Cajun Cones, Abilene’s New Orleans style snow-cone stand, opened for its 29th season last Saturday.
The Louisiana style snow cone stand originally opened for business in Abilene in 1988 by a family with a rich connection to ACU. Lynn Luttrell, associate professor of Kinesiology and Nutrition, and his father Bill, lived in south Louisiana where little snow cone stands were in business around New Orleans since the mid-1930s.
“For several years in the early 1980s, we had talked about how we wished for something in Abilene similar to the ‘sno-balls’ from Louisiana,” Luttrell said. “When I came back from graduate school at Oregon State at the end of 1986, my Dad and I talked more about being interested in the possibilities of starting something in Abilene that served something like the ‘sno-balls’ we had eaten when living in Houma, Louisiana.”
After Bill and his wife Hazanne took a trip to south Louisiana in the fall of 1987, they decided to start a snow cone stand in Abilene.
The first day Cajun Cones opened was in the spring of 1988, with about 10 flavors and 10 employees, several of whom had no relation to the Luttrell family. The flavor extracts and shave-ice machines were brought from New Orleans to Abilene – making Cajun Cones taste straight from the bayou.
Now with around 75-80 flavors and 20-30 employees every year, the oldest snow-cone stand in Abilene has two locations in the Key City. One is on Judge Ely behind Chicken Express, while the other is on Mockingbird.
Callie Houston, junior nursing major from Abilene, is about to start her seventh season working for the Luttrells.
“One thing that makes Cajun Cones so special is that it is a family business,” Houston said. “We are working for people who we know and love. Bill and Lynn care a lot about the quality of the product we are making.”
Luttrell said he thought people associate Cajun Cones with the coming of spring, which is generally a happy and pleasant thought.
The stand’s top sellers are the traditional banana, cherry, coconut and strawberry flavors, as well as the original Cajun Cone flavor, “I Don’t Know, But It’s Good!”
Luttrell said his favorite regular flavors are coconut or nectar and his favorite Sno-cream flavors are old fashioned ice cream or vanilla cream.
Cajun Cones’ proximity to ACU gives students the opportunity to have a cold treat in the hot spring and summer days, especially for ACU camp counselors and campers who need to take a break from hours of service around the city in the blistering sun. Cajun Cones has also made appearances at several ACU events in the past.
Mary Beth Cuevas, the associate director of leadership camps at ACU, said she likes the relationship Cajun Cones has with ACU camps.
“It is priceless relationship and we are so thankful for Cajun Cones,” Cuevas said. “There are times that our campers will see their counselors working at Cajun Cones and they love that.”
Houston said the Luttrell family is very involved in the community.
“People choose our cones not only because the quality of our product, but also the relationship that the Luttrells have made with the community,” Houston said.
Students can buy a snow cone from $1.75-$3.25, depending on the style of snow cone.
Cajun Cones is open everyday between 2:00-9:00 p.m. at Judge Ely’s location and 2:00-8:00 p.m. at Mockingbird’s site.
Luttrell said waiting in line is worth it.