The economics of the snow cone business

Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - For just a couple of bucks, you can beat the heat with a delicious snow cone.

Doesn't seem like too much to spend to cool down, so can selling snow cones really be a profitable business?

The East Texas News talked to some snow cone stand owners who break down the economics behind snow cones.

Dennis Heagy makes snow cones.

He's been shaving ice and mixing syrups for two years in his stand is on the corner of Herndon and Frank in Lufkin.

Heagy bought the fully-stocked stand four about $13,000 and says business is good.

"I think I done about $17,000. I'm not really sure. I'm doing a lot better this year" said Heagy.

Yes, you read right, $17,000 in profits for cups of shaved ice and flavored syrup.

If you break it down he had to sell more than 8,500 medium snow cones at $2 a pop but he says the profits are good because the overhead costs are low.

"Buying the syrup is probably you're biggest expense, our ice we make ourselves so that's a big savings right there," said Heagy.

The Frigid Frog shaved iced stand on timberland purchases their ice by the bag which cuts into their bottom line.

"$4.75 a bag or something [that can be quite expensive] yeah especially if the weather is not right and you're not making the money to buy the ice," said Esmeralda Guillen, owner of Frigid Frog.

Guillen has been serving up shaved ice for four years and says a successful sales days is all about the weather.

On a good day she says about 50 people line up for cups of the icy treat meaning her profits could range from $75 to $200 dollars a day.

"It can be really good and really not so good," said Guillen.

Guillen estimates her snow cone season profits from March to October to around 1$0,000.

Ashley Poole and her SnowBosses are new to Lufkin.

She set up shop on Kurth drive near MLK after dishing out $7,000 to get her stand.

Poole said she invested probably close to like "$8,500 almost $9,000. But the profit is good. It's worth it. The kids come out and get a good treat and we make our money back so it's a good deal.

Poole buys blocks of ice $2 for $4 and says it's not a huge expense.

But SnowBosses also makes homemade syrups, which cuts out the $28 or so dollars to buy the store bought flavorings.

"We have a lot more extra stuff than the basics that they sell in the store just trying to bring something positive to the neighborhood," said Poole.

Each stand has their own signature style and flavors but they all agree the key to a good snow cone is flaky ice and lots of juice.

There are about 10 stands cranking out the snow cones in Angelina County right now and don't be surprised of you run into a rival stand owner taste-testing the competition.

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