I get depressed by the expression: "So close, yet so far away."
That's how I feel about MAM'S House of Ice Snoballs.
It used to be so close to my house. A mere four blocks. And now it's located all the way on 20th Street and Rutland (okay, okay, I confess: it's only 1.3 miles away). But still. I loved the sense of community and the yumminess that sprouted in the Fiesta parking lot. I mean, no one even uses that side of the building.
I decided to check in with the folks at MAM'S to see how they're doing at their new location. The truth is, they're doing better than ever. They said, "We didn't want to move, but it's actually worked out for the best."
Their new location (which they rent from an architect for the same cost as the Fiesta lot) gets shade in the afternoon, and it's grassy, so the "kids can run around." They actually feel like they get more driving traffic on 20th Street than they did on Studewood. In fact, a weekday at the 20th Street site is comparable to a weekend day at the Fiesta site. And, the new site has a breeze.
I'm still amazed that one little curmudgeon had the capacity (and audacity) to force the little blue house o' goodness to move. The owners said he threatened to sue Fiesta over these complaints:
- MAM'S blocked the Fiesta sign (um, assuming it did, why would he care?)
- It was a danger to kids because it was too close to the road (ahem, the sidewalk is even closer to the road--is that a danger to kids, too?)
- It looked cheesy (really? really you can sue over that? and the Fiesta sign doesn't already look cheesy?)
- The cash register encourages crime (and how many cash registers does Fiesta have?)
- MAM'S was in the sight triangle (I can think of other things in The Heights that obscure views).
Despite the fact that hundreds of supporters signed the petition to keep MAM'S in the Fiesta parking lot, they had to move.
The truth is, all the drama has been good for publicity. They say, "He did us a favor." They've been featured in the newspaper and on TV.
MAM'S is working hard to continuously increase their appeal. One of the owners spent two hours working at the SnoWizard on River Road in New Orleans. As a result, they have a new and improved technique for shaping the ice. They also added natural flavors that they make themselves (which recently included pomegranate and honey, pineapple and coconut, and peach/papaya/mango). Other new flavors include buttered popcorn, dulce de leche, king cake, tamarind, and white chocolate chip--just to name a few. They also added a doggie bowl, which includes shaved ice with organic chicken broth for $1. They're still trying to figure out the eco-friendly cup situation, but in the meantime, you're more than welcome to bring your own cup and spoon.