Here in Oklahoma, we have very specific seasons. We still have all the normal ones like Fall Winter and Spring, but we also have a few Okie-specific ones like Tornado Season, Allergy Season, and my personal favorite: Sno-Cone Season. There is no better treat on a hot summer day than Josh’s Sno Shack.
Ten years ago, a single blue shack popped up in Tulsa and opened its little window to the public. Today, Josh’s serves seven locations in the Tulsa metropolitan area and even has on-site catering and a mobile van to provide refreshing sno cones at many local events and festivals. To me, it’s not officially summer until those huts start popping up all over town. Locally owned, Josh’s is a Tulsa institution and my absolute favorite small business.
Like any small business, Josh’s is not without risk. Though they have relatively low overhead costs, Josh’s Sno Shacks are only open five months during the year so they cannot afford to have many slow days. Also, every summer, new trends pop up that could potentially threaten the niche market of cold summer treats. I am pretty loyal to sno-cones, but I cannot say an ice cold pineapple whip doesn’t sound pretty delicious this summer. Because Josh’s Sno-Shacks are seasonal, they are known to hire a rotating cast of high school students which can present challenges in training and consistency among the employees.
Their seasonally-opened huts also remain in their same locations all year. Most of them are located in the parking lots of larger businesses or shopping centers. Because they are only operational during the fleeting summer months, those larger businesses offer no protection and are not responsible for any damage or vandalism that could occur to the hut or any contents left inside. Despite all of these things, from may to September, hungry customers make lines down the street.
Though owning a small business can present many risks, it is so rewarding to know that the landscape of the city is forever changed by one guy named Josh. It reminds me that one person with a good idea can make a difference in the lives of so many people. Josh’s has added to the culture of my hometown and no matter where I go, every sno-cone I have will remind me of those little blue huts in my hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma and I can't wait to get in line!