Recognition: The Southern Food and Beverage Museum

The Southern Food and Beverage (SOFAB) Museum is a nonprofit living history organization dedicated to the discovery, understanding and celebration of the food, drink and the related culture of the South. They opened a temporary location at the Riverwalk Marketplace in New Orleans, Louisiana in 2008. It was there that they recognized our SnoWizard SnoBall Machine®'s unique role in shaping the food culture of the city. SOFAB's temporary location is now closed and the organization is waiting to move into a new permanent location. Here are some photos documenting the Riverwalk exhibit:

The SOUTHERN FOOD AND BEVERAGE MUSEUM is devoted to the understanding and celebration of food and culture in the South. SnoWizard, Inc.'s role in revolutionizing the shaved ice industry was featured in the Southern Food and Beverage Museum because of the impact "SnoBalls" have had on the culture of New Orleans and the South.

It is true, necessity is the "mother of invention", George Ortolano came up with the idea to build an electrical shaved ice machine during The Great Depression so he could earn extra income to provide for his family. George's ice shaving machine was perfect in his family's grocery. "SnoBalls" soon were sold at other family member's groceries putting George's SnoWizard machines in all the major neighborhoods in New Orleans. The city was literally "colonized" with George's SnoWizard Machines! From the New Orleans "colonies" SnoBall business grew to rural areas and throughout the South and on to other all the states in the country.

Setting on top of the 1960's model of the SnoWizard SnoBall Machine® is a crock container used in groceries for decades. George Ortolano used these crocks for the SnoBall syrups his wife made. She used ingredients and extracts sold in their small grocery.

George Ortolano's wife Josie, affectionately called, "Mrs. O" came up with the idea of pouring cream on top of SnoBalls as well as adding cream to the syrups. It was because of her that flavors like "Nectar Cream" and "Chocolate Moo-Moo" were born! "Mrs. O's" cream creations caused many customers to call her "The Queen of Cream"! "Mr. and Mrs. O" started using quart sized pouring bottles for their syrups. They found the thick syrups flowed slowly through the metal pouring spout of the time. George had an idea! He used his welding skills to add a simple air hole to the metal spout drastically improving the flow! A Faster flow means serving faster and selling more snoballs! George Ortolano's pourer spout modification was adapted by the manufacturer and is still used today!

The machines are now back on display in our showroom at SnoWizard headquarters on 101 River Road, New Orleans.