Baltimore’s owner of Ice Queens snowball shop, 22-year old Dasia Kabia. (Courtesy Photo)

By Michelle Richardson
Special to the AFRO

I don’t remember much from when I was 22-years-old. I was in college, but I don’t believe I was doing anything worth writing in a newspaper about. But, times have changed and the next generation of entrepreneurs have not yet hit 30 and own businesses in the beauty, fashion, and food industries. 

Baltimore native and Western Tech graduate, Dasia Kabia, 22, opened her first business, Ice Queens, a snowball shop, in the middle of the pandemic. Business has been booming since.  

“I worked at a snowball stand in Woodlawn for about five years before this. I reached out to the guy that owned the shop, and he told me I didn’t know what I was talking about because I was just a kid, so I just started talking to anyone that would listen,” Kabia recalled. 

Kabia eventually revealed her plans to her business partner, her pediatrician at the time, while ranting about the struggles of adulthood. 

“Two weeks later she gave me a phone call and she’s like ‘Remember that snowball stand you were talking about? It’s a good idea and we should do it.’”

Ice Queens is located in Baltimore’s Locust Point community, and will close for the season on Dec. 20. (Courtesy Photos)

 A few months later, Kabia said that she drew up her plans and sent them over. 

“She looked at it, it was about a 15 minute meeting, and she handed me money like ‘here ya go!’ said Kabia. “I signed my lease and a week later the world shuts down,” Kabia said.

In adjusting to the new COVID-19 restrictions, Kabia and her team decided to move the entire business outside. 

“Originally the back kitchen area, which is now our prep area, was additional seating because that’s what the neighborhood initially asked of us, but with COVID we scratched that idea. I’m thankful to have a doctor as my business partner who knows exactly how to keep people safe. So, we implemented six feet lines, hand washing breaks, masks and gloves for our staff and temperature checks,” Kabia explained.  

According to Visit Maryland, snowballs have been a Baltimore favorite since the 1800s and during the Great Depression. Known as “penny sundaes” or “hard-time sundaes,” snowballs have been and are still enjoyed by Baltimore residents.

Baltimore’s owner of Ice Queens snowball shop, 22-year old Dasia Kabia. (Courtesy Photo)

Located at 1648 East Fort Ave. in the Locust Point area, Ice Queens is housed in a modern and enchanting corner storefront. The sidewalk is painted different shades of pink, blue, green, and yellow adorned with flowers and quotes like “Love Lives Here.” On the side of the building is a large snowball painted purple complimented with a crown, an ode to the shop’s name. It also boasts as the perfect social media selfie spot. 

The walls inside are reminiscent of a teenager’s bedroom, with its bright colors and hand painted artwork. T-shirts for purchase hang high along the wall as chalkboards displaying snowball flavors and prices are hand painted in pretty colors with pretty fonts. 

The rest is HERstory! 

The ‘Ice Queens’ snowball isn’t just the usual shaved ice and flavored syrup. No, these snowballs are New Orleans style! 

“The ice machine I have is actually from New Orleans. It was made in the 1920’s and it’s made to generate a finer shaved ice which is very popular down there. Also in New Orleans, they are known for putting condensed milk in their snowballs so we emulate that but give it a Baltimore twist.”

“We’re known for our specialty Snowballs which all come with toppings and are really fun colors and all of our flavors are vegan friendly,” stated Kabia. 

A specialty Snowball is chosen every month and the proceeds from those sales goes to a local organization. 

The most recent Org Ice Queens donated to was Black Women Build- a nonprofit that trains women in carpentry, electrical, and plumbing. 

Just recently, Kabia was awarded the ‘Mayors Business Recognition Award’ and thanks Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott for how he handled the shops needs this past summer. 

Kabia states that Scott made sure her trash was always cleared and police came through the neighborhood to make sure the shop was unharmed. 

“In the summer we unfortunately had some racially targeted vandalism at the shop about six times but the support from the black community and the neighborhood rallied behind me has been more than anything.” 

As for what the future holds for Ice Queens, Kabia just recently purchased a ‘Ice Queens’ truck and hopes to bring snowballs to customers and plans to go back to culinary school. 

“Save your money. It’s the biggest and best thing you can do right now, put money into your retirement. It will pay off; and just talk about it . Manifesting is real. Tell your dreams to everyone because you never know who is listening and who wants to help you with your dreams,” said Kabia on any advice she has for young entrepreneurs. 

The end of the season for the shop is Dec. 20. Hours are 12pm-8:00pm Thursday- Sunday; closed Monday-Wednesday. 

The shop’s Instagram handle @_icequeens sits at the bottom.