Sugaree Shaved Ice truck parks it in and around St. Louis

Bright neon lights, radios blasting music and colorful tie-dye wrapping: The Sugaree Shaved Ice food truck is a hard-to-miss sight. Serving up fun shaved ice flavors and creative toppings, owners Jerime Francis and Juliana Francis launched the food truck in Fenton last summer after a year of preparations, and the truck is getting back on the road for the season. You can catch it at the Loop’s 420 Fest on Saturday, April 22, and they’ll begin parking it regularly at their new Arnold location at 4046 Jeffco Blvd. shortly after.

True to the maximalist nature of the food truck, Sugaree Shaved Ice creations are decked out with candy, fresh fruit and other toppings. Their extensive menu offers four sizes ranging from the mini at 8 ounces to the Wumbo at 32 ounces, and includes classic flavors such as cherry and blue raspberry, as well as nine “nifty novelties” which are “stuffed” with a scoop of vanilla ice cream at the bottom and come with various toppings included. Popular summertime flavors include strawberry shortcake and root beer float. To keep up with new flavors and events, follow Sugaree Shaved Ice on Facebook, where they post regular updates.

Outside of the food truck, the Francises also own a small car dealership, Grateful Motors, at the same address. Sugaree Shaved Ice started as a way to attract more attention to their car lot and have people stop and check out the cars. “We wanted it to be something that caught people’s attention, even if they were driving down the highway,” Jerime Francis said. As to the reason why they chose shaved ice as their specialty, Francis recalled the origin of his nickname “Slurpie.” Whenever his coworkers would go to the gas station for a cigarette, he would ask for a slushie. “A guy I was working with called me Slurpie one day, and it kind of just stuck. I was probably having at least two or three a day,” Francis laughed.

As both the Francises are huge music lovers, both the names of their car dealership and food truck were inspired by the Grateful Dead. The Francis’ dream is to travel to music festivals in different cities with their Sugaree Shaved Ice truck. Jerime Francis’ ultimate vision is to be at Dead and Company’s last tour this year, and even get his truck signed by the band.