News & Updates from Detroit Water Ice

Michigan Masons “raise the tent’’ at Franklin Cider Mill for Summer 2019

Michigan Masons “raise the tent’’ at Franklin Cider Mill for Summer 2019

BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP — Summer is still officially more than a month away, but with the help of the Michigan Masons and the Michigan Masonic Charitable Foundation, the season is closer than you think.

That’s because in a span of less than two hours Monday, the parking lot in front of the Franklin Cider Mill went from vacant to filled with the construction of a 20×40 foot tent that will serve as the home base of the Detroit’s Water Ice Factory’s pop-up store, which opens at 2 pm 4pm Friday.

The store — in its third year in Franklin and the sister store of the flagship DWIF downtown location — will be open seven days a week, likely through mid-August. The hours are 2-10 pm, 4-9pm, Monday through Friday; Saturday noon-10 pm, and Sunday noon-6 pm.

For the second year in a row, the Masons’ volunteer efforts were spearheaded by Darren Thompson, communications director for the Grand Lodge of Michigan. He originally expected eight Masons to help with the tent raising, but 11 showed up, including David Clegg from Birmingham Lodge 44.

“I saw the email from the Grand Lodge and I live, like 1 1/2 miles away, so I decided to come out,” Clegg said. “It didn’t matter where or why, I’m just pitching in to help and glad to do it.”

Also among the volunteers was Grand Master David Hill, William Finkel and Robert Conley, System CEO of the Grand Lodge Office in Alma.

“I knew they’d all be here,” Conley said. “We’re very proud of the sponsorship we have with Mitch (Albom, SAY Detroit founder) and SAY Detroit. It’s a partnership where, when people need a little lift in life, they get that lift.”

DWIF Franklin Cider Mill Location Taking Shape, Thanks to Michigan Masons

DWIF Franklin Cider Mill Location Taking Shape, Thanks to Michigan Masons

Bloomfield Township, MI—It’s a big week for S.A.Y. Detroit’s Detroit Water Ice Factory.

Starting Tuesday, the DWIF’s gourmet Brown Bag Popcorn will be sold at Plum Market stores in West Bloomfield and Ann Arbor, and at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

And on Friday, the DWIF opens its seasonal pop-up shop for the second year in a row at the picturesque Franklin Cider Mill.

That’s where nearly a dozen members and supporters of the Michigan Masonic Charitable Foundation were on Monday, dodging rain drops as they constructed the 40-foot long tent that will soon welcome thousands of customers who’ll order the popular frozen dessert this summer.

The Michigan Masons are one of S.A.Y. Detroit’s strongest supporters – and the partnership is more than financial. For the second time in two years, the foundation provided volunteers for a major project to benefit the DWIF, where all proceeds from the sale of its products benefits the programs and projects of S.A.Y. Detroit.

In January 2017, nearly 40 Masons worked cleaning, clearing and organizing the store and storage unit at the DWIF’s Campus Martius location. On Monday, it took the Masons just under two hours to “raise the tent’’ that will become the home base for the store’s seasonal location on the corner of 14 Mile and Franklin Road in Bloomfield Township.

S.A.Y. Detroit founder Mitch Albom was so grateful for the Masons’ help that he considered them to be honorary Detroit Muscle Crew II members for a day. The DMC II is a group of skilled tradespeople who volunteer their time and service to help S.A.Y. Detroit with its various physical projects.

“We’ve got about a dozen volunteers representing eight lodges here, and we’re thrilled to be able to help out S.A.Y. Detroit in any way we can and strengthen our partnership,” said Darren Thompson, communications director for the Grand Lodge of Michigan. “The project went well. The hardest part was trying to get through the asphalt to anchor some screws, but many hands made light work and we had good direction from S.A.Y. Detroit and Larry here from the cider mill to let us know how it’s suppose to look. It’s been a great day.”

Wyandotte Sign Company Delivers for DWIF

Wyandotte Sign Company Delivers for DWIF

Happy to help.

Those words were music to S.A.Y. Detroit when Detroit Muscle Crew II members Tami and Dennis Caren of Wyandotte offered their services to make two of the signs that will soon be on display at the Franklin Cider Mill — home of the Detroit Water Ice Factory’s seasonal pop-up store, which opens May 18 in Bloomfield Township.

Check-out the photo featuring their 3 1/2-year-old grandson!

Tami and Dennis are owners of D&T Signs (contact them at They’re also thrilled to participate in their first DMCII project since becoming members last year.

“I’m just so happy to help with Mitch’s charities and be part of the rebuilding of Detroit,’’ said Tami, whose company donated one of the signs and produced the other at a reduced cost.

