Several months back, my wife and I were in Sam’s Club stocking up on our monthly goods. We had passed several other folks with their buggies who were just shopping. You know the routine. Shopping at Sam’s Club isn’t exactly Date Night. Sometimes it’s just a necessary evil.
Except for this one guy who is I see coming down the aisle as if he is enjoying his club experience and life. I watched him as he came closer and his demeanor made me smile. He had a genuine skip in his step. When he got within range, my wife said hello. You know the range. It is the distance where the person is close enough to you to say something friendly, but not so close that you accidently spit on him; the safe distance. He responded with a friendly greeting and a happy smile. He stopped his buggy for a moment to talk. It was full of nachos, cheese, hotdog buns, and all the good stuff that you would find at a fair or good ole fashioned football concessions. I had to ask about his buggy full and he handed us his card. It was Earnie Faulk, owner of Earnie’ Snowballs. We converse a little longer and then he joyfully moved on. We moved on a little more joyfully too.
I gave Earnie one of my cards that day as well. Later we became Facebook friends. I had read several of his posts and found him to be very interesting. I messaged Earnie and asked for an interview.
Me: Hey, Earnie. We met in Sam’s Club and exchanged cards. I am a blogger and I have a category on my page called “Everyday People.” I started it because I meet so many interesting people with great stories. I like to introduce them to my friends. Would you be interested in an interview?
Earnie: No problem, T.J.
Me: So, Earnie tell us a little bit about you.
Earnie: I am 32, single, no kids. Born and raised in Dothan. I love to travel inside the United States and outside it. I really like mountain bike riding and trips near water. I am the owner of Earnie’s Snowballs on Ross Clark Circle. I started my business as a hobby because I have always wanted my own business. I knew that I was meant to create and not just consume.
Me: I thought I had read in a post of yours that you once worked on oil rigs. Can you tell us about that?
Earnie: I worked offshore for 8 years. I traveled to towns like New Orleans, Texas, Mobile Al, Madrid Spain and Canary islands. I worked my way up to Rig Safety and Training Coordinator/ Offshore HSE Advisor.
Me: I bet you have some interesting stories.
Earnie: As far as interesting stories, I was born into farming and livestock, played high school football, became a college level Co-ed cheerleader, worked on a farm a little while, cook at a restaurant, cheerleading and gymnastics coach, Class A CDL driver, drove for Waste Management, and a former dental assistant.
Me: Ah, a kindred spirit. So, back to the Earnie’s Snowballs. How did you get started in that? You said you were born to create not just consume.
Earnie: I started the business 2 years ago. I got started by listening to the people whom I worked with who said I would be good at the Snowball business. I was also tired of the corporate world, traveling, and always being away from home. I was tired of partying and I wanted to settle down and build the foundations to start a family.
Me: Is Earnie’s Snowballs open all year round or do you work another job or have another passion?
Earnie: I am open all year except the end of December first of January. This is my passion and I am focused on it only as far as business at the moment. I will not work another job at the moment. Chili dog consumption should start becoming very popular soon.
Me: Ah, football season?
Earnie: I think our mobile unit will be booked more due to football/party season.
Me: Do you cater?
Earnie: I have the ability to.
Me: So, tell us more about your mobile unit.
Earnie: I found my trailer on Craigslist. Sold some things to purchase it. It can be booked for just about any party type; kids or adults.
Me: Any advice for anyone who wants to own their own business?
Earnie: My advice would be to find a mentor. They are hard to come by. If they can’t find one buy books and mentoring programs.
Me: Tell us how people can find out more about you and Earnie’s Snowballs.
Earnie: People can find out more about me by adding me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. They can even call me on my cell 334-685-5787.
Me: That is all awesome. Great stuff. Thanks for the conversation.
You may think you have seen the yellow building for Earnie’s Snowballs, but just can’t quite place it. It is located on the Ross Clark Circle near 84 West. This year, 2016, Earnie’s Snowballs was voted the Dothan Eagle’s BEST of the Wiregrass for “Best Ice Treats.”
And as you may have surmised, Earnie serves more than just snowballs. Like I mentioned at the beginning, he serves all the good stuff you would find at any tailgate party or high school football game and more. Click one of the links below to find out more about Earnie’s Snowballs or to book his mobile unit for a kid or adult party. Earnie told me he has seen some folks take his snowballs and make “tipsy” snowballs. I’ll let Earnie tell you about that.