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LA Sensation Happy Ice Expanding to San Diego

The Philly water ice experts are popping into town this weekend

Happy Ice founder Lemeir Mitchell
Happy Ice founder Lemeir Mitchell
Courtesy photo

This weekend, popular LA-based food truck Happy Ice is coming into town, parking at the Carlsbad Premium Outlets from noon to 7 p.m. on Friday, August 13 and at the Fashion Valley mall from noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday, August 14 and Sunday, August 15. It’s second time the truck has stopped here as part of its roving “Happiness Tour” but this visit is also a scouting mission for owner Lemeir Mitchell, who tells Eater that he is planning to launch a brick-and-mortar Happy Ice and food truck in San Diego sometime next year.

Specializing in Philly water ice, a close cousin to Italian ice that has a smoother texture than shaved ice, Happy Ice features vegan flavors like Lucky Lemon, Cherry Bomb, Mango Madness, and Watermelon Lush as well as vegan soft-serve ice cream that gets layered with water ice in a frozen parfait known in Philadelphia as gelati. Mitchell says the truck will also offer soft pretzels, a go-to snack pairing.

Cups of rainbow Philly water ice from Happy Ice Courtesy photo

Mitchell, who says he’ll also be expanding in the Inland Empire, started his journey to opening Happy Ice in 2015 when he first moved from Philadelphia to Los Angeles. While working as a tattoo artist, he came across a gourmet ice cream truck and thought it would be the perfect vehicle to showcase his favorite Philly treat. After going back to Philadelphia to intern with one of the city’s most famous water ice companies, Mitchell rolled out his first Los Angeles food truck in 2017.

Happy Ice Truck Courtesy photo

As a black-owned business, Happy Ice has stayed engaged with the community through its ongoing support of the Black Lives Matter movement and participation in charity events; thanks to the success of its food trucks, the company was able to open its first storefront on Melrose Avenue last June.