Alumni bring blizzards to campus
Two alumni recently opened a shaved ice truck that has received five stars on Yelp and will be on campus from noon to 5 p.m. every Tuesday in front of the Baptist Student Ministry on Calhoun Road.
Brothers Victor and Richard Fernandez, finance and marketing alumni, respectively, opened Texas Blizzard Shave Ice, a snow cone truck with a Hawaiian twist. After graduating in 2008 and 2010, the brothers bought a snow cone trailer on sale for $4,000.
They researched the best snow stands in New Orleans and read numerous reviews on Yelp for tips and resources. After seeing a photo of President Barack Obama snacking on a snow cone in Hawaii, the brothers decided on Hawaiian-style snow cones.
In 2011, they took their shaved ice frenzy to local festivals, and the response from their tasters was positive. In 2012, they moved their trailer to the Heights, and earlier this year, they transferred to the Montrose area. Within two months, Texas Blizzard Shave Ice has been featured on the news for its unique style and flavors.
Texas Blizzard Shave Ice has received offers to set up shops in stores, but they hope to keep a permanent spot at UH.
“We noticed that people like the soft ice, and Hawaiian-style shaved ice doesn’t concentrate the syrup. It has lighter, fluffy ice, and you can taste the flavor all throughout the ice,” Victor said. “The Mexican kind of snow cones are crunchy, and the New Orleans style is known for its soft ice loaded with highly concentrated syrup.”
Victor said he experimented with various ingredients in an attempt to create natural coconut flavors. He closely noted people’s reviews — positive or negative, what sells and what doesn’t sell.
“You only get one shot to impress customers,” Victor said. “The menu changes because we have to naturally make our flavors every day, but we try to keep a minimum of eight flavors. Our most popular order is mango with chile powder.”
Texas Blizzard Shave Ice offers toppings including sweetened condensed milk, chile powder, sour spray and chimoin.