The nonprofit DWIF, which opened its flagship location in downtown Detroit in 2015, is entering its second year offering delicious water ice to patrons at its seasonal location in Oakland County. The store is adding its line of gourmet popcorn to the mix this year. The Franklin Cider Mill is located at the corner of 14 Mile and Franklin Roads.

Experiencing Goodness Twice, Charity to Charity

Experiencing Goodness Twice, Charity to Charity

S.A.Y. Detroit Family Health Clinic Receives Donated Coats

Highland Park, MI: Lisa Dunn’s act of charity was inspired by another charity that popped up, literally, right down the road from her popular Deja Vu, an upscale designer resale boutique in Franklin.

“When I saw the Detroit Water Ice Factory store in the Franklin Cider Mill parking lot this summer as a pop up, I decided to call to inquire who was behind this fun and great idea,” Dunn said. “Turns out it was Mitch Albom. This did not surprise me due to all his philanthropic work he does for Detroit, so I decided I would have a coat drive and donate all of the coats to S.A.Y. Detroit.”

Dunn collected nearly 30 coats during her two-month campaign, and last Friday (Dec. 15) the items found a home thanks to Dr. Peggy Richardson, medical director of the S.A.Y. Detroit Family Health Clinic in Highland Park. A “holiday store’’ was set up in a meeting room that was outfitted with a mirror and Christmas decorations so the clinic’s female patients can shop for their free coats in style.

Richardson and her staff, including Dr. Keyshia Covington, plan to distribute the coats in the coming days.

“The background of S.A.Y. Detroit really inspired me, and for our first event, I think it was a huge success!’’ Dunn said.

Detroit Water Ice to Distribute Free Gourmet Popcorn to Celebrate Launch of New Product Line

Detroit Water Ice to Distribute Free Gourmet Popcorn to Celebrate Launch of New Product Line

DETROIT, MI./Oct. 26 – The Detroit Water Ice Factory, downtown Detroit’s successful philanthropic dessert store of S.A.Y. Detroit charities, will celebrate a fall launch of a new product line beginning at noon Tuesday, Oct. 31 at its flagship location at One Campus Martius (1014 Woodward Ave.).

From noon to 6 p.m., customers can enjoy free samples of DWIF’s own freshly-made gourmet “Brown Bag Popcorn” in an array of flavors that include “Cheese Louise!” “Butter Me Up,’’ “Carmelicious!’’ and “mmmmmix!” (cheese and caramel).

Free samples of new flavors of DWIF’s popular rice pudding will also be available as the store celebrates the re-launch of that product.

“As the weather gets colder, we’re thrilled to expand our delicious dessert offerings to include hot gourmet popcorn that we make everyday in the shop,’’ said S.A.Y. Detroit founder Mitch Albom, who will be available for interviews at noon at the store. “We’re also introducing a gourmet line of rice pudding flavors. Both of these are available in easy carrying containers so people can take them back to their desks at the office and enjoy a great afternoon snack.

“As always, all of the profits we make go to help our fellow Detroiters, so we’re really happy to be able to offer even more delicious ways to help our fellow citizens.”

The DWIF, which opened in August 2015, follows the “Newman’s Own’’ model of philanthropy, offering delicious frozen dessert and other products with the sole goal of raising funds to help others. All profits benefit Detroit’s neediest citizens under Albom’s S.A.Y. Detroit umbrella of charities.

Electrician Lends a Hand At Detroit Water Ice

Electrician Lends a Hand At Detroit Water Ice

DETROIT — Doug Watson isn’t a carpenter by trade—he’s a longtime electrician at The Conti Corporation—but he raised his hand anyway when he heard that S.A.Y. Detroit needed some work done at its Detroit Water Ice Factory in downtown Detroit.

The request: Install a third row of trim designed to hold a slew of celebrity photographs at the frozen dessert store at Campus Martius, where all profits benefit Detroit’s neediest citizens under Mitch Albom’s S.A.Y. Detroit umbrella of charities.

“I’ve been in the business long enough that I know how to do a lot of different things,” Watson said. “I’m glad that you contacted me, but I’m especially glad that it worked out well.”

The project, which was completed last week, was Watson’s first since joining the Detroit Muscle Crew II last spring after Albom formed the all-volunteer team of skilled tradespeople to help with S.A.Y. Detroit’s physical projects and endeavors. (You can sign up to become a member here.)

Watson said that he had so much fun, and that Albom was so grateful, that he decided to donate the materials for the project himself, a value of $143.

“It was great teamwork all the way around,” Watson said. “Bedrock (which provides the DWIF space for the store) even sent a guy over to help me, because it was a two-person job.”

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