During one of the recent hail storms that hit Taylors, Sno Hut owner David Bishop waited it out in his wife’s car in a nearby bank drive-thru, the overhang providing just enough protection to keep the windshields from being pelted.
Meanwhile, he watched two customers holding cushions over their heads standing outside at the completely unprotected Sno Hut pickup window to order their shaved ice.
He almost couldn’t believe it. Almost.
But over the course of Bishop’s seven years as the owner of the Sno Hut at Edwards Forest Plaza on Wade Hampton Boulevard, he has seen the lengths some people will go for the perfectly packed ice shavings saturated in cherry, grape, blue raspberry, or tiger’s blood.
Take for instance the time a woman in labor stopped by on the way to the hospital. Three days later, she returned with her new baby to pick up some shaved ice for the ride home.
“There’s something about the ice that pregnant ladies love,” Bishop says. “I don’t understand it, but my wife does.”
Then there was the time a wedding party was en route to the reception when the bride and groom got a hankering for ice and pulled over.
“Of course, they cut to the front of the line,” Bishop says.
And the time Bishop’s wife, Lisa, was asked by a young man to write, “Will you marry me?” on a white Styrofoam cup, which he then handed to his girlfriend. She said, “Yes,” naturally.
After 30 years in Taylors, the anecdotes about Sno Hut’s Taylors tradition are seemingly unending. Some are silly, while others are more serious and meaningful.
“We have a lot of families who pick up shaved ice for those who are going through chemotherapy,” Bishop says. “That little bit of shaved ice makes a difference for a little while.”
Creating those memories is what Sno Hut’s original owner, Yvonne Simpson, says made the hard work and long hours worth it.
“I made hundreds of friends,” she says. “I still see people I haven’t seen for 15 years and they say, ‘You’re the Sno Hut lady.’”
Simpson bought and renamed the former Hawaiian shaved ice stand in 1987 when she was looking for a summer job for her teenage son. At the time she was working as an analyst for Greenville County, so she viewed Sno Hut primarily as a means of meeting people.
“You can attract customers of all types if you have a good product,” she says. “You get to talk to people and learn about what’s going on with them.”
Many of those customers were local, including some neighborhood boys who would offer to take the trash out in exchange for an ice.
Bishop was one of those boys.
His fond memories motivated him to purchase the hut from Simpson in 2010 when her husband was no longer physically able to help with the store.
Bishop says his regular customers drive from all over the Upstate, including a family of regulars from North Carolina.
Simpson recalls one family from Utah stopping by while they were on vacation. They liked it so much, they asked her to teach them how to open their own back home. A year later, they did just that.
Today, Sno Hut has a van with the original 30-year-old ice shaver inside that the Bishops take to various day cares, school events, and food trucks.
Even though Simpson no longer owns the hut, she brings her two grandchildren back now and then. If there’s a long line at the pickup window when she arrives, she’ll knock on the door for them to let her in to help.
“It’s my baby,” she says.
Sno Hut 30th anniversary celebration
3243 Wade Hampton Blvd., Taylors
June 17, 1 p.m.