?
Exams are upon us. Which way is your buy trending? Maybe you should consider a daily buy, or more opportunities for students to sell. MBS has the experience to assist you through these conversations.
Like finding milk in a corner store, today’s student can sell a book any day of the year on the internet. Our society is no longer about waiting, even if the quality and service is excellent. We don’t want to be yesterday’s college bookstore. We don’t want to be an orange truck rusting in a pasture.
Talk to your MBS Representative about exploring additional ways to provide instantaneous access to your store. From Online Buyback to a mobile app, we can help you stay connected to your students.