Summertime business a Frisco favorite
Throughout three decades, Mary Mathis transformed her Snow Cone Lady stand from a hobby into a Frisco institution known around the world.
Her recipe for success is simple: Everybody wants her product, and good service turns customers into family.
"We just try to make our customers happy," Mathis said. "It's pretty easy really. I enjoy what I am doing. I enjoy working with kids and meeting people. We have a good time."
When Mathis moved from Oklahoma to Frisco in 1972, she never dreamed generations of locals would know her as the Snow Cone Lady. She remembers the city had only about 1,800 residents at the time and about 3,500 by the time she opened her first stand in 1983. Compare that to the number of people who have "liked" the Snow Cone Lady page on Facebook: 16,119.
She opened the stand because of pressure from her teenage son.
"My 13-year-old son kept begging me to buy him a snow cone stand," she said. "I finally did just to shut him up."
Over the years, Mathis' two kids, three of her grandchildren, other family members, friends and now children of friends have helped her with the stand.
"We are just a family business," she said, "and that family includes our customers. We are like one big happy family."
Long-time customers who began coming to the stand as teenagers now bring their grandkids in for a treat. Regulars proudly wear Snow Cone Lady T-shirts, even when they travel around the world. They have photographed themselves wearing the shirts in different locations and sent the pictures to her.
"I've got them from as far away as Amsterdam," she said. "One of my favorites is four ladies at a famous square in Russia."
Mathis opens her stand every year on April 16–"the day everybody gets through dealing with the tax man," she said–and closes it in mid-September. She only accepts cash.
The Snow Cone Lady offers 55 flavors, including six that are sugar free. Mathis mixes the flavors herself, making her own recipes and flavors as she goes.
Snow cones cost $2 for a large, $1.75 for a medium. "I'm not trying to get rich," Mathis said. "I'm just trying to have some fun. I want everyone to come out and have one."
Follow on Facebook
- Mathis uses Facebook to let everyone know when the stand will be closed
For the Customers
- The Snow Cone Lady built a cover so customers waiting in line will always be in the shade. In addition, the location has several covered picnic tables for those wanting to enjoy their snow cones in at the stand.
- The Snow Cone Lady operates from mid-spring to late summer. The stand opens each year on April 16 and closes in mid-September as children go back to school and summer temperatures begin to cool.
For all ages
Christine Blackburn's girls enjoy their icy treats on the benches next to the Snow Cone Lady Stand in Frisco. The stand has been operating in Frisco since 1983, when owner Mary Mathis opened it to appease her 13-year-old teenage son. The Snow Cone Lady has garnered a dedicated following in Frisco.
Waiting for a treat
Frisco families seek relief from near 100 degree heat at the Snow Cone Lady stand on east Elm Street. Employee Janet Christie staffs the order window.
Snow Cone Lady Mary Mathis needs dozens of bottles of syrup to fulfill orders from her extensive menu of flavors for her snow cones.
The Snow Cone Lady, open afternoons except for Monday, offers 55 flavors of snow cones, including six that are sugar free.
Snow Cone Lady, 6427 Elm St., Frisco, TX 75034, near Frisco Square and Railroad Avenue, Tue.-Fri. 2-10 p.m., Sat. and Sun. 3-10 p.m. Closed on Mondays