Columnist Mitch Albom is subsidizing the venture, which will support the needy and provide job training for Goodwill Industries youth trainees.

Albom's new Detroit Water Ice is combining a sweet, cool treat from his own childhood with inspiration from actor Paul Newman to open a new, downtown business (in the old Ben & Jerry's) that will benefit the city and residents who need help.

The Detroit Water Ice Factory is set to open at 11 a.m. today in the former Compuware building.

The shop, which set up to look like an old-fashioned ice cream parlor, will sell water ice, a colorful new dessert for Michiganders.

“Water ice is sort of like Italian ice, but it’s a little bit different,” Albom said, reminiscing about how it was one of his favorite childhood desserts. “The consistency is different, the flavors are much different — and the only place you can really get it in this country is in Philadelphia and South Jersey. For whatever reason they don’t make it anywhere else.”

The proceeds from the business, he said, will go back into the enterprise and support his charity, S.A.Y. Detroit. READ MORE ON THE FREEP




Detroit, MI -- August 4, 2015 … The Detroit Water Ice Factory opens its flagship location at 1014 Woodward Avenue in downtown Detroit on Tuesday, August 4th at 11:15 AM. The first 300 customers will receive 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.

About S.A.Y. Detroit

S.A.Y. Detroit, formed in February 2006, is a 501(c) (3) charity aimed at improving the lives of the needy citizens, through shelter, food, medical care, volunteer efforts and education. It serves as the umbrella for ongoing projects including A Time to Help, S.A.Y. Detroit Family Health Clinic, Working Homes/Working Families, and funds dozens of projects for Detroit-area agencies. Learn about S.A.Y. Detroit: mitchalbomcharities.org

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