Thursday, April 18, 2024

Snoballs fly in Bossier City’s East Bank District

by BIZ Magazine

By Stacey Tinsley, BIZ. Magazine

On Friday, September 9, the Bossier Chamber of Commerce welcomed Streetcar Station with a ribbon cutting celebration as the newest business to open in the East Bank District in Bossier City.

The owner of Streetcar Station, Erica Gilliam, has come a long way since first starting her business as a concession trailer in 2018.

“In the words of Chris Rose: “You can live in any city in America, but New Orleans is the only city that lives in you.” And, when you spend 18 years of your life in that city (pre-Katrina), the magic (or maybe it’s voodoo) has a way of residing in your heart forever,” Gilliam said.

“My business started as Streetcar Snoballs® – a 6×12 concession trailer serving New Orleans style Snoballs from the window of my “Streetcar.” My first event was on Mardi Gras Day 2018 which was very fitting with my business theme,” she added.

Gilliam went on to disclose “It was clear that God was sending me a message. In the Fall of 2017, when my then grant-funded job was set to expire in a few short months, I had a very vivid dream. Simply put, it was to sell Snoballs out of a Streetcar. I was dead set on following the message from God and a few short months later, I had my Streetcar-wrapped concession trailer (which I now own the trade design for) stocked with all of the supplies needed in order to serve New Orleans Snoballs!”

“Streetcar Snoballs” from the very beginning was a huge hit with the SBC community. So, it didn’t take long for its success to explode. For 4 years, we snoballed our way through neighborhoods, schools, businesses, birthday parties, festivals and so much more. As a result, we were given the opportunity to expand to Monroe in February of 2022 to our first franchisee, who is taking their Streetcar Snoballs franchise to Florida in 2023,” Gilliam concluded.

Streetcar Station opened their very first storefront at 409 Barksdale Boulevard in Bossier City’s East Bank District. Streetcar Station serves Streetcar Snoballs, New Orleans Ice Cream Company premium scooped ice (or ice cream stuffed in your Snoball) and Roman Candy from the Audubon Zoo cart.

When you walk into the store, the ambiance makes you feel as if you’ve stepped inside the streets of New Orleans (with the life-size Streetcar selfie station, Zydeco and Jazz music playing).

“Without the love and support of my husband and family, and without the amazing SBC community, Streetcar Snoballs would never have happened. It would never have continued to grow to what is now (a franchise and a new Streetcar Station storefront). I promise to never take for granted my customers and supporters who are allowing me to fulfill God’s plan of “serving Snoballs out of a Streetcar,” and to always be grateful to my husband and my family for believing in me even when God’s plan sounded ridiculous. This is much more than a business to me. If it were up to me, I’d give away free snoballs and talk New Orleans with my customers all day, but that’s not a good way to keep a roof over my head. So, I’ll just continue reveling in the fact that I wake up each day excited to make true New Orleans Snoballs and talk with new and old customers. God is good, all the time,” said Gilliam.

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