Kona Ice dishes up sweet treats and community service

It’s a good day when the Kona Ice Truck rolls into town.

Owner Mary Breier has been bringing cool, delicious treats to birthday and graduation parties, workplace events, and neighborhood blocks since she took over the Holt’s Kona Ice franchise in 2012. Mary and her husband John raised their family in Holt and built their Kona Ice franchise business on the foundation of community service. Their official tagline is “Kona Ice is what we do, giving back is who we are.”

They had an opportunity to live out this core business value in a new way when COVID-19 shook the community earlier this year. Just as all of Kona Ice’s usual events were canceled, the demands on food banks shot up dramatically. Mary transformed her refrigerated truck into an essential tool for the work of the Holt Community Food Bank and the local churches who banded together to provide support.

Between 500 and 1,000 pounds of food moved through Mary’s truck every day during the start of the pandemic.

“When we learned that they really needed milk, it was just the perfect solution,” Mary said, “We could sit outside the church every day to collect the donations.”

Her Kona Ice truck kept perishable food donations cold and was used to transport food packages to pantry locations. When the Easter holiday break led to a shortage of usual volunteers, Mary joined forces with Dr. Hornak to personally deliver food to the designated locations. They joined forces with the Holt Kiwanis to deliver Easter eggs for families to enjoy with their regular donations. Mary estimates that anywhere between 500 and 1,000 pounds of food traveled through her truck daily during the early weeks of the pandemic.

“We were really happy to be involved with it,” Mary said, “It was nice to be out there every day and so wonderful to see the support from the community.”

As Kona Ice franchisees, community service is a natural inclination for the Breiers. Before the pandemic, they regularly made donations and gave proceeds back to the school district and area nonprofits through Kona Ice’s Giveback Programs.

While the need for food donations and distribution has waned, Mary’s dedication for the community remains steadfast. “Holt is very near and dear to us,” Mary said. “We are always looking for opportunities to get involved and give back to the community.”

Find out more about Kona Ice Holt/Lansing by visiting www.kona-ice.com/local-site/kona-ice-holt-lansing or calling 517.203.9371.