- Cullman, Alabama

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July 8, 2014

Sno Biz owner serves icy treats, helps community youth

While the increasing summer heat may put a damper on some businesses and plans, there is at least one business that thrives and flourishes in the scorching sun.

Donnie Handley’s Sno Biz franchise, which is next to Desperation Church, is attracting more customers than ever.

“The first part of this summer has been the best yet,” Handley said.

Handley’s 96 flavors and 208 different combinations make his menu daunting for customers, but he does offer advice.

“A lot of the customers find it hard to choose,” Handley said. “I tell them to come back everyday and work their way down the list.”

However robust the menu is, Handley noted there were customer favorites. Peaches and cream and homemade ice cream are his best sellers.

Handley’s Sno Biz is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays are left in the air, and it is closed on Sunday.

According to Handley, his business does face unique challenges despite its success during the hottest part of the year.

“Not many people jump out of the bed and want a Sno Biz,” he said.  

Handley said his primary method of attracting business was personality and being recognizable, which his long tenure in Cullman certainly helps with.

His Sno Biz opened in 1999.

“I bought it for my kids, so they could have a summer time job,” Handley said. “They ended up wanting to work just a few hours and then go off and play, so I ended up taking it over.”

Handley’s business is also mobile, and he serves events around the city. He often works with Desperation Church and serves shaved ice at their events. He most recently attended the fireworks festival at Heritage Park.

Handley may be most recognized for serving Cullman frozen treats, but he also serves the city in other ways. He particularly works with the city youth.

“I was the Boy Scouts Cubmaster at East Elementary for about nine years,” he said. Handley received the Unit Leader Award of Merit, which — among other things — requires that the nominee project a positive community image and builds a strong relationship  with the local organization.  

Handley is currently a member of the Cullman Elks Lodge, where he works with youth in the Elks Hoop Shot Free Throw Contest.

“Young people are going to take care of us one day,” he said. “A lot of people like to hunt or fish in their free time — I like to help kids.”

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