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Posted on Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 5:57 a.m.

Ice cream bike-delivery business coming to Ypsilanti

By Katrease Stafford

Rob Hess, owner of Go! Ice Cream has combined his two loves, ice cream and bicycling, to start a new business. Soon Ypsilanti residents will be able to have ice cream delivered straight to their doorstep.


Go! Ice cream owner Rob Hess said he will sell a variety of flavors, including the one pictured here, a vegan chocolate, sea salt flavored combination

Courtesy Rob Hess

"I started making ice cream four years ago and I just got so entranced with it," he said. "Once I did the first batch, I realized it's kind of a complex thing... I started bringing it into work and then it started a crazy sensation."

That's when Hess realized he was onto something.

"I just came up with this idea that I should sell ice cream off of a bike and sort of laughed about it," Hess said. "But then I tried to figure out 'How do I make the best possible ice cream and distribute it off the back of my bike?' What I'm interested in is making high-quality ice cream with local ingredients. It's hard to find that."

Hess is specially outfitting his bike, a Worksman Tricycle that was made to carry several hundred pounds. The bike was created to carry a foreman up and down the auto plant lines, Hess said.

Hess's bike will have a stainless steel umbrella and a few other designs. Hess said he considered buying a truck instead, but decided against it because he wanted to have a more creative approach.

"You can cover a bigger area if you have an ice cream truck, but the thing is, I love biking," Hess said.

Hess said the ice cream he makes will fill a need for people seeking out high-quality ice cream, with no additives or preservatives. Hess gets his ingredients from the Ypsilanti Food Co-op and browses the co-op's spice racks for things that possibly could help him come up with a new flavor.

"I want to keep the money local in Ypsilanti," Hess said. "Whenever I can support a local business, I do."

Hess said he also obtains his chocolate locally from Mindo Chocolate Makers, a Dexter-based company.

Bona Sera Cafe's at 200 W. Michigan Ave., also is allowing him to rent out their kitchen to produce the ice cream.

Hess is the owner and sole employee of the business, but he said he hopes to be able to expand and hire other employees.

"I think sometimes where businesses go wrong is the key people in the business aren’t aware of all aspects, so for me it's really important that I'm there making ice cream and developing the standard," Hess said.

Hess said his business isn't seasonal one and said that doing the winter, orders will still be filled.

"Ice cream has absolutely no season," Hess said. "It's going to be year-round. I have a feeling the market will support ice cream in January."

Hess said when he first opens, his delivery area will be limited to a 10-mile radius around Ypsilanti in neighborhoods, throughout Depot Town and weekend events. Hess said eventually he may expand to delivering to Ann Arbor.

"We’ll be able to travel more broadly," he said. "I would love to have some more presence in Ann Arbor, but I'm starting in Ypsilanti."


Avocado Tequila is one of several flavors Hess plans to offer.

Courtesy Rob Hess

Flavor-wise, Hess plans to offer several options such as the standard vanilla and chocolate to more unusual flavors.

Here are a few of the flavors he's offering:

  • Toasted Almond
  • Blackstrap Molasses
  • Black Peppercorn
  • Avocado Tequila
  • Pecan Pie
  • Lemon Poppyseed

Hess has vegan options, as well, using a blend of almonds, cashews and coconuts to create a milk for the vegan dish.

"I was looking at these vegan ice creams and they all tasted nasty," he said. "I will always have a vegan offering."

Hess said he is still in the licensing process and obtaining permits from Washtenaw County, but he hopes to have a soft opening toward the end of May and during the beginning of June, he'll have a free ice cream social for the public.

Hess said those who have been introduced to his product have been receptive to the idea.

"There's a real ability for food to take hold in Ypsilanti," Hess said, citing the recent opening of several businesses. "There's just a sense of pride in the community. It’s a place that really embraces the unique. It showed me how to embrace my own uniqueness, as I look around at all of the unique establismhemnts that exist. I want to create yet another unique institution and give back to the community."

Orders can be made through Hess's website and Hess said customers can sign up for updates for an official opening day.

Katrease Stafford covers Ypsilanti for her at or 734-623-2548 and follow her on twitter.



Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 1:17 a.m.

"(The bike) was made to carry several hundred carry a foreman up and down the auto plant lines..." That's too funny!


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 12:47 a.m.

Sounds like a good idea, I wish you the best. I hope your orders are pre paid with credit card over the phone before delivery. Unfortunately, there are thugs in Ypsi but remain focused and follow your dream.


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 11:10 p.m.

Seems like a good-natured fellow. To be he will be robbed again and again and again and again in this venture.

