BELFAST—Shaved ice, a treat once popular with surfers in California in the 1960s, has made a comeback in 2021 in the form of Belfast Shaved Ice & Provisions, a family-owned concession stand in the heart of Belfast City Park.
Run by Ashley Messner and Rick Strout who live in Brooks, the family leases the food stand from the city and has help from the children, Lennen Ewald and Camille Ewald.
There are 25 all-natural flavors of shaved ice.
“We were vacationing four years ago and got a shaved ice and realized, ‘This is not that hard to do,’ so we researched on how to improve on it without the artificial colors,” said Messner. “We use raw, natural sugar and buy from a company out of Utah that makes natural flavors. So, our blue and green flavors are made from spirulina, the pink and red flavors are made from beet juice and the yellow flavors are from lemons.”
The Snowie 3000 ice machine has a mind of its own, apparently. If Lennen, who operates it, accidentally steps on the foot pedal, the machine spits ice at him.
“The foot pedal is super sensitive, so if you don’t take your foot off all of the way, it’s going to keep spraying you,” said Lennen.
The fully licensed, inspected, and certified kitchen also provides classic concession stand offerings such as hamburgers, hot dogs, Beyond [plant-based] burgers, grilled cheese, fries, nachos, cotton candy and non-dairy ice cream.
“My parents are vegan, so we’ve always been in that world, which is why we have non-dairy ice cream,” said Messner. “The shaved ice is also vegan and gluten-free.”
Belfast Shaved Ice & Provisions is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Likely you’ll see the family sitting nearby in the shade with camp chairs, so go and say hello.
Find out more from their Facebook page.
Kay Stephens can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org