When the temperature rises in Maine, Mainers typically turn to ice cream for a little cold comfort. This unusually sweaty summer, though, when so many people are working from home without air conditioning, calls for bigger ammunition to fight the heat and humidity – icy treats such as shave ice, snoballs, and boozy ice pops.

(Note: The Hawaiian version is called shave ice. Shaved ice is a broader term for the treat, which is said to have a texture resembling snow. Maybe that’s why Mainers like it?)

This year, it seems, there are more options for these icy refreshments in Maine than ever. Here’s our guide to who’s peddling sweet, colorful ices this summer. Treat yourself!

Lauren Gauthier makes Snoballs during a pop-up event at her Portland home on August 2. Gauthier calls herself a “shaved ice nerd.” Carl D. Walsh/staff photographer


Lauren Gauthier, owner of the Little Easy Snoballs food truck, is a self-described “shaved ice nerd” who grew up on Louisiana-style snoballs, sold them as a teenager at her neighborhood pool concession, and always dreamed of having her own snoball stand. “I love them more than beignets,” said Gauthier, who moved from Louisiana to Portland last year.

Number of flavors: 25 classic flavors, including Louisiana favorites such as wedding cake, cotton candy, nectar and tiger’s blood (a combination of watermelon, strawberry and coconut), plus 16 rotating flavors such as coffee, chai and Thai tea.


Most popular flavors so far: Strawberry, coconut, grape

Most unusual flavors: Cardamom, basil, jalapeno

Toppings: Condensed milk “snocap,” marshmallow fluff, ice cream, whipped cream

What’s a snoball? It’s not a snow cone, which is crunchy. A snoball is made with finely shaved ice that soaks up the syrup.

Cost: $3.50 – $6

How to find her: Gauthier, who has been doing neighborhood pop-ups, plans to be in the Back Cove parking lot in Portland, next to Hannaford, on weekdays from 5 p.m. until sunset, and on the Eastern Promenade weekends from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Check her website, littleeasysnoballs.com, for changes in her weekly schedule.


Kathleen Harding of South Portland shares her Snoball with 10-month-old Brendan Harding, who is held by his mom, Hannah Harding of Portlland, during a pop-up shaved ice event at the home of the owner of Little Easy Snoballs. Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer

These Freeze Poptails from Vena’s Fizz House evoke childhood memories of cooling off with ice pops in summer. Photo courtesy of Vena’s Fizz House


Remember those frozen ice pops your mom bought for you at the grocery store when you were a kid on summer break? They were nothing but sugar juice in not-of-this-world colors, but you loved them. Vena’s Fizz House in Portland has developed an adult version of the ice pop so you can revisit that favorite childhood treat.

Number of flavors: Eight – five cocktail flavors and three mocktails, including “pina nolada” and fluffy fizz, which comes with a mini bag of cotton candy.

Most popular flavor: Negroni. It even has a little orange rind in it.

Most unusual flavor: Campfire, made with rum, smoky hops, lemon, blood orange and smoked bitters.

Cost: Cocktails $6, mocktails $3


Where to find them: At Vena’s only, 345 Fore Street, Portland. Hours are 2 to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 2 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday.

What else: Vena’s is now selling unfrozen pops as well, by customer request. Because many of the pops contain fresh citrus, be sure to pop them in your freezer as soon as you get them home.

Riley Johnston pours a rainbow shave ice in a flower cup at Hawaiian Jim’s in York Beach. Photo courtesy of Hawaiian Jim’s


Hawaiian Jim’s has been around for 32 years. The current owner of the York Beach shop, Trevor Fitzgerald, starting working for the original owner when he was 14. After he graduated from college, he bought the place.

Number of flavors: 19

Most popular flavors: Bubble gum and cotton candy for kids; cherry, watermelon and pina colada for adults.


Most unusual flavor: Vanilla. Vanilla ice. Ice ice baby. (Sorry, we couldn’t resist.)

Cost: Ranges from $3 to $4.25, depending on size and style of cup.

What else: If cooling off with shave ice puts you in a hang-ten mood, Hawaiian Jim’s also sells board shorts, sandals and skateboards.

Where to find them: 7 Railroad Avenue, York Beach. The store is open 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. through Labor Day, but has been closing earlier this summer because of lack of tourist traffic. It will remain open on weekends in the fall, as long as weather permits.

Hawaiian-style shave ice served by Haole Ice is served on a base of vanilla or macadamia nut ice cream. Photo courtesy of Haole Ice


Julie and Don Martin, owners of this food cart, handcraft the fresh fruit syrups they use in their traditional Hawaiian-style shave ice. Their ices are served on a base of either vanilla or macadamia nut ice cream. (Dairy-free options are available, as well.) Toppings include a “snow cap” of sweetened condensed milk, toasted coconut, or Li Hing Mui powder (a tangy plum extract).


