Expansion across the Sunshine Skyway bridge is in the works for Beach Snoballs. Owned by mother-and-daughter duo Amy Milko and September Howat, the St. Pete Beach shaved ice shop has brought on three investors to increase its growth throughout the Bay area, but that doesn’t mean the familial focus of Beach Snoballs is going anywhere.
“The family aspect of these investors really spoke to us,” said Howat.
Beach Snoballs added philanthropist Lisa Jacobson of Tierra Verde, former University of Michigan football player Tripp Welborne, and ESPN football analyst Desmond Howard, who used to play in the NFL, to its ownership team. With the newly appointed trio comes their loved ones — and the family dynamic Howat and Milko emphasize within their business.
“It’s a group of three families who are interested in helping grow more stores,” Howat said, “so this company can be a legacy for all of our families moving forward.
“It’s been a lot of years of hard work — Mom and I, late nights, early mornings and all kinds of crazy trials and tribulations while we were figuring this out.”
Milko and Howat purchased the Beach Snoballs brand, which specializes in the New Orleans specialty that is the snowball, seven years ago after a family vacation to St. Pete Beach. The shop remained in Treasure Island until October 2015 (the original site now houses Coffee Grounds Craft Coffee + Cocktails), then relocated to St. Pete Beach in 2016.
Its next stop? Sarasota.
At the moment, the sole brick-and-mortar location for Beach Snoballs is found at 7350 Gulf Blvd. That second outpost in Sarasota, however, should be up and running at St. Armands Circle in two months. Afterward, the owners plan to open on a Florida college campus, but they can’t announce the details just yet.
Targeting patrons on the go, Beach Snoballs is known to serve up its wide selection of NOLA-style shaved ice via a mobile food truck as well. The shop also recently teamed up with 3 Daughters Brewing for a neat collaboration; those who stop by the St. Petersburg brewery’s tasting room on Sunday can now order a snowball spiked with house key lime or apple cider.
Snowballs, for the uninitiated, are different from snow cones. Howat emphasized that the signature offerings of Beach Snoballs are fluffy treats shaved off of large blocks of ice, drizzled with fruit syrups — ensuring each bite is soaked with flavor — and served in foam cups. The shop offers a variety of toppings and more than 65 snowballs to choose from, including everything from german chocolate to key lime margarita (and there is tequila in there).
St. Pete Beach’s Beach Snoballs operates 2 to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, and noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.