The Detroit Water Ice Factory, a charitable water ice store formed from a partnership between Mitch Albom and SAY Detroit, opened its flagship location today in downtown Detroit.
“I grew up loving water ice, but I’d never seen it here.” says Albom, author and Detroit Free Press columnist. “In looking for a way to do good, have fun, and relive the smiles we had as kids indulging in the best dessert ever, it all came together.”
Located on the street level of the former Compuware Building, 1014 Woodward Ave., The Detroit Water Ice Factory will serve 17 different flavors of water ice, which is related to Italian ice but contains less sugar, more natural fruit, and a fruit base. It’s also 100 percent fat-free, and does not contain dairy products.
With the sole goal of raising funds to help others, all of the profits from the store will go to helping Detroit citizens under SAY Detroit’s “umbrella” of charities.
Made from a secret recipe donated by the owners of the birthplace of American water ice, Primo Water Ice in Westmont, NJ, featured flavors include: Woodward Watermelon, Motown Mint, The Zetterberry, and Corktown Cotton Candy. A special flavor called “The Motown Twist,” which features water ice layered with vanilla, chocolate, or vanilla-chocolate, soft serve ice cream, will also be available.
Bedrock Real Estate Services and Meridian Health, co-owners of the building, are providing the location for this new venture rent-free, and the store’s “D-Icers” – the team of servers scooping the water ice – will all be members of Goodwill Industries’ youth training programs or graduates of other SAY Detroit partner programs.
“We are here to create jobs, raise funds, do good, and eat ourselves silly with the coolest dessert ever,” Albom says.