Move over fro-yo! There's a new frozen treat in town.
This past weekend marked the opening of Imperial Woodpecker Sno-balls (145 Seventh Ave. S. at Charles St.; 212-366-7777), New York's first New Orleans–style icy shop. Founded by Neesa Peterson, the pop-up is inspired by the two main (great) snowball shops in The Big Easy: Hansen's Sno-Bliz and Plum Street Snoballs.
Running a food shop came to Peterson on a whim one night while hanging out at Hansen's. "I thought, there is nothing like this in New York. It's not a snow cone...it's a snowball," she says. With that realization, Peterson felt she could bring something to the city to rival the already saturated ice cream, gelato and ice-pop stands. She had just gotten out of a desk job at a modeling agency and was ready to work in an environment where, as she says, could get a good look at all sorts of New York characters. "I wanted to do something to make people happy and give them something to enjoy."
It appears to have worked, judging by the crowds over the weekend. As for her proposed three-month stint in the space, Peterson says she's seeing where the summer is taking her. Meaning, if all goes well, there maybe another fun venture come this winter.
By Linnea Covington; photos by Noah Fecks