What does an athletic Midwestern boy do after moving to Miami? Sell lemonade, of course! That was Allen Cohen back in 1978, when he decided to say goodbye to Michigan winters and start "living the dream" in Miami.
An avid runner, he set up shop in Coconut Grove's Kennedy Park, where a group he runs with met. "One of us would always have to do a grocery run to get beverages," he recalls. So he gathered up his savings and started A.C.'s Icees. "I feel very lucky -- my office is a park," he says with a twinkle in his eye.
But don't let the laid-back attitude fool you. A.C. takes his frosted beverages very seriously. There are three flavors: lemonade, cherry/strawberry, and piña colada. All are made fresh every morning. Don't ask for the recipe -- it's a secret. One senses a blend of fresh lemon and other fruit juices all whipped to the perfect temperature. It's then put into the coolers inside his truck, ready for some scooping.
For many locals, the white truck with the yellow awnings is a landmark. It is there year-round (except during hurricanes), with A.C. in the window. "On a busy Saturday, we can have up to 400 people." That's a lot of frosted lemonade.
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So now I'm ready to fight the heat!
A.C.'s Icees is located in the parking lot of Kennedy Park in Coconut Grove. It's open daily 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.