Fluffy’s Sno-Balls in Long Beach has been named one of the best ice cream shops in the nation, according to Yelp.
The Mardi Gras–themed, New Orleans-style shaved ice shop doesn’t sell ice cream, but that doesn’t matter because the frozen confection falls under Yelp’s ice cream shop label.
Yelp published its Top Ice Cream Shops of 2023 list to celebrate National Ice Cream Day on July 16.
Fluffy’s Sno-Balls came in fifth place nationwide and first place in California with 429 five-star reviews.
“This is such a huge distinction. I’m so honored,” founder and co-owner Kevyn Lee-Wellington said in an Instagram post, thanking customers and staff. Darren Lee-Wellington, Kevyn’s husband, also is a co-owner of Fluffy’s Sno-Balls.
A customer appreciation day will happen soon, Lee-Wellington said in the Instagram post.
A second location for Fluffy’s Sno-Balls, on West Century Boulevard near SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, is scheduled to open in the summer.
Yelp ranked the businesses using a number of factors, including the total volume and ratings of reviews between Jan 1, 2022, and March 31, 2023, among other factors, Yelp said in a statement.
Unlike the granular, crunchy ice of snow cones, New Orleans’ sno-balls are finely shaved ice with a texture that’s life, soft, and fluffy, just like a snowball.
Kevyn makes his own 12½-pound blocks of ice on site, and new employees spend a week learning how to correctly shave it.
Kevyn, a New Orleans native, grew up making sno-balls alongside his grandmother. After Hurricane Katrina hit, Kevyn relocated to Los Angeles and climbed the corporate ladder while dreaming of opening a small business.
He opened Fluffy’s Sno-Balls in Central Long Beach in 2021.
The shop features 72 flavors that Kevyn also crafts. They range from strawberry and coconut to stuffed cheesecake, piña colada, buttered popcorn, Dinosaur (It tastes like Skittles.) and dill pickle — a top seller and Yelper favorite.
The business name is a nod to Kevyn and Darren’s standard poodles, Lord Kensington and Duke Harrington.