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Snowballin’

SNO-OH brings southern treat north

“The Malone Sisters” sounds like an Irish-girl gang movie; however, it couldn’t be farther from the truth. Instead of ruling the city with fists of Éire fury, Amber, Kayla, and Ashley are looking to conquer with a sweet, summer, treat. Together, they run the SNO-OH dessert pop-up and cart.

Snoballs are a traditional New Orleans treat; grabbing one—at Hansen’s preferably—while in the Crescent City is akin to stopping Jeni’s Splendid while on vacay here in Columbus. SNO-OH has been sharing this chilly treat with the city for a little over a year now. On this particular Saturday morning, the trio has set up at the Made Local Marketplace in Polaris Fashion Place.

Snoballs are not to be confused with snow cones. “The ice is a much finer shave, right off the block,” Ashley explained, nodding towards their shaved ice machine, “so it absorbs the syrup, it doesn’t all go to the bottom.” The ice itself is soft and fluffy, like fresh fallen snow, not like wee shards of pebbley ice. Introduced to the snoball while living in New Orleans, Amber and Kayla lassoed in Ashley and together they went all in on SNO-OH. “I trusted them,” said Ashley. “The first time I had a snoball was in my sister’s kitchen!”

As sisters often do, the three tell the story of the SNO-OH light bulb moment by finishing each others’ sentences and speaking as one. “It’s a weird story…we were driving to our grandma’s funeral in Southern Ohio and we were in an area where there was no phone service…We were talking about how much we wanted a snoball and someone said, We should start a food truck! By the end of the drive, we had a name and logo.”

All three have full-time jobs. “This is just for us,” said Ashley. Their mom owns her own business, so being an entrepreneur runs in the family. “Our dad said, ‘what made you think you work together in a 10 foot truck?’” grinned Amber. “He was surprised and happy we made it work…we all talked about it and did it.”

Kayla is the one who likes to play around with the syrup flavors. “I’m still learning,” she said. “Our house flavor right now is Summer Snow, pineapple lemonade.” The stand also has a featured snoball, “You Know Nothing Jon Snoball” featuring vanilla syrup with a blood-red streak of cherry. Other flavors include pineapple habañero, pistachio, buttercream, grape, and creamsicle. All can be ordered with a splash of sweet condensed milk to give the treat a smooth, creamy texture. There are little pots of black and habanero salts to create that sweet/salty contrast that shakes up the palate.

“People from, or who have visited New Orleans love it,” said Amber. “We want Columbus to open its arms to this summer treat.”

At one of the sisters’ first event, their father took one look at the long line and commented, “I think this’ll be okay.”

Check up on SNO-OH’s whereabouts by following them on Instagram as sno_oh, on facebook as SNO-OH, or the web, sno-oh.com.

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