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Fenwick Ice Co. Brings Traditional Hawaiian Shave Ice to the First State

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Fenwick Island’s shave ice shop opens for its second season this May, serving authentic Hawaiian flavored desserts. 

On a typical night at Fenwick Ice Co., a line of customers waiting to order their sweet, shave ice is a familiar sight.

But a line of patrons is no worry here. The ice shop embraces an easy going, island lifestyle and shares positive messages through its Instagram page. Messages like, “it’s not a line, it’s an opportunity to slow down and enjoy the people around you,” encapsulates Fenwick Ice Co.’s mission to “share the good vibe.”

Serving out of a blue Volkswagen bus with a bright, glowing sign atop the ordering window is a fitting backdrop to a sweet treat after a long day at the beach. In June 2020, Fenwick Ice Co. opened its unique shave ice shop and attracted a community of “Fenwick Ice Co. people” by sharing a positive attitude and serving an authentic product.

In May, Fenwick Ice Company will open for its second season. The truck is located at 36773 Lighthouse Road, about three miles inland from Fenwick Island.

Despite opening for the first time during a pandemic and only being open for 70 days last season, this Delaware business generated quite a following. Rob and Erin Bradley, the owners of Fenwick Ice Co., had big expectations for their mobile shave ice truck in Fenwick Island and didn’t allow COVID-19 to stop them.

Photo courtesy of Fenwick Ice Co.

“The difference between this summer and last is that we are all used to it by now,” Rob says. “There’s a level of comfort in our COVID procedures and know how to make it a safe space for all of our customers.”

The Bradleys had the idea to bring authentic Hawaiian shave ice to Delaware and wanted to create an atmosphere with a cool, retro feel. The couple commissioned an artist in Chile to transform the vintage Volkswagen bus into a full, functioning shave ice food truck.

“We knew we wanted the capacity to be mobile and we were trying to wrap our hands around that old school, slow down vibe. We chose an iconic, true Volkswagen bus and it looks like it’s been there forever,” Rob says.

Fenwick Ice Co. lit up for the night./Photo courtesy of Brian Zuckerman

The truck uses clear, solid block ice which is triple filtered for its shaved iced. The ice is put through top down, spin shavers so it comes out as a fluffy snow rather than a chipped ice texture. Fenwick Ice Co. is unique for using this proprietary ice making process and each ice purveyor who works at the shop is knowledgeable in the special machines.

“Every block that is put through the spin shavers is unique. It takes manual effort from each member of our staff to assure a quality product,” says Rob.

Standing in line at Fenwick Ice Co. is an exciting experience in itself. From the string lights and palm trees, to the fun music playlist, guests enjoy the ambiance along with their dessert.

“It gives you an opportunity to relax, put your phone down and enjoy the person in front of you. After the stress of the pandemic, we really wanted to create a place to reconnect as people,” Rob says.

And when it’s time to order, there are 45 flavors to choose from.

“I’m a traditionalist, so I like cherry, lime or grape, usually mixed with soft serve. My wife Erin likes our more tropical flavors like kiwi, papaya and mango,” Rob says.

Or try the Fenwick Sunrise, a signature concoction that is “a fruity combination of passion fruit, orange and guava that when combined creates the ultimate sunrise.”

Photo courtesy of Fenwick Ice Co.

The shave ice truck also features authentic Hawaiian flavors.

“We also have traditional Hawaiian flavors such as Li Hing Mui, which is an authentic flavor that is directly from Hawaii. It is then topped with a snow cap, which is a sweet cream glazed on top of the ice. We do it exactly how they do it in Hawaii,” Rob says.

This year, the outdoor venue hopes to start having events and themed weekends, such as an ‘80s weekend.

“At the end of the day we are out there to spend time with friends and family and share the good vibe. We’re really excited about the next season,” Rob says.

36773 Lighthouse Road, Selbyville • 410-340-0634
fenwickiceco.com