Family business a tradition at Omaha sporting events

College World Series. June 24, 2016. Photo courtesy of UNO Communications.

Erik Mauro

“Snow cones! Get ya snow cones!” It’s been a familiar call heard at Omaha sporting events for years. From the Omaha Storm Chasers to the College World Series, snow cones and cotton candy are more than just a tasty treat to the Backora family.

Sno Floss of Omaha is a local vendor specializing in snow cones and cotton candy since 1955. The company was started by Duane Madison who got the idea for Sno Floss when his cotton candy and snow cone sales soared at a concession stand in the civic auditorium.

Madison wanted a way to supplement the income for his family at the time, and thus Sno Floss was born.

Today, Sno Floss operates at local sporting events ranging from the Shrine Circus, to Omaha Lancer hockey games and the College World Series. UNO student Natalie Backora states that her first memories of Sno Floss began at Lancer games at the old Aksarben arena, but she has worked every College World Series since she was 12 years old.

“It’s a cool environment to be in, I can watch some of the game,” Backora said. “From our stands we can see the scoreboard. We have one stand on the first base line, and one way out in left field, so I go back and forth,”

Backora strictly works behind the stands though, leaving the making of the cotton candy to her other family members.

“I’m left-handed, and it’s hard to make cotton candy with your left hand, so I just never really did that. I call myself the self-proclaimed snow cone queen, because I’m good at making snow cones. My brother’s the candy man, I’m the snow cone queen,” says Backora.

The “Candy Man” would be Adam, one of four head stake holders in Sno Floss. For those who have been to a local sporting event in Omaha, patrons have probably seen Adam—or have at least heard him.

“Cotton candy right here-right here-right herreeeeeeee!” is the call that can be heard from the top of the section down to the bottom. Adam Backora is the main cotton candy vendor at events. Duane Madison was the original Candy Man. Adam decided to continue the legacy, and adopt the “Candy Man” moniker along with it.

When they aren’t doing Sno Floss, there are small gatherings the family will help with.

“We have small events, like our church will hold a neighborhood gathering, and we’ll make a bunch of cotton candy for them,” Backora said.

The people behind Sno Floss certainly stay busy.

“With Creighton baseball, the Storm Chasers, the College World Series, the Shrine Circus, we definitely have events year-round,” Backora said. “We have our busier moments, the summer with the Storm Chasers and the College World Series, we stay pretty occupied,” Backora added with a laugh.

When not busy with Sno Floss, the family owns another business, Center Trophy. Center Trophy specializes in awards, engraving and screen printing. With the busy schedule, it’s probably hard to just find a time to breathe. One thing is for sure, though, the Backora family loves their cotton candy and snow cones.