By Gabriella Oster
Special to The Progress
LIVE OAK COUNTY – A shy, 10-year-old George West entrepreneur and her mother are working diligently to help area residents beat the heat with innovative, refreshing snow cones.
This can, after all, almost be considered a public service on these roasting Live Oak County summer days.
Mirage Buriel, 10, who attends George West Elementary, is both the namesake and proprietor of the Mirage snow cone stand along Highway 281 — three miles outside of Three Rivers between TR and George West.
Snow cones, served throughout North America in paper cones or foam cups, consist of ice shavings topped with flavored syrup. There are a lot of these kinds of flavors at this stand for everyone — whether customers want to simply hydrate or enjoy a treat while also losing weight.
The Mirage stand originally opened last year, but was closed for winter. It opened again this year with some new recipes.
Mirage’s mother, Brenda Buriel (of “Brenda’s Nursery”), said she started the snow cone stand to teach her 10-year-old responsibility — and also to come out of her little shell.
“I started the stand to get her out of being so shy,” Brenda Buriel said.
Snow cones are an ideal way to teach Mirage this kind of responsibility. After all, it’s hot outside, and everyone knows it.
Mirage’s treats are relatively inexpensive, ranging between $1.50 to $4, depending if you want regular snow cones or natural fruit smoothies.
Mirage, incidentally, was far too shy to give an extensive interview about her business, which is open daytime hours Wednesday through Saturday. So, her mother related most of her business information.
Mirage Buriel is a shy one. She keeps helping her mom in the kitchen, or she goes outside to play with her dog.
But her mother believes the experience will be good for her daughter, who helps brainstorm many of the stand’s unique recipes.
“We have a lot of family in the Valley who bring the fruit and vegetables,” Brenda Buriel explained.
These ingredients help provide an alternative to regularly-flavored snow cones — for unique treats such as Cucumber delight, which comes with lots of cucumbers, ice, salt and lemon.
There’s also “Pick ‘A’ Dilly” — made with pickles, pickle juice, ice, and Kool-Aid.
Additionally, there is the chamoyada and the mangoyada, both of which are made with different fruits and chili powder.
And the varieties go on and on.
“Also, if customers want additional ingredients we will be happy to add them,” Brenda Buriel said.