Where ‘Beat the Bookstore’ once stood on Baxter Street, Pelican’s SnoBalls now operates. Serving New Orleans-famous shaved ice with over 100 flavors and toppings, Pelican’s is quickly becoming a mainstay in the Athens community.
“We want this to be a place where people don’t just come in and out and get a snowball, but they eat, hang out and study together and families can come without breaking the bank,” co-owner Collins Cromie said.
Collins Cromie and her husband, Micheal Cromie, co-own the business. The two graduated from UGA on golf scholarships, her in 2015 and him in 2014. After living in North Carolina for a stint, the couple moved back to Athens in 2018 to become franchise owners. The couple tag-teams managing the store so Micheal can compete in the Golf Mini-Tours.
Conveniently located across the street from UGA’s freshman dorms, the store offers wifi and a bar top for students to do homework, as well as a mega-sized ConnectFour set and cornholes for patrons packaged inside a clean, white interior. Pelican’s offers various cups sizes ranging from $3 to $6.
Collins spent many of her summer days of 2012 inside of the Pelican’s SnoBalls at Rosewood, South Carolina. In addition to seeing her mother own the Pelican’s SnoBalls in Clemson, South Carolina, Collins knew she wanted in. She left her accounting job in North Carolina and now runs the business full-time.
Since opening last April, the Cromies have been busy at work. They have already scheduled to cater for a few sororities bid days and have already sold out all their parking spaces for UGA game days. The store is open from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday, with Sunday operating from 1 pm to 9 pm.
However, the store is a seasonal operation and will close its doors from October to March. The Cromies are hoping to stay open until November to service for that month’s UGA game days.
However, the Cromies didn’t expect how difficult it would be to jump through the Health Department’s hoops. The pair, among other things, had to install new food-safe floors and renovate the walls.
“We really want to be apart of the Athens Community,” Collins said. “We really want to immerse ourselves in not just the student population but in all the families surrounding the area.”