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Sno Biz is all in the family

Jun. 27, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

BARBOURSVILLE -- There's no business like Sno Biz. At least not for Michael Vega, the owner of Sno Biz in Barboursville.

Vega reopened the shaved ice stand for the summer season and runs it with his sister Diana Takamori and his father Mike Vega. In addition to offering hundreds of different flavors and flavor combinations, the stand now offers a lunch menu featuring hot dogs, hamburgers and BLT sandwiches.

"I'm a single father raising three children," he said. "I opened this place because I wanted something we can do as a family. I wanted to teach my kids responsibility and get them some work ethics to help them get ready for the real world.

Vega's oldest son Jacob designed a unique flavor combination named for his school mascot, the Barboursville Pirates. The new flavor was introduced two weeks ago.

"My father came in on career day at Barboursville Elementary," said Jacob Vega, 12. "He explained to the class what he does and one of the classmates asked if they can make flavors. He said 'yes, give us a name, and we'll make it.' Someone then yelled out 'The Barboursville Pirate.' The Barboursville Pirate flavor is a mixture of cinnamon, guava, grapefruit and red apple. I wanted a sweet and sour taste, and my brothers thought it should have a kick to it. I put a little cream on it, too. My brothers let some kids try it and they said it was good."

Sno Biz offers dozens of different flavors from cherry, almond and mango and hundreds of different flavor combinations. Popular flavors include blue raspberry strawberry and blue raspberry. Some flavor combinations have even been named after customers such as the "Jordan" which is a combination of strawberry and mango. Sno Biz also offers a Hawaiian Sundae, which is shaved ice over a scoop of vanilla ice cream. When the shaved ice is finished, the syrup flows down and mixes with the ice cream.

"Shaved ice is different from a snow cone because of the texture," Vega said. "A snow cone is gritty and crunchy. You have to chew it. Shaved ice is like fallen snow. It melts on your tongue and there's no chewing involved. It's more refined. We also have slushies and fruit smoothies. We are also going to introduce a protein smoothie."

Shaved ice is traditionally a summer seasonal business, but Vega is hoping to expand upon it. This summer the Barboursville Sno Biz location has added a lunch menu featuring hot dogs, hamburgers and BLT sandwiches. There is also a BCM (bacon, cheddar and mayonnaise) and all beef barbecue. Customers can enjoy a variety of lunch combinations for $5.

"We have 100 % beef burgers and barbecue," Vega said. "It took me about four months before the season to put the menu together. Everything is home cooked. Our hot dog sauce is a recipe that has been with the family for years. We also make the slaw fresh."

Sno Biz is located at 3538 US 60 East. It is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturdays and closed on Sundays. Cash, check and all major credit cards are available. There are options for picnics, parties and other private gatherings. For more information, call 304-521-9421.

If you go

NAME: Sno Biz

TYPE: Hawaiian Shaved Ice, sandwiches

LOCATION: 3538 US 60 East, Barboursville

HOURS: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, closed Sunday

PHONE: 304-521-9421

PAYMENT: Cash, check and all major credit cards

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