Matriarch of The Juice Bar Tames the Summer Lines

Gloria Young has worked at The Juice Bar for more than 28 years, and is now the general manager of the island institution on Broad Street. She’s seen it all and done it all at the wildly popular downtown ice cream shop, but this year she’s taking on a new role to keep the massive crowds that descend on the Juice Bar each night happy and full of their favorite flavors.

The nearby South Water Street sidewalk where the Juice Bar waiting line typically snaked on busy nights is now occupied by the Rose & Crown’s outdoor dining tables. The inconceivably long lines of people waiting for ice cream had to be re-routed this year across the street, up past the Town & County Building toward Federal Street. To safely manage the line, the Juice Bar must now dedicate two to three employees every night to ensure customers are crossing the road at the appropriate time, and that no one is cutting the line.

Young has been posted at the corner of Broad and South Water streets each night with her mask on, helping to control the chaos at the busy intersection.

So why did the Juice Bar’s most senior employee get that assignment? “The people listen to me,” Young said with a smile.

A native of Kingston, Jamaica, Young first came to Nantucket in 1994 and has worked every season at the Juice Bar ever since. She was there even before current co-owners Ron and Jackie Lefebvre, who purchased the business in 1999. In some ways it’s just a job, Young said, but she’s stayed on so long because “I like the kids.”

Young has seen the popularity of The Juice Bar grow immensely over her nearly three decades at the shop. “When I started, it wasn’t like this,” she said pointing to the line down the street. “Oh my goodness. Every year it gets bigger.”

Another reason she keeps coming back? The Lefebvres, Young said, treat her with “love and respect.” Plus, she can always get her favorite flavor: rum raisin.

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