Wining & Dining
Mama Shine's Sno Cones and More
7/5/2017 10:49:24 AM


Imagine a cookie dough-flavored ice beach under a cocktail umbrella with Sour Belt beach towels, a Sour Patch gummy bear floating in a Gummy Life-Saver on an ocean of blue-Hawaiian ice. This quirky creativity can be found year-around at Mama Shine’s Shaved Ice and More, where patrons enjoy specialty shaved-ice snow cones, like the Beach Day described above, or craft their own custom masterpieces from 62 flavors and 16 toppings, including the popular cheesecake, whipped cream, fruits, and even pickles, for those so inclined.

Mama Shine’s, located on Smith Rd. just off of La. 14 in Lake Charles, is the product of a lifetime of dreaming and two years of research. Before opening her shop in 2015, owner Dana Bodin wanted to create a spot her local community could call their own, but the stand has garnered attention from people all over Southwest Louisiana.

"I’ve been living in the neighborhood for 25 years,” Bodin said. "And I wanted to open a little neighborhood snow cone stand because I had a dream of a nice place for the neighbors to walk over to on a sunny day with the children. I never imagined it would become what it is.”

For Bodin, the stand’s success comes from her and her team’s hard work to deliver satisfaction, in both friendly service and a level of quality typically found only in small mom-and-pop shops. Her close-knit staff are all snow cone enthusiasts; many are former customers. Her stand also boasts one of the few machines in Louisiana that produces genuine shaved ice, which holds the syrups much longer than other kinds of crushed ice.

As the name suggests, there’s "more” to Mama Shine’s than shaved ice. Bodin also sells prepared foods like nachos and hot dogs. She makes several sandwiches, like the hot ham and cheese, chopped barbecue chicken, and a roast beef and ham club. Stop by during the cooler months and you might find red beans and rice or gumbo.

New to the snow cone menu is the Snownado, a combination of shaved ice and ice cream blended together in a decadent treat. Special combinations include the Carrie Loves Cheesecake, with strawberry cheesecake-flavored syrup, sweet cream, ice cream, fresh strawberries, and real cheesecake; or the Somewhere on the Beach, made from strawberries, mandarin oranges, pineapple blended in pina colada-flavored syrup, whipped cream, and three pieces of fruit on top. Try the Death by Chocolate, with brownies and chocolate syrup. Or consider July’s flavor of the month, berry crazy, for something different. Bodin reminds patrons that "cheesecake goes well with just about anything.”

Though customers sometimes get confused, Bodin is not Mama Shine. The name belonged to her grandmother, a woman who lived a good, simple life of 101 years in Delcambre, La. "I originally had a different name for this snow cone stand, but while Mama Shine was sick, I visited her a lot and one day I thought, ‘You know what? I’m going to name my snow cone stand Mama Shine’s to honor my grandmother, and her name will live on and on.’ And it worked out great because everyone loved the name,” Bodin said. She doesn’t mind if new patrons still want to call her Mama Shine though. "My grandmother was an amazing woman, so I’d be honored to be called Mama Shine the rest of my days. That’s perfectly fine with me.”

Bodin is simply pleased her business has been a success. "I don’t know what it is — maybe it’s my grandmother blessing us from above.”

Posted by: Mitch Thomas | Submit comment | Tell a friend

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