Forget Cannabis. Could There Be a New Golden Age of Ice Cream on Saline's West Side?

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It looked like the golden age of cannabis stores might require the  community to sacrifice a beloved ice cream business.

Only weeks ago, plans to close and sell Mickey's Dairy Twist's property for a new cannabis provisioning center had the community screeching. It was one thing to open a marijuana dispensary next to a tobacco store in shopping plaza. But replacing a wholesome, family-friendly business like Mickey's Dairy Twist?

But the community uproar over the loss of Mickey's seems to have inspired entrepreneurs with plans for ice cream sales on Saline's west side.

Armando Pacheco DeLaCruz, who opened Paradise Mexican Restaurant at 609 W. Michigan Ave., in 2020 and then opened Toarmina's Pizza right next store in 2021, has actually purchased the Mickey's Dairy Twist name, ice cream-making equipment and even the familiar awning that graced the business.  They plan to serve the same homemade ice cream that Mickey's served. The ice cream counter is located in the front of the pizza restaurant.

"We're excited. We hope to open in September or around Labor Day," said DeLaCruz.

Laurie Toarmina, who employed DeLaCruz when she and her husband Pete owned Mangiamo Italian Grill in downtown Saline, is expected to help get the ice cream business off the ground.  Mangiamo featured an ice cream shop at one point.

DeLaCruz is building quite the empire in the westside plaza. But that's not the only news coming from the west side ice cream beat. 

Christina and John Springer are also opening an ice cream business. Christina's Sweet Treats & More is expected to open at 901 W. Michigan Ave., Suite B, next door to Baker's Nook. Christina Springer said she opened to open the business on Labor Day.

Christian's Sweet Treats will focus on serving Hershey's ice cream and yogurt products.

Brian Shockley, owner of Baker's Nook and the building, said between Christina's Sweet Treats and the donuts and baked goods at Baker's Nook, they would become a destination for families who want to take kids out for a treat. Shockley said he's considering the installation of playground equipment to make the experience more enjoyable for families.

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