The business is owned by Niko and Maria Papanikolaou, a married couple who have a big passion for basketball, as well as the Sixers.
“I have always been a huge Philadelphia 76ers fan,” says co-owner Niko Papanikolaou. “When I decided to ask Maria out on a date, I had to take her to her first Sixers game. Fast forward four months, on May 23rd, 2012, she had purchased tickets to the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Boston Celtics, and asked if I wanted to go to celebrate our four months together. At that point, I had already known that I wanted to marry her. I even had the ring ordered already. So I quickly left work to go pick up the ring and get ready for the game. The game was almost over and the kiss cam came up on the big screen. That was my cue! I got down on one knee and ask her to marry me,” he says.
Given that being Sixers fans is such a big part of their lives, making a water ice in honor of the team was a no brainer.
“When the Sixers were on fire this year, I had to create a water ice flavor for them,” Papanikolaou says. “When we decided that we wanted to create a flavor for the Sixers, we knew that it had to be blue and red.”
“The Process” water ice flavor is made with real fruit chunks, and is a mix of blue raspberry flavor, red raspberry and strawberry.
If you’d like to try it yourself, Mama Maria’s Homemade Italian Ice is open Sunday to Thursday from 12 p.m. until 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 12 p.m. until 10 p.m.
They are located at 2900 Aramingo Ave.
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