COLUMBIA CITY — On Tuesday, July 11, the skies were cloudy, but the rain subsided as the Whitley County Chamber of Commerce celebrated the opening of Columbia City’s only Hawaiian Shave Ice treatery. Student workers, the Center staff, volunteers, family, friends, Chamber Ambassadors and Mayor Ryan Daniel all came out to support the Center for Whitley County Youth as they officially launched Center Ice.

According to program director, Tiffany Careins, the concept for the treatery came to be after it was discovered that many businesses are hesitant to hire youth due to the lack of work experience and busy school schedules. The idea of providing a place to build work-related skills was discussed among the staff and Center Ice was born.

The business is run by students of the Center and features more than 70 different flavors of shaved ice, including sugar-free and clear choices. Customers can also mix the flavors t0 create their own.

Located across from City Hall at 201 W. Market St. in downtown Columbia City, orders are taken through the side window and the venue features casual seating with an outdoor eating patio. This downtown spot not only provides a refreshing treat, but each purchase goes to support the Center.

Hours are 4-7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 4-9 p.m. Friday, ‪1-9 p.m. Saturday ‬ and ‪1-7 p.m.‬ Sunday.