Greenville doesn't get much snow, but if the lines at the new Pelican's SnoBalls stand at 1122 S.W. Greenville Blvd. are any indication, local residents enjoy frozen treats.
The Pelican's SnoBalls franchise, owned by three brothers from eastern North Carolina, opened April 25 and already had regular patrons a week later.
"I've come by every day," said Pitt Community College Student Jasmine Herring of Elizabeth City as she disposed of her empty cup and spoon.
What's the attraction?
It's simple but delicious. The "New Orleans-style" SnoBalls start with shaved ice so thin and fine that it feels dry to the touch. A mound goes in a cup and then it's drizzled with a flavored syrup. Then another mound of fluffy shaved ice goes on top of that, and it's molded into a round sphere and more flavoring is drizzled on.
A Pelican SnoBall melts in your mouth; there's no grainy ice to chew. And the flavor stays intense all the way through until your cup is empty.
There are more than 100 flavors -- including some sugar-free options -- to choose from. Selections include Butterscotch, Mango, Egg Custard, Fireball, Grape, Guava, Orange, Pink Bubble Gum, Peach, Dill Pickle, Red Velvet Cake, Coffee, Sweet Tart and Toothpaste. Toothpaste?
The flavors can be mixed and matched, punched up with sour spray or made velvety smooth with cream. And then there are toppings like gummies, marshmallows, sprinkles, whipped cream and Nerds.
Daniel Wischhusen, who owns the franchise with his brothers Eric and Marshall, said the house favorite is the Strawberry Cheesecake with Cream. The most popular flavor in Greenville so far has been the Blue Raspberry, and Tiger's Blood (what?) is the top seller at their original Goldsboro location.
Jasmine said her favorite is the Rainbow SnoBall with Sour Spray, kinda like a drinkable bag of Jolly Ranchers.
I got Birthday Cake with Cream on Monday. And again on Tuesday.
There are nearly 40 seasonal Pelican's SnoBalls locations in the state, including Wilson, Rocky Mount and Kinston.
Daniel said he and his brothers have been successful with their Goldsboro location and his brother Eric, an East Carolina University graduate, suggested they open a franchise in "his favorite city," Greenville.
It appears that Greenville residents are glad they did.
1122 S.W. Greenville Blvd.
Walk-up windows for ordering and pick-up
accessed by ramps, seating at picnic tables
$3 for a basic regular size
Open noon-9 p.m. daily, rain or shine,
will close for season October 31 and reopen Spring 2017