The Beautiful Story Behind Mot’s Shaved Ice Stand

by | Jul 2023

UPON ARRIVING at Mot’s Shaved Ice stand for the first time, your attention is drawn not to their shimmering “OPEN” sign but to the warm and inviting smiles of the staff inside the stand as they serve delicious shaved ice to eager customers.

You join the queue, uncertain of what to choose, but a quick glance at the menu stops you in your tracks, taking you back to fond childhood memories of grandma’s house. Flavors like “Grammie’s Coffee,” “Pop’s Candy Dish,” and “Grandma’s Candy Bar” instantly catch your eye. At that moment, you realize that Mot’s provides more than just shaved ice — it offers a heartwarming taste of home.

Photographed by Brooke Snyder.

A family legacy in business

Ashley Macon, the owner and operator at Mot’s Shaved Ice, and Timothy Payne, the co-founder, grew up helping their father manage his powerlifting business, where they eventually learned to develop business management skills and ethical values that would ultimately send them on a clear path to success in entrepreneurship.

Ashley became a business owner in her early 20s, and that career path was so enticing to her that she decided to continue.

She initially found her love for business ownership by hosting paint parties and later running an eBay resale business with her husband, Kyle, as a young adult.

Inspired by Grandma’s love

Ashley recalls growing up and traveling to Huntsville to spend time with their grandparents, enjoying her grandma’s good ole fried squash and pinto beans.

A few years before the duo opened their stand, they would visit the shaved ice stand back in their hometown of Clemmons, North Carolina, and decided Franklin County needed something similar.

After the siblings purchased their business, they pondered different names and ultimately mutually decided that they would name it something unique to them. Ashley’s husband suggested they name the business after their paternal grandmother, Martha, known as “Mot.”

“She was one of those people that was always hospitable and always giving anything she had to help anybody that needed help. And she was just a wonderful person. So when we named our business Mot’s, we wanted to honor her. But we also wanted to bring this feeling of hospitality and love to our customers as well, spread what she had taught us growing up, and value people.”

The warmth Mot’s family felt in her presence could never be replicated.

Through Mot’s Shaved Ice, Ashley can only give her customers a small taste of her grandmother’s love, a delicious knack for home-cooked meals, and the oh-so-familiar Southern hospitality we hold near and dear to our hearts.

Photographed by Brooke Snyder.

Beyond shaved ice: A Message of Love

Their shaved ice cups come with a delicious icy treat inside and a Bible verse on the outside. The sticker you’ll see once you receive your cup of deliciousness reads: Hebrews 13:2: “Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!”

“When we have new employees or people working for us, we always want to drive home that this isn’t just shaved ice. We want to provide an experience for people. And we want that experience to be of kindness and hospitality and to feel like home when they come to Mot’s,” Ashley remarked.

A lasting legacy

On the opening day of the stand, the very first order placed was Grammie’s Coffee. This event reinforced Ashley’s decision to become a business owner and underscored her commitment to upholding her beloved maternal and paternal grandmother’s enduring legacies.

Mot always had an eye for making things look pretty.

“She could go into a thrift store and just buy the junkiest-looking thing and then make it beautiful a day later. And she had a very good eye for decorating and things like that.”

Ashley said her parents often remarked on her inheriting her grandmother’s keen eye for design. This is evident in the exquisitely crafted shaved ice she creates and her unwavering attention to detail in the presentation of every snow cone.

Photographed by Brooke Snyder.

The stand’s best-seller is the irresistible pina colada flavor, with folks from all across the county raving about the delectable island treat. The blue raspberry and cherry flavors also enjoy immense popularity within the community.

The stand also features a rotating “flavor of the week,” with Shark Attack reigning as the all-time favorite. This delightful mix of blueberry and red raspberry is topped with a gummy shark.

When you order a Shark Attack during its featured week, the cashier will enthusiastically announce, “We’ve got a shark attack!” The team consistently creates innovative ways to enhance the fun and engage with families and children.

Ashley has many aspirations for the business, but her highest aim is to establish a lasting legacy through Mot’s Shaved Ice stand.

“What I really want is to be a business that stands the test of time. I want Mot’s to be a generational family-owned business — one where our customers grow older and bring their kids and grandkids to share in their Mot’s nostalgia.” GN

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