Number of flavors: 17

Most popular flavor: Macadamia nut ice cream with pineapple and coconut syrups, topped with a snow cap and toasted coconut.

Most unusual flavors: Cantaloupe, passion fruit, guava.

Cost: $5.50 to $6.50, with upcharges for type of ice cream (macadamia nut costs $1 extra) and toppings. Each shave ice comes with two syrups.

Where to find them: Mostly on Portland’s Eastern Promenade, but also Commercial Street. The couple is typically out selling on Thursday through Sunday; you can find their weekly schedule posted on Instagram (@haoleice) and Facebook (Haole Ice).

What else: Keep your dog cool, too, with the Ice Ice Puppy – plain shave ice in a cup topped with a dog treat. Cost: $1.


The Acadia Sunset from Snowology207 blends cherry, mango and orange creamsicle flavors. Photo courtesy of Snowology207


Rene Hoglund of Portland made shaved ice for her kids’ school events for years before deciding to turn it into a food truck business. She was planning to open June 1, but on May 30 – the day she got her license in the mail – the truck caught on fire. As of press time, she was hoping her truck would hit the road any day now, at the latest by August 19, when she’ll be at Thompson’s Point.

Number of flavors: 22, plus five specialty ices that combine three to four flavors. The Acadia Sunrise, for example, blends cherry, mango and orange creamsicle.

Most popular flavor: Tiger’s blood (strawberry and coconut).

Most unusual flavor: Tongue twister – a sour berry flavor.

Cost: An 8-ounce bowl costs $3, or pay a dollar more for 12 ounces.


Where to find her: Hoglund plans daily updates on Instagram (@snowology207) and Facebook (Snowology 207)

What else: Hoglund is working on a line of boozy ices to serve at weddings.

Blue raspberry is by far the most popular flavor at Brrrr! Harbor Shave Ice, outselling other flavors two to one. Photo courtesy of Brrrr! Harbor


If you’re staycationing in Bar Harbor this year, drop by Brrrr! Harbor, which has locations in the Town Hill neighborhood and in downtown Bar Harbor. The shops are owned by Brian and Mandie Schaper, who moved to Maine from Kansas in 2017. Brian Schaper’s father bought the family’s first shave ice shop in Kansas in the early 1990s, and later added three more that Schaper and his brothers owned and ran. In Kansas, where Schaper says 40 straight days of 100-plus degree temperatures are not out of the norm in the summer, shave ice is practically a necessity. Schaper admits his father worried about whether he’d be able to sell it in Maine, but they are doing just fine. The Schapers’ Maine shops are seasonal and will remain open through October.

Number of flavors: About 100, of which 30 to 40 are all-natural, made with no dyes or preservatives so they appear clear, like plain ice. The all-natural ices use real extracts and oils instead of artificial flavorings. (Think blueberry lavender, mango and watermelon.) Every ice on the menu is made with “real”sugar – no corn syrup – and some are sugar-free. The Schapers use half-and-half instead of sweetened condensed milk for their snowcap topping.

Most popular flavor: Blue raspberry outsells everything else two-to-one, Schaper says.


Most unusual flavors: Dill pickle, cilantro and spicy red pepper. Customers like to treat their four-legged friends to the bacon-flavored shaved ice.

Cost: Six sizes, ranging from $3 for 8 ounces of an original flavor and $4 for a natural flavor, all the way up to the Mt. Cadillac – $12 for 44 ounces in an original flavor or $14 for a natural flavor.

Where to find them: The Bar Harbor shop is located at 37 ½ Cottage Street, and is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; and is closed Sundays. The Town Hill shop is located at 1319 State Highway 102 and is open from noon to 8 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday; and 1 to 8 p.m. Wednesday and Sunday. Brrrr! Harbor does not have a website, but both shops are on Facebook.

What else: The Schapers just introduced a new flavor, the Snow Joe – cold brewed, locally roasted coffee mixed with cream and sugar and poured over shave ice.

Belfast Shaved Ice & Provisions began as a farmers’ market stall but now sells shaved ice in Belfast’s city park. Photo courtesy of Belfast Shaved Ice


This little business began as a stall at a local farmers market. This year, owners Ashley Messner and Richard Strout leased a building in Belfast’s historic city park, where residents come to hang out by the ocean and play pickle ball and tennis.


Number of flavors: 24, made with natural sugar and no dyes or artificial flavors.

Most popular flavors: Root beer and blue raspberry. Messner says that despite the name, the blue raspberry is not bright blue since they don’t use dyes. It contains the blue-green algae spirulina, considered a superfood.

Most unusual flavors: Cotton candy and Taste of Hawaii, which is a tropical punch flavor with coconut and floral essence.

Cost: One size, $3.

Where to find them: The shop is stationary, but Messner posts on Instagram (@belfastshavedice) if it will be closed due to bad weather. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

What else: Since moving to the park, Messner and Strout have started selling other food as well. Their burgers are particularly popular.

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