New local business a “dream” for Port Arthur man

Published 10:50 am Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Residents will soon have another way of beating the heat in Southeast Texas: They could chow down on a cool treat while getting their car washed and detailed.

Corey Bernard is opening a snow cone and carwash business on Savannah Avenue in Port Arthur. It will be called Chase Ray’s Shaved Ice and Bernard’s Elite Detail.

“I always wanted my own business. It’s my dream,” Bernard said. “I worked with friends who owned businesses… and they inspired me to do the same thing.”

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Bernard said his business would be filling a need for services that he had not seen much in the area.

“There was a lack of both in the area,” Bernard said. “And a lack of a quality carwash that could specialize, detail and polish.”

According to Bernard, the snow cone business kind of runs in the family.

“My land is big enough, and there’s enough room for a snow cone stand. I have all the equipment. My aunt used to do snow cones in the ’80s,” he said. “So, I say, ‘Why not?’”

Bernard is a Port Arthur native. He graduated from Lincoln in 2000. He said being from the area helps him determine what is needed and how to go about it.

“Port Arthur is not that big, but the area doesn’t have anything for kids,” Bernard said. “I have been in Port Arthur most of my life. I grew up on 17th Street. I want kids to see that you can do something positive.”

In accordance with this sentiment, Bernard said he would employ local youth to help sometimes with the workload.

Bernard’s snow cone business will serve New Orleans shaved ice and initially offer 12 flavors.

“We hope to expand (the flavors),” Bernard said. “At the grand opening, we’re going to give free samples to see what people like.”

Bernard said that the feedback from customers would allow him to determine what other flavors he would add or change in the future. In addition, the 12 flavors would serve as a kind of foundation for mixing and creating new tastes.

“All 12 of them, you mix them and make another flavor,” Bernard said. “We’re going to do a little taste test for kids.”

Bernard’s business will also serve unique delights like Kool-Aid pickles, where pickles are saturated in a half-and-half mixture of pickle juice and Kool-Aid.

“My 12-year-old cousin showed me how to make them. We made them and I couldn’t eat them,” he said with a laugh.

The carwash side of the business will offer two services: a basic wash at $7.99 and an elite service starting at $25 that uses spot free water.

Still, according to Bernard, his business serves as a positive reminder to him of what could be created in Port Arthur.

“There’s so much negative stuff in Port Arthur going on, I just wanted to be able to give something back to the community,” Bernard said. “We own the property and we could pass it on to my kids.

“Port Arthur is not as bad as people say. The people are generally nice. Most of the people I know, I wouldn’t be where I’m at if not for them.”

Bernard said, “I want to reach out to kids and say you can do something positive. I want to show you can do it; all it takes is a little work and a lot of dedication.”

Chase Ray’s Shaved Ice and Bernard’s Elite Detail will hold its grand opening next Saturday at 1848 Savannah Ave. There will be free snow cones for kids, music by a DJ and a special appearance by Jefferson County Commissioner Michael Shane Sinegal.