We had the good fortune of connecting with Chuck Ndubaku and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chuck, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
As a Philadelphia native, I was accustomed to enjoying the most popular frozen treat, Italian Ice or as most know it to be, water ice. Shortly after relocating to Houston, I realized that water ice was uncommon and Houston’s closest version was referred to as “snow cones”. In reminiscing about the visits to the water ice shops back home and how these shops contributed to my social upbringing in so many ways, a question came to mind, “How can I introduce water ice all while allowing residents of the community to share in similar experiences as I did growing up?” From the mere anticipation of seeing friends after school, during camp, and throughout the summer; to the unspoken bonds gained while waiting in line exchanging flavor combinations, raced through my mind as I thought of my “why”. There was a need to be filled and I was going to work diligently to fill it. People of all ages would gather for water ice and gelatos creating a nostalgia similar to that of a local mom-and-pop eatery or a barbershop. And if I can provide that for folks all while introducing them to a new delicious dessert simultaneously, to me that’s a win-win.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
While Italian Ice is a fan favorite up north, it is a fairly foreign treat down here in Houston. It is a frozen premixed flavored treat and I am delighted in the fact I have the privilege to acquaint people to what we call “Water Ice”. When addressed with the question “what is water Ice?” I usually explain it to patrons as a hybrid between a snow cone and sherbet. This helps my customers visualize the texture of water ice, but the free sample is for them to taste for themselves what they have been missing out on for so long.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This is a tough one since Houston has a variety of great places to eat and things to do. But in no particular order, for places to dine, I would have to take them to a place called Harvest Kitchen and Bakery for breakfast. They have the best chicken and waffles I’ve ever experienced. We would also have to visit a restaurant called Another Thai Cuisine. The food there it’s consistently decent. And I can’t forget to include a stop at the Turkey Leg Hut. My drink locations would be a bar/lounge called Davenports, and another location in Vintage Park named Brixology. As far as relaxing goes, Levy Park would have to be my go-to. There are so many other options for each category, those were just a few that stick out to me.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to shoutout my parents. They’ve always been ambassadors for hard work. It’s always been their leadership and love that I diligently seek to model after. They remain at the the pinnacle of my admiration hierarchy.
Other: Website and other social media platforms coming soon.
Photo Credit: Laura Segovia