North Texas Daily

Family-run local shaved ice stand has UNT ties

Family-run local shaved ice stand has UNT ties

Zachary Rainey owns and operates Zach's Shaved Ice at 1601 E. McKinney St. His sister, Kimberly, hopes to open a second location on Eagle Drive in August.

Family-run local shaved ice stand has UNT ties
May 30
12:17 2014

Joshua Knopp / Senior Staff Writer

Zach’s Shaved Ice, a local snow cone stand owned by 2007 graduate Zachary Rainey, is expanding closer to UNT. Rainey and his family hope to have a second stand, which will be run by his sister, Kimberly, open by August.

After graduating with a criminal justice degree, Rainey spent time as an insurance claims adjuster and a private investigator. Zachary’s father, John, said Jim opened up Southern Tropics Shaved Ice in Texarkana 25 years ago. Zachary said after a year of private investigation, which he said was extremely unnerving, he found a new calling to open his own shaved ice stand in Denton.

“What I like to be is kind of a throwback to the old-school soda shops,” he said. “This is a candy store, and the medium is the ice.”

Rainey said the stand specializes in traditional New Orleans shaved ice, with an extremely fine grain of ice and copious amounts of flavor syrup. It’s almost closer to the consistency of a slushy than a snow cone.

Two years ago, Rainey added chamoyadas to his menu, and business took off. Chamoyadas are Latin American deserts that combine a frozen base, such as shaved ice, with chamoy sauce and real fruit. Rainey’s version combines his ice with this sauce, a candied chili powder called “Zach’s magic powder” and fruit flavoring instead of real fruit.

Snow cones aren’t the only things that run in the Rainey family. John Rainey, who graduated from UNT with a biology master’s in 1971, has five immediate family members who graduated from the school, including Zachary.

“It has just provided us all the opportunities that we needed, and it continues to do that,” John Rainey said. “You can go to North Texas and it will give you the key to do anything that you want to do.”

John Rainey detailed the customer service that he said sets his brother’s and son’s shaved ice restaurants apart. He said this extends to the menu and raw materials — Rainey said there are 15 major flavor vendors in America, and most shaved ice vendors get their flavors from one for convenience sake. Zach’s Shaved Ice boasts 75 flavors from close to 10 different vendors, all individually picked for having the most “pop.”

Local resident Kelly Lee, trying the shaved ice for the first time, said it was fluffy like snow. While she was the only one in line, Lee said this was the first chance she’d had to try a snow cone at Zach’s.

“Either it’s closed or there’s a line all the way around the parking lot,” she said.

The original stand on 1601 E. McKinney St. is open 1-7:30 p.m. every day. The family is still getting permits, but hopes to have a new stand open on Eagle Drive by Aug. 1.

Featured Image: Zachary Rainey owns and operates Zach’s Shaved Ice at 1601 E. McKinney St. His sister, Kimberly, hopes to open a second location on Eagle Drive in August. Photo Joshua Knopp, Senior Staff Writer

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