Siddiq Moore said if he can’t be the “McDonald’s of water ice,” he would settle for Burger King.
Moore, founder and owner of Siddiq’s Water Ice, recently celebrated his 21st year on Main Campus and he is working on opening a storefront in West Philadelphia.
He started attending Temple in 1993, studying elementary education and then business. In between classes, Moore worked at a former food truck called Jeff the Chef.
In 1995, Moore officially opened Siddiq’s Water Ice as a stand on campus and by 1997, he stopped attending Temple as a student and decided to focus on his business.
“Water ice is a Philadelphia tradition, so I looked at that, looked at my market,” he said. “I was like, ‘You know, this would do good here.’”
Moore, a Philadelphia native, said he uses real fruit as an ingredient because he is “health-conscious.”
“Other water ice is really concentrated and that stuff gets on your hands and it stains your hands for two days,” he said. “So my thing is, you can imagine what it’s doing to your insides.”
Some of his flavors include strawberry daiquiri, cantaloupe, white grape, kiwi and mango berry.
“You aren’t going to get red lips and blue tongues,” he added.
In July, Siddiq’s Water Ice was the winner of Billy Penn’s Ultimate Frozen Treats competition, beating out Center City gelato shop Capogiro, Rita’s Water Ice and 30 other stores. There were public taste tests at Liberty Place and he was then presented with a trophy outside of City Hall.
Moore decided to open a stand at Temple because he already had a “big network” from being a student and food truck worker.
He added he has seen how much Temple’s food truck district and businesses has grown over the last 21 years.
Captain Eileen Bradley, the community liaison for Campus Safety Services, said she is “very happy” to see how much Moore’s business has grown over the years.
“He cares about the students,” Bradley said. “Even at the community events we run, he is always promoting Temple University.”
Bradley added that he has worked the neighborhood barbecues, her annual children’s party and the “Avenue of the Treats” for Halloween.
Moore is hoping to make his business into a franchise. His flagship location will be at 60th and Irving streets in West Philadelphia.
“Even with my product, it’s a real fruit product, you would think it would be in Center City, Fairmount or other places like those, but my thing is, ‘why can’t West Philly have quality stuff?’” Moore said.
Moore is usually on Main Campus Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. On the weekends, he is a vendor at different festivals and events. The stand’s season runs from late April to the second week of October, he said.
His storefront, which he hopes to open by late November, would allow him to sell water ice year round. He said he hopes to add funnel cake, grilled chicken salads, soft serve and vegan ice cream to the menu.
Moore also works with Sayre Health Group, a primary and preventative care center in West Philadelphia. They work together on the annual Dawah Day and Community Health Fair, which includes a moon bounce for children and a chance for them to have a “good interaction” with police as well as health screenings run by Sayre.
The Sayre Health Group also agreed to paint a mural on the building with the theme of “real fruit and higher education,” Moore said.
“My intention is to have my logo on the building, but also a big tag that reads Temple University, Drexel University, University of Penn[sylvania,] Community College [of Philadelphia,] so what happens is people will go and be inspired to go into higher education,” he said.
With his first storefront location, Moore hopes to bring positivity to the West Philly community.
“Somebody has to be a champion for the people, so my thing is that Siddiq’s Water Ice should be the champion for the people and be the anchor store in the community,” Moore said.
Emily Scott can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.