I scream, you scream, we all scream for…Tropical Sno. Sure ice cream is the usual hot weather treat, but Tropical Sno is quickly becoming the go-to summer snack.
With forty flavors ranging from cherry to cheesecake and peach to pink lemonade, Tropical Sno is not your average snow cone. There are also combinations larger than the Big Muddy River: pineago which is pineapple and mango, and candy apple which is red apple and cinnamon.
But there is actually more to making a Tropical Sno than most people realize.
“The ice has to be rinsed with water and sit for 15 minutes before it can even be used in the shaver,” explains Marion employee Chelsea Pecord. “Each gallon of flavor takes anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half to make. You have to add water, the flavoring packet, and sugar then proceed to shake it for five to ten minutes.”
After the preparation is done, the workers shave and shape the top of the dome. Pecord said it takes a lot of practice to get the shape and flavor amount down when making a Tropical Sno.
“Once you get it right, you won’t be a sticky disaster anymore and you will actually be able to tell how much flavor to add by the weight and how it feels in your hand,” she said.
The ice is definitely the signature characteristic to Tropical Sno.
“The ice is shaved and real fine and soft, not grainy like most snow cones. Tropical Sno is the brand of the flavors we put on top,” said Phyllis Baysiner, owner of the stand in Marion.
This will be the 16th year of Tropical Sno for Baysinger and it has become more than just a snow cone stand.
“I have people that come everyday and buy the same size and same flavor or they try every flavor there is. You meet a lot of great people and my employees are kind of like family,” she said.
For Herrin Tropical Sno owner Mike Venegoni, his employees actually are family.
“Each of our kids have worked here as a summer job. Our youngest one still works here. That is the main reason we opened it though, it has always been for the kids,” he said.
Venegoni has also been in the Tropical Sno business for sixteen years. He agrees that there is no comparison to any other products.
Both Herrin and Marion Tropical Snos are involved in the Williamson County community in more ways than their stands.
Events such 4th of July, school dances and football games, and family picnics are guaranteed spots for Tropical Sno to show up.
“We started out with just a canopy tent and a card table, and now we have a mobile we take out to events,” said Baysinger.
Venegoni said they try to help out as much as they can and that it is a great community effort.
And Williamson County is definitely responding to their effort.
Both stands opened in April and have been consistently busy. The hotter the weather is, the more they sell.
Baysinger said she has had nothing but excellent feedback from the customers.
“I go there all of the time with friends, it’s the perfect place to go in the summer,” said Cassandra Woods of Marion. “My favorite flavor has got to be Cherry because it has the most flavor.”
Herrin employee Taylor Eisenhauer says her favorite flavor is peaches ‘n cream which consists of peach, vanilla, and half and half flavorings.
Whether you prefer blueberry or tutti frutti, come out to Williamson County’s Tropical Sno stands and see what a real snow cone tastes like.