Alinosi Ice Cream & Candy in Detroit is selling for $595K


Alinosi Ice Cream & Candy, at 12748 E. Mcnichols Ave. in Detroit, is up for sale and includes an original soda fountain. (Photo: Good Company Realty)

A sweet, 100-year-old Detroit tradition could be bought for the right price.

The owner of Alinosi Ice Cream & Candy is selling his business, along with its location on East McNichols with an original soda fountain, for $595,000, according to a real estate listing that was posted Saturday. 

That includes the east side shop, which closed to the public in 1991, and the company’s wholesale business that operates five days a week. Alinosi’s ice cream and french-style chocolates are distributed in area grocery stores, reception halls and restaurants, including the Chocolate Bar Café in Grosse Pointe Woods.

Interior photos of the establishment are a flashback to classic ice cream parlors, complete with a baby blue and pink neon sign, stainless steel ice cream bar, round stools and soda fountains.  

“When I walked in, I felt like I was walking onto the set of Happy Days,” said realtor Heather Dell.

Alinosi Ice Cream & Candy, at 12748 E. Mcnichols Ave. in Detroit, is up for sale and includes an original soda fountain. (Photo: Good Company Realty)

The owner and grandson of one of the two founding brothers, Steven DiMaggio, is ready to retire and hopes to sell to someone who wants to take on the entire business and maybe even reopen the building to the public, Dell said. 

He’s even willing to help with the transition, she said. The two main employees are DiMaggio and a chocolatier, who wants to stay on. 

“He would love nothing more then to see someone pick it up and grow it,” Dell said. 

DiMaggio, through Dell, declined to comment. 

Brothers Louis and Joseph Alinosi opened their first shop selling homemade ice cream and baked goods in Detroit in 1921 after immigrating from Italy, according to a 1996 Detroit Free Press article. They later expanded, opening seven franchised soda shops in the city. In 1942, the operation moved to the East McNichols location and it would become the lone surviving Detroit store. 

Much of the equipment was made specially for Alinosi, including a wide variety of hand-made candy molds, mixers and a slicer for one of the company’s most well-loved treat’s, Spumoni, a three-flavored gelato. Fans also will remember the molds for creating the big chocolate Easter bunnies in the window displays, Dell said. 

The proprietary recipes come with the sale. They make their own chocolate fillings, including jellies, cream and caramel, on-site and have a “boxing room” to wrap them up for sale. 

The pandemic has been “a challenge,” but the demand for Alinosi’s sweets is strong, Dell said. 

Within 24 hours of listing the business online, they’ve already scheduled several showings, she said. 

Reporter Christine MacDonald can be reached at [email protected] or 313-418-2149.

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Wednesday November 2, 2022