As recounted in the Los Alamitos-Seal Beach Patch, it was a hot day in July when JoAnn Buday's daughter ran into the house, breathlessly gushing about a newly discovered frozen treat called a "sno-ball." JoAnn was intrigued. She spent the day on the computer, her face illuminated in the glow of hundreds of shining reviews of sno-ball shops in New Orleans, where the dish originated. JoAnn had often dreamt of opening a frozen treat shop that would stand out among all the other yogurt and ice cream joints in southern California. Now, at last, she had a plan.
Today, JoAnn captains her own shop, whipping up the frosty snacks lauded by reporters from The Orange County Register. Beneath shelves of colorful syrups, JoAnn and her staff top fluffy shaved ice with more than 30 different types of syrups—including root beer, wine cooler, and coconut. They blend flavors and add layers of creamy ice cream to create imaginative combinations such as peach cobbler and caramel apple pop. Guests snack on frozen treats, hot dogs, and fresh baked goods on the tabletops that speckle the seating area. A colorful mural sweeps across the wall, depicting typical scenes from famous cities around the world, including diners lingering at a cafe in Paris and employed citizens paying their U.S. federal taxes in Seattle.