Area snow cone stands ready top cool things down for summer

Published 12:38 am Sunday, June 4, 2017

By Christian Coffman

NATCHEZ — Summertime is snow cone time in the Miss-Lou.

A few local snow cone stands have reopened around Natchez and Vidalia to sell residents their tasty, ice-cold treats.

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One such business is Martie Hoover’s Snowball Paradise, which opened in March and closes near the end of August.

The stand is open from 12 to 5 p.m. on Sundays and 12 to 6:30 p.m. during the rest of the week, except Wednesdays when it closes at 6 p.m.

Hoover said her pink and blue stand has been open on Taconey Plantation Road every summer since 2011, ever since she moved the business from behind the Sprint station near the Vidalia Police Department location.

“They sold the station so we had to move,” Hoover said. “We had a lot of people having trouble finding us (back then), because we were behind the building.”

Hoover said when the original station owner and proprietor of the snow cone stand died, the new gas station owner offered Hoover and her husband, Joe Hoover, the opportunity to own the stand themselves.

“I bought it and it was kind of exciting because I could use my knowledge of recipes; I have a really great clientele, kids who … jump up and down and their faces light up,” Hoover said.

Hoover said she has been in the restaurant and manufacturing businesses and has been a manager — talents which she said have lent themselves well to running her stand.

Snowball Paradise offers 100 flavors, 13 of which are sugar-free and nine being clear-colored, which Hoover said is great for parents who do not want their children getting messy.

“I make up a lot of the recipes,” Hoover said, referring to her the popular Spongebob and Spiderman flavors, among others.

Other treats served at Snowball Paradise include large pickles, pickle pops — frozen pickle juice on a stick — and Xtreme snowballs.

Based on a New Orleans recipe, the snowballs are served in a cup and are made of soft shaved ice simple syrup. Toppings include chocolate syrup, caramel, and gummi worms.

“Snowballs are as Louisianan as crawfish… (making them) is a very old tradition,” Hoover said.

Natchezians will be pleased to know there are many snow cone stands around town as well. One of them belongs to Hunter Gardner and her husband Brad.

Snow Shack, the “Home of the Gourmet Snow Cone,” opened in April and will close in September. The hours are from 12 to 6:30 p.m. every day but Sunday.

Gardner said this is the stand’s firts year, but business has been doing well on Seargent S. Prentiss Drive.

“I started the business because I was bored, but it’s a lot of fun and you meet a lot of people,” Gardner said.

The gourmet snow cones Gardner and her co-workers serve include cheesecake, ice cream and fruit.

One concoction called the Chantilly Cake is a strawberry and wedding cake syrup snow cone stuffed with homemade cheesecake, strawberries and blueberries and topped with fresh fruit and cream.

“It’s become very popular,” Gardner said.

Locals as far as Ferriday may also be pleased to know that a snow cone stand on Delaware Avenue will be opening to a wider audience.

Pudgy’s Snow Cone Stand is named after Jamol “Pudgy” Foster, who works with his friend Pat Westbrook for Foster’s grandmother, Elouise Foster.

“She’s the owner…this is a family business that we’re just starting out,” Foster said.

Westbrook said he and others have been working on preparing the shop to be open in the next couple of weeks.

“We’ll be ready for the kids in the summertime,” Westbrook said.

The flavors Pudgy’s Snow Con Stand will offer include the invented concoctions of Granny Green Apple, Hurricane, Pina Colada and Tiger’s Blood, a favorite amongst those lucky enough to try it.

Other items on the menu will include nachos, popcorn balls and caramel apples.

Originally from California, Westbrook plans on opening up a taco stand on U.S. 84 as it winds into Ferriday.

To contact Snowball Paradise, call or text Hoover at 318-758-7573.

To contact Snow Shack, call 318-719-1994.

To contact Pudgy’s Snow Cone Stand, call 318-437-8489.