Snow Cone Wars
Here’s a good sign summer and warmer weather is right around the bend: the shaved ice (glorified snow cones) kiosks, which have been in hibernation for the winter, are waking up and coming to life.
Fuzzy Navel or Maui Wowi?
I’m always amazed that people will spend a couple bucks on a little ice and some sweet syrups with funny names like “Fuzzy Navel” and “Maui Wowi”. But I’m right in line with them.
The first snow cone stand of the season opened this weekend by some newcomers to the biz. Our friends, Greg and Kim Goodman, have set up shop on the west side of Memorial, just south of 71st street. They call it Sno Big Deal. Two of their six kids, Rob and Jace, will mind the store.
With more than 100 choices, I asked Jace for a little help:
- Me: “What’s your all-time biggest seller (since opening yesterday)?”
- Jace: “Tiger’s Blood.”
- Me: “That sounds like a winner. If it’s good enough for crazy Charlie (Sheen), then give me some Tiger’s Blood.”
If you live in Tulsa, you probably know the shaved ice king is someone named Josh… as in Josh’s Sno Shack. Josh Juarez opened his first Josh’s seven years ago, and now has three locations. On King Josh’s Facebook page, they’re counting down to the April 22nd season opener at its flagship location at 71st and Garnett, where they’ll be giving away t-shirts, bumper stickers and pens.
Big Wheel Greg
If anyone can take on King Josh, it’s Big Wheel Greg Goodman. He’s quite a salesman. He can sell ice to an Eskimo, so how difficult will it be to sell ice to overheated, panting customers? For several years, Greg and family have run a successful kettle corn business. You may have seen them at University of Tulsa football games or weekend festivals.
I tried to get Greg to talk smack about Josh’s. He didn’t bite. Instead he told me:
“We’ve had such great success in the concession business with kettle corn, the shaved ice add-on just seemed like a logical extension.”
He went on to say:
“When my kids heard that Josh put himself through college selling shaved ice, they figured there’s room for more educated snow cone salesmen.”
David vs. Goliath
Look out Tulsa. The ice will be flying. The snow cone wars could get hot and heavy this summer. Sno Big Deal vs. Josh’s Sno Shack. Big Wheel Greg vs. King Josh. David vs. Goliath.
As I took another bite out of my Charlie Sheen special, I was imagining that both were thinking the same thing… WINNING!