Business

Prathers open Twice the Ice machine in Eastwood Shopping Center

20141023_121231Purchasing fresh, purified, affordable ice and water has just become more convenient for Mahomet residents. Earlier this week, Sandy and Daren Prather of Bulldog Ice, LLC installed a Twice the Ice Machine on the south side of the Eastwood Shopping Center.

The Prathers, who have been a part of the Mahomet community for 20 years, have always dreamed of owning a business together. And two years ago when the couple visited Murray State with their son, Daren became captivated by the self-serve ice machine.

After researching the independently-owned and operated machines, the Prathers decided their hometown would also benefit from the readily available ice machine.

Popular in many southern states, Twice the Ice machines offer customers bulk ice and water within 10 seconds of ordering. Accepting both cash and cards, customers can choose a gallon of purified water for $.25 or five gallons of water for $1.

Privately owned containers are necessary to purchase water and 22 lbs. of bulk ice, which can easily be dispensed into a cooler, but the machine will also make a 18 lb. bag of ice. All ice options cost $2.50.

“The biggest benefit for the community is the price,” Daren said. “You’re getting fresh ice at a very economical price.”

Daren also said the water is taken directly from the Village of Mahomet water supply into the machine so employees, truck drivers and other customers are not touching the ice as it is made or dispensed.

“It was just great to see how when I approached (the Village) with this idea, they also thought it would be really good for the community,” Daren said.

Eastwood Shopping Center manager Alex Amatyleon also thought the machine would benefit the community, and so he allowed it to be placed on the south side of the parking lot away from the flow of traffic. Vehicles can enter from the east or west side of the parking lot to access the Twice the Ice machine.

Although the weather is beginning to change, Sandy said it was important to get the ice machine up and running so people could use it before the spring and summer season began.

Twice the Ice is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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