From a small building in Garner, NC to becoming a nationally recognized brand, Pelican’s SnoBalls franchise has quickly become one of the fastest growing dessert franchises in the country, offering “THE WORLDS BEST SNOBALL”.
In 2001 the idea of the 13-year old founder Ansley Johnson became a reality, as she began to share with the town of Garner the great product of a snoball, the product that she fell in love with during her frequent summer visits to her Grandparents home in Chalmette, Louisiana. The 13-year old founder named the business Pelican’s after the state bird of Louisiana. Ansley performed the bulk of the day to day operations, as her parents both had fulltime jobs. However, periodically she would call upon her younger brothers who would eagerly help for the promised wage of .50/hour! The original store is still going strong today, now being owned and operated by one of those younger brothers!
The first year was slow, as there had to be a clear differentiation established between a “Snocone” (the crunchy mess you get at a fair) and a “SnoBall” (soft fluffy shaved ice) that became the staple Ansley prided herself on serving. Through this great product that was perfected, Ansley built the Pelican’s name with every snoball she passed out. Pelican’s quickly became an oasis of relief on a hot day, a place for family outings and reward for good grades.
After a few summers, her dad Adrian came on board full time to allow Ansley to pursue her dream of becoming at veterinarian. Along with the help of her dad and the attention from customers, people began to inquire about opening their very own Pelican’s SnoBalls store. With so many people desiring to share this great experience with their areas and wanting to join the “Pelican’s Family”, they decided to franchise the business and spread into other communities.
Pelican’s is still paving the way into the future
In 2017 with 80-stores, the Johnson’s sold the Pelican’s SnoBalls franchise. The present owners, Gregg Fatool and Randall Wright now carry the company forward into the future that is nearing 20-years in business. Gregg and Randall are both franchisees with 7-stores between them, operating the company from both a franchisee and Co-CEO view that is unique and uncommon in the franchising industry. This allows Pelican’s SnoBalls to continue to operate with the same standards it started with and the business has grown exponentially with almost 200-stores in 14-states. The tradition that Ansley started of the “World’s Best SnoBall” coupled with the “World’s Best Customer Service” is still the face of the company yet today!
Just to look at it, you would never guess it was the nexus of what is arguably the best dessert you will ever taste or that it has become one of the fastest growing dessert franchises in the country. With that in mind, the Johnson Family, Fatool, and Wright often reflect on the humble beginnings of Pelican’s SnoBalls and above all, they understand that the success is a true blessing from God and give Him all the Glory!