Beat the heat with Downtown Phoenix's newest frozen treat

Snoh Ice Shavery opens its second location just a short walk away from ASU's Downtown campus

A new, unique and refreshing twist on shaved ice and ice cream is now available in the heart of downtown Phoenix. The area welcomes Snoh Ice Shavery, which opened its doors on Sept. 24 on the corner of North Second Street and East McKinley Street

Snoh Ice Shavery originally made it to the Valley in 2013 when owner Tony Chanthabong brought the idea from California to Arizona. The first location was built at 914 E. Camelback Rd Suit 4B in Phoenix and had such tremendous success that Chanthabong said he decided to expand to a second location. 

The unique blend of ice cream and traditional shaved ice became available in flavors such as thai tea, pistachio and even matcha to the residents in the northern part of the Valley. 

This fluffy treat, "snoh," has the texture of snow, but is combined with the flavor of ice cream. The employees said the process begins with combining fresh grade-A extracts and all-natural ingredients together. The mixture is flash-frozen to an exact temperature, goes through a curling process to give it its unique texture and then is shaved with a blade. Snoh Ice Shavery offers numerous combinations of Asian-inspired toppings to allow each order to have its own unique combination of flavors.

The business also offers other products including milk teas, iced teas and slushies in a variety of flavors. There are different ways to customize the drinks, including adding ice cream scoops to the milk teas or the slushies, or even topping off a milk tea with a special glaze, available in butterscotch, caramel, chocolate, condensed milk or Nutella flavors. 

Tom Ta, owner of the downtown Phoenix location, said the opening marks a huge milestone for their company in its own business goals.

"Expansion should be the natural course of any successful business," Ta said. "To be able to prove that a business concept can be replicated gives it validation."

The Snoh Ice Shavery's goal is to become the new community favorite when it comes to beating the heat. Ta said he is excited to bring his own version of Snoh into the Valley of the Sun.

"We are always looking for new ways to move forward, whether it's introducing new products, new flavors or bringing our ideas and products to a new part of town," Ta said.

The second location is not identical to the original, however. The inside of the North Second Street building is significantly larger, and includes more urban decor, including concrete floors, urban lighting and colorful murals. 

Ronald Wguyen, an employee of the company for nearly four years, said they aimed to create this location to reflect the scenery of downtown Phoenix.

"This new location caters to the culture of downtown Phoenix with the younger crowds and ASU students, whereas the Camelback location is a lot more family-oriented," Wguyen said.

With the new location just a six-minute walk from ASU's Downtown Phoenix campus, the Snoh Ice Shavery offers students a new variation to a typical study spot. With indoor as well as outdoor seating, the shop provides a cool, quiet place where students can study or relax.

Nkiruka Omeronye is a graduate student at ASU. She said that she thinks Snoh Ice Shavery will be a hit among students because it has all of the qualities college students look for.

"It's great for students because not only is it within walking distance, it's pretty decently priced, it's a good way to cool off on a typical Phoenix afternoon and it's delicious," Omeronye said.

Kim Madrid, a manager of the downtown location, said that the idea to move downtown was the idea of Tony Chanthabong.

"My manager Tony grew up in this area," Madrid said. "So he saw the growth in this community, and he really wanted to become a part of it. That's why he chose this location."

The new Snoh Ice Shavery location had its soft opening on Sept. 22. This means that the company did not announce that it was open to the community, but it had everything ready to go inside the store. Madrid said the only way people knew it was open was if they came in and asked.

The grand opening followed the soft opening two days later, on Sept. 24, and Madrid said the response in the community was overwhelming.

"On our grand opening, we made about $2,000 in about six hours," Madrid said.

She said the company could not be happier with the success of their new location so far.

If the North Second Street location runs as expected, the company also has plans to open a third location. Madrid said the third location would be toward either Scottsdale or Tempe.


Reach the reporter at hkbrand@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @hayieysays

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