Summer is officially over, but here in New Orleans, the heat continues. When it gets too hot who do neighbors in the Seventh Ward turn to? They turn to a woman known as “The Hucklebuck Lady”.
On Allen Street, Tonja Demery is known as the “Hucklebuck Lady”. It’s her job to cool off the neighborhood.
“I started selling them ten years ago when my daughter had a baby. I had to take care of the baby. My friend suggested that since I’m home all day that I should start selling frozen cups,” Demery said.
“I will be sweating all day so much. I’m like I need something cold. When water and juice aren’t doing it for me, these hucklebucks keep me cool,” Neighbor, Kevin Burton said.
The hucklebuck has many names. Some call them frozen cups, others call them dixie cups. What exactly is a hucklebuck you ask?
“Something like a popsicle, but in a cup. They are much sweeter. It’s almost like a snowball, but it’s frozen solid, instead of shredded ice. It’s snowball juice, sugar, and water. It’s as easy as that,” she said.
In the hot summer months she sells a lot of hucklebucks or whatever you want to call them. In the past some “hucklebuck ladies” would sell their hucklebucks with quarters or gummy bears frozen in them. This hucklebuck lady said she likes to keep them standard.
“They have a lot of names down here. I just know that’s what they want. I would say that from February to August, I make between 300 and 350 hucklebucks a day,” Demery said.
They are reasonable priced, something the neighborhood kids can afford.
“I keep the price low enough. They are 30 cents, so the kids can afford them,” she said.
She said in the future she hopes to take her home business on the road and start selling her hucklebucks out of a food truck.