Oklahoma's icy treats help beat the heat

Record triple-digit temperatures are good news for some Oklahoma businesses serving up icy treats.
BY JENNIFER PALMER jpalmer@opubco.com Published: July 22, 2011
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The record streak of triple-digit temperatures has been good for business at Eskimo Sno in Norman.

“We are probably one of the only businesses that enjoy the 105-degree weather. Us and air-conditioner repairmen,” owner Adrian Buendia joked.

Two of the Eskimo Sno locations have indoor seating, and the store on NE 12th Avenue also has a drive-thru, which is especially popular on hot days. Walk-up traffic at its snow cone stand on Lindsey Street does tend to slow a little once the mercury rises above 100, he said.

At Hawaiian Mike's Sno-Balls at the corner of SW 119 and Pennsylvania Avenue in Moore, few customers were willing to leave their air-conditioned cars to order at the shack's window. “If I didn't have to work, I'd stay inside until the sun goes down, too,” a worker said Tuesday.

He said triple-digit temperatures mean it's even busier in the late evenings.

Enjoying a busy summer is FREEMAN ICE in Madill in southern Oklahoma.

The ice factory provides bags and blocks of ice to a variety of customers, including convenience stores, grocery stores and snow cone stands.

Owner Kent Freeman said the block ice fits into the ice shavers snow cone stands use. “The hotter it is, the more ice we sell,” he said. “When it's 108, we sell all we can make.”

The company has an industrial ice maker than can produce 20,000 pounds of ice a day.

Freeman's dad, Ken Freeman, is part owner, and they have been known to deliver ice even at midnight if a customer is in need.

“People say it must be a cool job, but it's actually pretty hard work. You're sweating and standing in the sun loading bags into the machines. It's hot, and it's work,” Freeman said.


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