Cool off with a ‘Rocky Mountain Snowie’ this summer |

Cool off with a ‘Rocky Mountain Snowie’ this summer

Kirstyn Folmer, 16, of Rifle, hands two snowcones to Lexi Thurmon, 5, of Rifle, at the Rocky Mountain Snowie snowcone mobile kiosk next to the City Market parking lot on Friday, May 9.
Mike McKibbin/The Citizen Telegram |

When hot temperatures arrive in Rifle this summer, cooling off will include something new.

Mike Davis and his wife, Emily, of Rifle, have started operating a “Rocky Mountain Snowie” mobile snowcone business, something he said the town he grew up in had two or three of each summer.

“It’s like eating snow,” Mike Davis said of how he remembers – and how others have described – the shaved ice snowcones he plans to offer through the summer, next to the City Market parking lot on Railroad Avenue.

And Davis is helping provide summer jobs for four or five local teenagers, who prepare the sweet-flavored snowcones.

Davis, a financial representative in the Rifle office of Northwestern Mutual, said he and his wife had wanted to offer such a summer attraction to Rifle residents and visitors for the last three or four years.

“Since we started it, I’ve had several people say ‘I’ve wanted to do that, too’,” he added.

The mobile snowcone kiosk Davis uses is manufactured by Snowie Shaved Ice in Salt Lake City, Utah. The 35-year-old company was the top one in Davis’ online research, he noted.

“They’re pretty unique, because we actually shave the ice off blocks of ice here,” Davis said. “There’s a metal guard that’s forced down over the block and a blade spins so you don’t have chunks of ice.”

The Eagle Springs Farm Fresh Market allows Davis to clean and fill up his kiosk every day, and he gets his blocks of ice from City Market.

Davis said several customers have requested just the shaved ice, with no syrups or flavors.

Small snowcones cost $2, medium snowcones $3, large are $4 and a “flower cup,” which is basically an upside down cup cut so flower petals are formed and the snowcone can be scooped out, are $5.

Davis had to ask City of Rifle officials to amend its mobile business license requirements, a process he called “pretty taxing,” in order to operate. Previously, the city allowed only two temporary vending permits in North Rifle and they were already taken. The city created a separate, seasonal permit to sell non-entree items for six months of the year, Davis explained.

Davis also had to meet the “even more rigorous” requirements of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment in order to start selling snowcones.

Davis has a second, smaller cart he plans to take to summer events, such as the upcoming Rifle Rendezvous, Garfield County Fair, Rifle Farmers Market and others.

Response has already been strong, Davis said.

“The other night, we were training some new kids and cars started to stop and ask for a snowcone,” he said. “So now we’re open at night.”

Rocky Mountain Snowie is currently open every day except Sunday, from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 4:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Davis said. Once the school year ends, he plans to operate from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Fridays and Saturdays have been his busiest days, with as many as 150 and 200 customers, respectively, Davis added.

The teens Davis employs are between 16 and 18 years old and he pays them $8 an hour, plus tips.

One of them is Kirstyn Folmer, 16, who attends the same church as Davis, the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints in Rifle. Several other youths Davis employs attend the church.

“It’s cool,” Folmer said in between customers on Friday, May 9. “The tips can be pretty good. My second night I had about $5 in tips.”

Folmer said her friends ask her if she can give them a discounted price on snowcones.

“I have to tell them no,” she said with a laugh.

Nick Baysinger of Rifle was a first-time customer.

“We were driving by and thought we might as well try it,” he said after purchasing a lemon lime snowcone. “I think it’s awesome for Rifle to have this.”

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