Ben Petiprin

Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 1:16 a.m.

No. "The money in the till or your life." Or "I'm generally angry, let's attack this ice-cream selling goober to pass the time."

Bryan Ellinger

Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 12:03 a.m.

What, "Your ice cream or your life?"


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 10:27 p.m.

Looking forward to trying the Lemon Poppyseed!

Katrease Stafford

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 8:20 p.m.

I wish I could have posted more of his flavor options in the story, but I'll post a few more here: Ginger Vanilla, Peanut Butter with Dark Chocolate Ganache, Spice Cream- which has nutmeg, clove, ginger, cinnamon, vanilla, brown sugar and molasses in it, Vegan Maple Cinnamon Buttery Salty Caramel with Lemon Dulce de Leche swirl, Lemon with Shortbread and Meringue and Peach Cobbler.


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 3 p.m.

Oh. My. God. Katrease, I'm gonna go broke this summer.....

Jenn McKee

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 7:58 p.m.

This sounds awesome. What a cool idea! Just hope he never suffers a flat on a really hot day...

Bryan Ellinger

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 7:51 p.m.

You won't catch me ordering ice cream from Rob until he delivers by motor vehicle, because scofflaw cyclists! Mmmm toasted almond.

Danielle Arndt

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 7:40 p.m.

Wow, this is awesome and sounds delicious! A 10-mile radius though — he is going to be getting a lot of exercise! A potential of 20 miles for just one delivery? That's ambitious! But I'm very excited, as the flavors sound delicious and unique. Looking forward to some Lemon Poppyseed!

Jessica Webster

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 7:12 p.m.

This makes me very glad I work in Ypsilanti on the weekends. I'll be ordering some of that chocolate sea salt ice cream up to WEMU as soon as opening day is announced!

you can't handle the truth

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 4:56 p.m.

Seems like a really easy target for all the thugs in the area.

Jonathan Blutarsky

Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 4:25 p.m.

He's in the downtown area which has very few issues. People come and go all day long with no problem. Unlike other downtowns we don't have panhandles (well, a few from the western community try every once in a while) and people smile and say good day as they make their way to Red Rock, The Wolverine, The Rocket, ModelCave, World of Rocks, Ypsi Cycle, Haabs, Hidden dragon, Eleven West salon, and a few more dozen businesses that keep Ypsi fun and unique. Can you handle that truth?


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 2:59 p.m.

Than You For Being Sooooo Supportive......

Some Guy in 734

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 4:43 p.m.

I've had a number of his ice creams, and oh. Man. And if you're at all skeptical about the avocado tequila, just taste it!


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 4:38 p.m.

Hope he can find a source for all that molasses. Kroger stopped carrying it after their multi-million dollar remodel on Plymouth Rd. They said it took up too much shelf space and wasn't high enough profit. Good luck to this entrepreneur! Also hope he has some safety mechanisms built into his cash box and can protect himself. On a bike, he might be vulnerable to being robbed, unfortunately.


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 4:32 p.m.

I've tried some of this ice cream, and it is truly the best I've ever had. Best of luck, Rob!

Craig Lounsbury

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 4:30 p.m.

Good luck. I hope he is wildly successful.

Mary Bilyeu

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 4:04 p.m.

This is fabulous! How many times have I wanted ice cream, but not wanted to go out? And such luscious, hand-crafted treats, too ... :)

Cameron McLain

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 2:55 p.m.

Yes please!


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 2:40 p.m.

.Great. More ice cream sellers down our street. Great idea, but I hate to say it, Ice Cream Time on Ecorse is the only one I endorse.


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 2:17 p.m.

Rob, wonderful idea! the bus is my primary method of transportation, and getting ice cream from the store to my residence before it turns to soup presents a challenge. Chidester Place will have at least one customer! Butter Pecan please. the vegan chocolate/sea salt looks good too.


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 1:56 p.m.

Rob! A gallon of blackstrap molasses at my door today, please! It's one of my favorite flavors, but it ha fallen out of fashion, so I'm thrilled to see that you're going to be selling molasses ice cream! Kudos to Bona Sera for cooperative entrepreneurship! Can't wait until this business is up and!


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 12:34 p.m.

I think this is wonderful. Cycling, ice cream and entrepreneurship all rolled up into one brilliant idea. I look forward to patronizing this business. I work at EMU in Pray-Harrold. I hope Rob finds a way to come on or near campus around lunch time this summer.


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 11:28 a.m.

I had the opportunity to try Rob's ice cream this past weekend at a party and can vouch for how delicious it is. Ypsi is in for a areal treat (pun intended!)