What Kenneth Cooper started as a homemade fundraiser for his 9 year-old son’s basketball team is now a big hit at the Chihuahuas’ baseball games at the Southwest University Park Stadium, in downtown El Paso.
Cooper, a teacher at Canutillo ISD, convinced the new stadium’s concession general manager Jay Satenspiel, of Regional Vice President of Spectra Food Service, to let him sell his unique Slush’ae product at the stadium’s baseball games. Now, his Slush’ae enterprise is part of the baseball park’s game-day concession offerings. And, the Chihuahuas’ fans response to his tasty treat has been great!
According to Cooper, Slush’ae is a gourmet home style slushy that was created nearly 15 years ago by his mother, Jessie Mae Cooper, 80, who lives in Plant City, Florida. “Having 21 grandchildren (Cooper has three brothers and two sisters), my mother wanted to make something in her kitchen for them that would put a smile on their face and cool them off during the hot Florida days,” Cooper said.
“The grandchildren took their special treat outside and the kids who were playing with them would want some as well. Soon the entire neighborhood was talking about it,” Cooper related. “Then, the parents of the children in the neighborhood started going to my mom’s house and asking for a slushy. When she first let them try it, they would usually say, ‘Wow! It’s so full of flavor. How do you make this, can you make some for me, and what’s your recipe?’” Cooper recalled.
“The next thing you know,” Cooper added, “neighbors started calling her the Slushy Lady. That’s how I came up with the name Slush’ae, by keeping part of the name that everyone still calls her, ‘Slush’, then adding the ‘ae’ from her middle name,” he explained.
Thanks Jessie Mae!
A salute to Jessie Mae Cooper, originator of the incredible Slush’ae
Using his mother’s secret recipe for the Slush’ae, Kenneth Cooper started making the special refreshment- a mix between a snow cone and slushy but with a secret ingredient- and selling them to friends and at small gatherings. Now, Cooper wants his adopted hometown community of El Paso TX to try his mother’s delicious creation.
Cooper, who moved to El Paso in 1997 when he was offered a University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) scholarship to play football for then head coach Charlie Bailey, is confident that his mother’s Slush’aes will become a staple refreshing treat with the stadium’s visitors.
“Our product’s name originated from my mother’s name, and so our slogan stems from the many positive reactions to the love that my mother shared with all her children and neighbors in Plant City and now with children and adults of El Paso:
Slush’ae…So Full of Flavor…..So Full of Love!”.
Cooper’s plans are to establish his mother’s delicious treat, which comes in different flavors, at the downtown ball park permanently and market it to other venues throughout the region and eventually throughout the country.