On a hot summer’s day, all anyone is looking for is a way to cool down. You try a dip in the pool, a cold drink, and then some ice cream, but it never is quite enough to alleviate the 100°F/40°C heat. Why not try something a little bit different? Sno Cones provide a perfect alternative. Made with shaved ice and one or a mixture of over one hundred different flavored syrups, this classic summer delight is a pleasure for all age groups.

However, because sno cones are more seasonally variable than any other summer treat, it would be practically impossible to base a stand-alone business on this industry. Businesses solve this problem in typically two different ways. Some shops, like Big Top Candy Shop in Austin, serve sno cones in addition to a huge variety of other products, like soda, candy, novelty gifts, and ice cream. Other enterprises base themselves in small trailer trucks (something in between the classic ice cream truck and a food truck), and thusly can move from one hot spot to another, and then pack up around the first week of September when school is back in session and demand decreases.

This trend is popular in many warmer states of the US, such as Louisiana, Texas, California, and Hawaii. Each region has a different style of sno cone preparation, for example the New Orleans’ shaved ice style is called “snowballs” and consists of inundating the ball of ice with a rich and sweet flavors ranging from something simple like Watermelon to Boston Cream Pie. This sweet concoction is then topped with a cream topping, similar to condensed milk, adding creaminess to the mix that makes the ice land softly on the tongue.

If you happen to pass by a sno cone stand on one of these hot summer days, take the time to share in the tradition or to support the flavor and texture experimentation that these modest enterprises form part of!