A taste of the West Coast has come to downtown Comstock Park. Before opening Pink Diamondz Dessertz at 3917 Leland Avenue, Jessica Spinks researched social media sites to find food offerings in other states like California. She came across menu items like Hong Kong Waffles. Spinks says she is pretty sure nobody else in the Grand Rapids and surrounding area offers Hong Kong Waffles. And there is so much more on her menu.
Cookie Monster cones have been a big hit as well as the Signature Cup – a combination of ice cream, whip cream, Rice Krispie treats, and cereal in the frosting - since her grand opening on October 31. There is a dazzling array of sweet treats like bananas covered with your choice of chocolate or strawberry topping, deep fried ice cream, cookie cakes, cone cakes, and cereal bowl. If you’re not in the mood for sweets, there’s nachos, and the pickle plate featuring fried pickles and tortilla strips. You can even get a bag of chips, or popcorn. For drinks she offers bottled water, sodas like Coke and Diet Coke, and, if you want to be healthy, she has V8
Spinks didn’t start out to open a food concession operation, although that’s a big part of her background. She had been working a factory job but wanted to open her open her own business. She said she “saved my money little by little.”
As a kid, Spinks helped her mother who had a food concession truck that she took to carnivals. There is a Comstock Park connection there. Spinks’ mother bought the popcorn that she served on her truck from Grand Rapids Popcorn in Comstock Park. Her mother died when she was 11. Spinks knew how much her mother loved the look on a child’s face when she handed them one of her sweet treats. Spinks knew that one day she would continue “to put smiles on kids’ faces.”
When she found the building for her business in July, she thought the location across from Dwight Lydell Park was perfect for bringing in customers. Unfortunately, reconstruction of the Park started two weeks after she leased the building. But she said business has been good since her opening.
Service is walk up. The menu is displayed on colorful, mouth-watering pictures Spinks found on Instagram. She said her children were eager taste-testers when she began practicing making the treats at home. The building is tiny, just 840 square feet. Spinks plans to be open year-round. She wants to get an outdoor space heater to put in front of the shop and offer hot items like warm waffles, coffee, and cocoa in the winter months.
Spinks grew up in Kentwood but graduated from Ottawa Hills High School. She lives in southwest Grand Rapids and has five children – two girls ages 15 and 13, and three boys ages 11, 8, and one year. When she has time, she likes to read and is writing “a kind of fictional memoir.”
By the way, the Hong Kong waffle was conceived in Hong Kong in the 1950’s. It became a common street vendor food and requires a special waffle maker to create the bubble in the waffle. It is also called egg puff, bubble waffle, eggette, pancake balls, egglet, and puffle. It made its way to other countries as people immigrated. Read more HERE.