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Totally Tubular: Snoballs and Pop Ices Pop Up in NoHo - The Local East Village Blog - NYTimes.com


Totally Tubular: Snoballs and Pop Ices Pop Up in NoHo


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People’s Pops just got some competition: An Icy Introduction, a shaved ice stand that popped up on Lafayette Street last month, just started selling SnoPops, packaged snoballs that go for $5 a pair and $20 a dozen.

Kafi Dublin, the stand’s owner, creates her snoballs by pouring handfuls of ice into an ice shaver that shreds it into small bits. Then she pours sweet syrup, made with organic Muscovado sugar, on the ice cup and adds toppings like sweet condensed milk, caramel sauce, and marshmallow cream.

SnoPops are packaged in plastic tubes, much like supermarket ice pops. “They’re a portable version,” she said. “You can put them in the freezer and eat them later.”

Ms. Dublin, who opened the stand at 345 Lafayette Street, near Bleecker Street, in May, regularly experiments and adds new flavors to the menu: green apple, cantaloupe, raspberry daiquiri, lychee and vanilla bean are the most recent. She may start serving tamarind-flavored snoballs (“if they come out right”) as early as next week, since Hispanic customers have asked why she doesn’t carry them.

A Chelsea resident, Ms. Dublin has lived in New York for seven years. She was raised in the Caribbean island of St. Vincent in the Grenadines, where snoballs were a childhood staple. “I grew up with them,” she said. “I’m an aficionado by virtue of birth and location.”

Her friend Julie Erinc, who manages the BrowNY vintage boutique, in front of which the stand is located, is a collaborator.

“We decided to do it together because it’s a retro dessert,” Ms. Dublin said. “Everyone grew up — everyone should have grown up — with it. It reminds you of childhood.”

Till the end of September, An Icy Introduction will be open Sunday through Thursday, noon to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday till midnight. Next summer, Ms. Dublin hopes to open more stands in the city. She said the challenge is to get people to try the pops. “It takes about three walk-bys for people to decide to stop,” Ms. Dublin said.