CrAzY Ice combats heat with shaved ice

While she was helping a friend with their shaved ice business, Sheri Carter said she knew she wanted to open one of her own.

Carter started the process of opening her own business by driving around Odessa to scout locations for her shaved ice stand.

As she passed by the Westlake Ace Hardware, Carter’s memories from 1991, when she first moved to Odessa, reminded her of a shaved ice business in that parking lot.

Carter officially opened CrAzY Ice, located at 4652 E. University Blvd., in the parking lot of Westlake Ace Hardware. CrAzY Ice is open 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week.

“It’s a fun job and I have a lot of repeat customers,” Carter said. “I have people that come every day and there are some people who come twice a day. People are crazy about snow cones.”

Carter uses a Southern Snow Block Ice Shaver that shaves the ice to mimic snow.

The most blocks of ice that Carter has used in a single day is 15. She has about 35 flavors and additional add-ons, which includes Sour Straws, pickles, Ring Pop, Chill and Chamoy, gummies, and other items.

Carter said the third most requested flavors are blue coconut, tiger blood and strawberry cheesecake.

In addition to the shaved ice, Carter also has fresh popcorn, ice cream, chips, canned soda, bottled water and pickle pops. Carter accepts cash, Venmo, payments through Facebook Messenger and Cash App.

“It’s a pretty happy job and most of the time when people come through they are getting their kids a snow cone,” Carter said. “I’ve worked for myself for so long I enjoy it. I enjoy it.

“When it gets busy, it can get stressful and I know people get tired of waiting and lines get long. I think we have all learned, especially in the last year, that everybody is shorthanded and you just have to wait.”

CrAzY Ice has a drive thru and a walk-up window.

There are also picnic tables with umbrellas for people who utilize the walk-up window.

On Wednesday afternoon, Robert Luna, 30, and his 3-year-old son, Alikai, stopped by the shaved ice stand on their way home from Hobby Lobby. Luna said he’s beginning his own business by making custom rugs.

Luna said it’s important for the community to support “mom and pop” businesses.

“Businesses like this are beneficial, especially on a hot summer day like this,” he said. “These are mom and pop snow cones. This isn’t a corporate place like Bahama Buck’s.”

Carter said the busiest times for her have been 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., but she knows that can change as the summer goes into full effect.

“I wouldn’t want to do anything else,” Carter said with a smile.