The Frigid Frog offers a rare Georgia treat
by Sarah Fay Campbell
Sherri Woods and her family became business owners in a rather roundabout way.
They just wanted some good shaved ice.
“Basically, this business started out of necessity,” said Woods, owner of The Frigid Frog of Georgia. “We couldn’t find our favorite summertime treat in the area.”
After the family moved to Coweta from Texas, Sherri was looking for a place she could regularly buy a New Orleans style sno-ball. Or any kind of shaved ice, really.
“I looked. I asked everyone I knew from Coweta and Fayette,” she said. With no luck.
“We were going to be coming up on our third summer,” and Woods was staying up late researching. She’d heard about a shaved ice stand in Franklin. It was the only one people could remember, but it was already closed down by then.
She finally came to the conclusion that “in order for us to have our favorite dessert, we had to have a trailer with a machine.”
“It didn’t make sense to just keep it in the backyard, so we decided to reach out and share it with the community," she said.
She found a location for the trailer and “hunted down” the owner. “For three weeks we kind of went back and forth,” she said, and he finally agreed to let her set up shop. That was in June 2011.
Now, the site along Hwy. 54 in downtown Sharpsburg has ample parking and some shaded picnic tables where customers can enjoy icy cold, sweet goodness.
Though they may seem similar, a sno-ball is definitely not a sno-cone. The “snow” is made from a 10-pound block of ice, with a machine manufactured in New Orleans.
“The texture is just so fine and fluffy, and the syrup actually sits on the ice versus falling to the bottom like a traditional fair sno-cone,” Woods said. “The texture of the ice is very soft, so you don’t have that crunch that you think of” with a sno-cone. The flavors contain fruit oils and “that is how we get that true to taste flavor,” she said.
In Texas, they were everywhere. “We were accustomed to having these. After we moved here we took it for granted” that they would be available, she said.
There’s a dizzying array of flavors and flavor combinations, with the option to add “cream” – actually sweetened condensed milk – ice cream, or a sour shot.
The business has been a hit. Customers come not just from Coweta and Fayette counties, but from Griffin, Locust Grove, and even Marietta.
Some friends of theirs liked the idea so much they decided to open The Frigid Frog of West Georgia in Newnan.
That first season, “we started getting calls for birthday parties and church events,” Woods said. They would go to them and leave up a sign at the main location. But customers were used to the trailer being on site, so they purchased a second, smaller one, dubbed the “tadpole.” It has a generator and can go anywhere.
One day last year, a crew member on AMC television’s “The Walking Dead” stopped by and had a sno-ball. “The next day, at 2, we were on the set of ‘The Walking Dead,’” Woods said. The day after that, they were on the set of BET’s “Single Ladies.”
So far, the Frigid Frog has served up frosty treats for cast and crew on nine productions.
Woods got to serve a sugar-free cherry sno-ball to Colin Farrell on the set of “Solace.” His co-star, Anthony Hopkins, didn’t have one. Woods said she was told that “his wife keeps him on a strict diet. Our treats were not on the list. He did wave and say hi.”
She’s served almost all the stars of “The Walking Dead.” Only Lauren Cohan (Maggie) and Steven Yeun (Glenn) have not come to the window, but they have waved.
When she decided to start a business to satisfy sno-ball cravings, Woods never imagined she would be selling shaved ice to movie and TV stars.
“It started out as a purely selfish endeavor, just because the family wanted them, and The Frigid Frog of Georgia has really taken on a life of its own. We are very grateful,” she said.
“It is nice to see families take the time out of their busy schedule to enjoy a simple treat with each other,” she said. “It’s just crazy to watch. No matter what age the person who comes up to the window is, it’s like they take one bite and all of a sudden there is a sparkle in their eye,” she said. “This is the only job I’ve ever had where people leave with a smile, every time."