Cajun Sno-Balls, LLC

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History of the Sno-Ball

Here at Cajun Sno-Balls, LLC in Benton, KY, we aim to bring back authentic New Orleans-style shaved ice. Read about the history of the sno-ball and learn why it is a favorite among locals.


The first-ever recorded appearance of a sno-ball was during the Roman Empire from 27 B.C. to 395 A.D. Snow had to be hauled from the mountain tops to the city before being drizzled with syrup.


Eventually, manufactured snow was made by using tools, such as a wood plane, to manually scrape from a block of ice. Soon, hand-held ice shavers were designed solely to produce sno-balls. Ice shavers made by numerous manufacturers were available in the late 1800s. ln New Orleans, the sno-ball cooling tradition was popularized around the 1920s.

Turning Point

A turning point in the production of sno-balls came during the early 1930s. Ernest Hansen invented the first patented, motor-driven ice-shaving machine to produce New Orleans-style sno-balls in 1934. Initially, Hansen kept the machine within his family, making sno-balls for only his children and relatives.


Two years later, Ernest and his wife Mary took their machine to the streets of New Orleans and opened Hansen's Sno-Bliz. The high volume snow production was welcomed by fellow sno-ball vendors. It did not take long before many other New Orleans sno-ball machines followed.

New Developments

By this time, a grocer named George Ortolano had invented his own ice-shaving machine made of wood, which he later called the Sno-Wizard. When he started getting requests from aspiring sno-ball sellers, he redeveloped his into one made of galvanized metal.


From then on, he drew up blueprints for his machine and set his product into automated production. Sno-Wizards are now the primary sno-ball machines used by vendors in Louisiana and throughout the Gulf Coast.

Sno or Snow?

It was inevitable that the popularity of sno-balls reached far beyond New Orleans. However, a result of this was how vendors outside of Louisiana opted to spell the product as “snow balls.”


Whenever you buy a sno-ball (without the “w”), what you get is a product that stays true to the ethnic heritage of this beloved frozen dessert and the long-standing traditions all New Orleans residents observe when making it.

Get in Touch

Contact us to learn more about our authentic frozen desserts. We serve customers in Marshall County, KY and all its surrounding areas. We look forward to promptly answering all your inquiries regarding what we offer.

For your added convenience, we accept payments through cash and credit/debit cards.

Special Offer

We are giving away a free sno-ball to every child in our area’s school district. Take advantage of this special offer today!

Please Visit our Facebook Page for more great offers and promotions.