The Detroit Water Ice Factory opened its flagship location at 1014 Woodward Avenue in downtown Detroit on Tuesday. The first 300 customers received free D-ICE or Motown Twist.
The brainchild of writer/philanthropist Mitch Albom, follows the “Newman’s Own” model, offering a premium product while helping others – every dime raised benefits needy Detroiters.
The venture is a partnership between Albom’s S.A.Y. Detroit family of charities – a 100% dollar-in-dollar-out philanthropic entity – the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries, Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit, Bedrock Real Estate Services and Meridian Health.
The store features 17 D-ICE flavors, all with a distinctly Detroit tone (Vanilla Temptations, Woodward Watermelon). “The Motown Twist,” is layered with vanilla, chocolate (or both) soft serve ice cream.
“I grew up loving water ice,” said Albom, who hails from the East Coast. “But I’d never seen it here. It’s fat, preservative, cholesterol and dairy-free. In looking for a way to do good, have fun indulging in the best dessert ever, it all came together. We’re here to create jobs, raise funds, do good – with the coolest dessert ever.”
The Factory will make fresh water ice daily using closely guarded recipes donated by Jon and Adriana Adams, owners of Primo Water Ice in NJ, considered the birthplace of American water ice.
Bedrock Real Estate Services/Meridian Health is providing the location rent-free, in the highly trafficked section of the Central Business District.
“Mitch Albom and S.A.Y. Detroit are doing wonderful work in our community. We are proud to be part of this effort,” said Dan Mullen, executive vice president, Bedrock Real Estate Services. “The Detroit Water Ice Factory will benefit countless Detroiters while providing another cool, unique destination people will only find downtown.”
The “D-Icers” (servers) will be members of Goodwill Industries’ youth training programs or graduates of S.A.Y. Detroit partner programs, providing jobs for Detroit’s challenged young people.