Snoballs at MAM’s: the Heights of Ice

Bloodhound steward and low-cost-wedding expert Sara E. Cotner discovers that the snoballs at the new MAM’s House of Ice in the Fiesta parking lot at 14th and Studewood reside in the upper echelons of the highly stratified frozen-water market:

The New Orleans-sytle snowball shop has been up and running since Friday, May 29, although it has been “a year in the making.” The co-owner that I chatted with is from England but has lived in The Heights for the past 2.5 years. He quit his job as an architect and decided to “jump on a whim” and “have a go at it” by opening a “cottagey, cutesy, cutesy” snoball shop on a piece of parking lot leased from Fiesta. One of the other owners is in the process of quitting her job as a receptionist, and the third owner works in banking as an accountant.

During their year of research, they uncovered a hierarchy of ice. Apparently, snow cones are on the bottom, shaved ice is the next highest level, and snoballs are at the very top, since they are like “eating snow.”

Photos: Sara E. Cotner (top) and MAM’s House of Ice

22 Comment

  • There is definitely a lacking in sno-ball places in Houston (if they are any?).

    I never equated sno-ball to New Orleans style, but come to think of it, I only ever had sno-balls in south Louisiana where I grew up.

    There were three good shops in my home town of Thibodaux alone. One was over 60 years old (around 1998 when I left for college).

    To anyone who doesn’t know the difference: there is no crunch in a sno-ball. It is smooth. It can be made with the same machine as a snow cone, but they just put it on a finest setting possible to make the smallest ice shavings. Sno-balls can hold a lot more syrup than snow cones making them even smoother.

    I’ll definitely have to stop by this place and compare!

  • For me, I equate them to the Hawaiian Shave Ice stands you find up on the north shore of Oahu. There they have made snowballs a true art form adding a variety of items to the cup including a scoop of home made ice cream at the bottom. I was pleased to see MAM’s offered many of the items I’ve grown to love from the Haleiwa offerings. For the price though MAM’s need to make them a bit larger:

  • Great. There goes the snoberhood.

  • I hope they have a plan if/when the Fiesta property is sold.

    Wasn’t far back that this was a discussion. I think it may have been lumped into one of our Kroger 11th street location discussions.

    Luckily being on a trailer, it could just be moved to another location.

  • We went there last night. The chocolate + sweetened condensed milk was fantastic.

    Apparently there is a neighbor across the street complaining about the snowball stand and trying to shut them down. Hopefully MAM’s will successfully fight back so I can keep enjoying snowballs all summer.

  • I went last night as well. The one neighbor across and down about 1/4 to 1/2 block has complained to Fiesta. All the other neighbors on record love MAM’s House of Ice. Fiesta has asked them to leave since they don’t want to hassle with this ONE neighbor.

    GO by MAM’s and sign the petition, call anyone you know at Fiesta and let them know you expect a little backbone from your grocer.

  • They will be given a notice to vacate letter today giving them ten days to vacate.

  • I say move it to Kroger at 11th St.

    No pesky neighbor there. Only businesses.

    It’s said that one pathetic neighbor is enough to kick them out.

    Does anyone know what exactly the complaint was about?

  • Perhaps they felt the Snoball stand doesn’t fit their idea of a Victorian bungalow utopia ;)

  • Yeah,

    And Fiesta is doing a great job with its Victorian details!

  • From what I understand the man has been complaining about Fiesta since he moved in 8-10 years ago. I think this complaint is about the generators. I was sitting right next to them and until they mentioned them, I didn’t notice they were there. He has busy Studewood and about a quarter to a half block between them. His house is on the northeast corner of 15th and Studewood (facing Studewood).

  • 10 days to vacate? Bummer :(

    If they have to move, I second the Kroger on 11th. That development has a lot of unused parking lot.

  • Kroger on 11th is not very pedestrian friendly. Maybe the lot next to Someburger…isn’t it vacant?

  • The Kroger at 11th has a much larger customer base and a lot more kids going by to ask moms and dads to get them one.

    Don’t let pedestrian friendly get in the way of a good business decision.

    Also, as Wes mentioned, there is plenty of room in that parking lot that the snow ball stand could interfere nobody. They could even potentially put a small tent with some tables and chairs for seating.

    I’m sure the shopping center wouldn’t mind leasing them some of the parking lot space.

  • Being from NOLA(until 1 1/2 yrs ago) there is definitely a New Orleans style snowball. My wife and I complained last year that most versions that we found around here were crunchy chunks of ice and claimed to be “New Orleans style”. Not so much. The best two places to get snowballs in Nawlins are Hansens and Plum Street. Both are famous among locals and have been around forever and I miss them dearly. Plum St Snowballs even sets up at Jazz Fest and I made sure to get a few this last year.

    I’ll have to go try this place out and see how good it is, I hope they can stay around in spite of the annoyed neighbor. The closest I have found to NOLA style is Tampico’s(is this right?) which is on main near Spanish Flower. Not bad, but the ice needs to be finer.

  • T Ferguson,

    Glad to hear another Louisianian have the same feeling.

    In my hometown of Thibodaux, Rodrigue’s what the place to go for snowballs. The ice was shaved so fine is made it unbelievably smooth. They also made all their own syrups.

  • Note from the owners of MAM’s House of Ice:
    From MAM’s House of Ice: MAM’S NEEDS YOUR HELP!! First, we want to thank all our wonderful friends and neighbors – you have overwhelmed us with your kind words and support! We had hoped it would be the beginning of a smooth and cool summer in the Heights. However, there seems to be ONE neighbor that has complained to Fiesta about us, evidently this is a pattern with this gentleman and Fiesta has chosen to break our lease instead of having to deal with this one man. We have chosen to try to fight and show Fiesta that the right choice we believe would be to stick behind MAM”S and all the neighbors and friends that support us and let us stay on their parking lot as our lease stipulated. We have 10 days!! So we are asking anyone who would like to come sign our petition or send an e-mail of support that we can show to Fiesta to hopefully win back their support as well.
    THANKS!! And we hope to be the Heights Snoball Place for a long time!!!!

  • I hope the prevail, but if they happen to move I’ve mentioned my preference that’s not too far away.

    If it does end up by Kroger at 11th, I’ll end up buying too many snowballs for my own good.

  • I just got back. Put me down as a non-lover.

    From EMME:
    I went last night as well. The one neighbor across and down about 1/4 to 1/2 block has complained to Fiesta. All the other neighbors on record love MAM’s House of Ice.

  • Tried to go by yesterday – no luck! Apparently they have already been kicked off. Anyone know where/when they might be reopening?

  • For those who may be looking MAM’s has moved to the NW corner of Rutland and 20th, just West of the Kroger up there. They’re on an empty grassed lot and even have space for a couple of picnic benches in back. It was packed yesterday and absolutely delicious.

  • I’m from NOLA. Come up north, near Tomball and give us an opportunity to enjoy. :)