News center
Our company strives to provide superior goods, on-time order fulfillment, and personalized assistance.

New store aims to be after

Aug 14, 2023

Wanlin and Herman Lam of Ahwatukee on Aug. 13 opened Hillside Water and Ice Cream, which sells purified water, bagged ice, ice cream and an array of imported snacks, candy and toys. (Geri Koeppel/ AFN Contributor)

A new locally owned water and ice business in Ahwatukee Foothills hopes to be less of a place to run in and out for necessities and more of a community destination, thanks to a lineup of multicultural snacks, sweets and toys.

Hillside Water and Ice Cream opened Aug. 13 in the Ahwatukee Mercado plaza on East Elliot Road at South 48th Street near Safeway.

The bright, cheery spot sells water refills, bags of ice and Thrifty ice cream as well as an extensive selection of Mexican candy, sodas and frozen treats, Japanese packaged foods and more.

Ahwatukee residents Herman and Wanlin Lam were inspired to open the shop because they thought the plaza “was missing a water store for the convenience of the neighborhood,” Herman said.

The nearest water and ice store is a mile south on Warner Road and 48th Street.

But the Lams also envision it as a “hangout,” they said. They have two children—a daughter, Aubree, 12, and son, Liam, 11— and said one goal was to create a place for kids to go after school.

“We want to get away from the traditional style of water and ice [stores],” Herman explained. “That’s why we named it ‘water and ice cream’ rather than water and ice.”

Although other water and ice stores sell ice cream, shave ice and candy, Hillside’s multicultural selection of food and drinks is unusual.

Herman noted that Aubree was the “technical adviser” on the initial lineup of merchandise, which also includes Japanese toys.

“My daughter, she likes to shop,” Wanlin said, so they asked for her ideas on what to carry.

Treats include Japanese wafer sandwiches with chocolate or matcha ice cream, boba milk bars, Mexican frozen fruit bars and bags of imported chips and snacks. Drinks in a cooler include Jarritos, Mexican Coke and Ramune Japanese soda.

Also, a variety of instant noodle cups start at $1.99. “If you buy cup noodles and want to eat here, we will provide water for you so you can enjoy it right away,” Herman said.

Another difference at Hillside is their drinks lineup. They have a long list of flavored lemonades including strawberry kiwi, pineapple coconut, mango peach and more, with popping boba available for an extra $1.

Other beverages include shakes, malts, root beer floats, Shirley Temples, chai, Thai ice tea, matcha latte, black tea, and freshly squeezed orange juice. They plan to add an espresso machine for affogatos and affordable coffees, and more is to come.

“We are thinking of adding more ice cream products like cookie ice cream sandwiches,” Wanlin said.

The Lams moved to Ahwatukee in 2018 after living for many years on the East Coast. Herman came to the U.S. from Hong Kong and Wanlin moved from Taiwan; they met while attending college at Pennsylvania State University.

The couple worked in logistics for a major corporation and moved to Arizona for a job relocation. They chose to live in Ahwatukee because they liked the community, schools and mountain views.

When the Lams decided to open their own business, they settled on water because it’s a basic need and the tap water here is so hard.

They have a self-filling station with six reverse osmosis (R.O.) taps as well as two taps of alkaline water, which has a higher pH level and contains some minerals.

“Our water, it doesn’t have any plastic taste,” Wanlin explains. “Sometimes when you buy bottled water in the supermarket, it tastes a little bit weird.”

Also, she added, it creates a lot of waste.

Hillside Water and Ice Cream sells R.O. water for 40 cents a gallon and alkaline water for $1.55 per gallon.

It also features daily specials: Monday, buy one, get one ice cream cone or dish; Tuesday, buy one, get one snow cone; Wednesday, $3.50 flavored lemonade (regularly $5); Thursday, buy one, get one half-off Thai ice tea; Friday, buy two 5-gallon jugs of water and get one free; and on weekends, $3 off a purchase of $20 or more.

The Lams said they plan to rotate the merchandise, from ice cream flavors to other products, based on customer feedback.

“We’ll try to find whatever is new or trending to keep our customers happy,” Herman said. “They’ll always see something fresh.”

Hillside Water and Ice Cream

4747 E. Elliot Road, No. 10.

9 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday;

10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday.


Log In

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd,racist or sexually-oriented language.PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.Don't Threaten. Threats of harming anotherperson will not be tolerated.Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyoneor anything.Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ismthat is degrading to another person.Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link oneach comment to let us know of abusive posts.Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitnessaccounts, the history behind an article.

Never miss an issue. Sign up for free today.

Hillside Water and Ice CreamKeep it Clean.PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.Don't Threaten.Be Truthful.Be Nice.Be Proactive.Share with Us.The Entertainer!