Big Mike’s Shaved Ice is located at 1265 Bardstown Road. | Courtesy of Big Mike’s

Since 2015, Insider has been following the success story of the young entrepreneur Mike Buchanan, who has owned and operated Big Mike’s Shaved Ice since he was a sophomore DeSales High School.

Buchanan is now a senior at the University of Kentucky, and each summer, he returns to share his snow cone-like treats with residents of the Highlands and beyond. His permanent spot is located at 1265 Bardstown Road across from the Mid-City Mall, and it opens officially on Wednesday, May 15.

As a way to garner attention and announce to Louisville shaved ice fans that Big Mike’s is open once again, Buchanan is giving away one free small treat to anyone and everyone who stops by on Wednesday from noon to 9 p.m.

Mike Buchanan in 2015 | Photo by Sara Havens

Insider checked in with Buchanan to see what’s new for 2019 in the world of shaved ice. He says he, indeed, has some new flavors he’s eager to try out on his customers.

“The first one is cake batter, which can be halved with almost any other flavor (and) takes it to a whole new level,” he says. “We’ve also added blue coconut and pina colada, and we have some flavors we’re testing to see if customers like them — like blackberry and pink bubblegum. But they won’t be permanent unless we get good feedback.”

Big Mike’s has dozens of flavors that can be mixed, and on a good day, they’ll go through eight blocks of ice — about 50-100 cups of Hawaiian shaved ice. Sizes range from small to Everest, at a whopping 32 ounces, and prices are $2 to $7. The business employs three.

Buchanan’s personal favorite combination involves pink lemonade and lemon-lime, which he calls “Cosmo & Wanda.”

This will be a big year for Buchanan, as he’ll graduate next May from UK with a bachelor’s degree in organizational communication and business.

“My plan after college is to continue to grow Big Mike’s, and we’ll look to be open from May 1 through Oct. 1,” he says.

Starting Wednesday, May 15, Big Mike’s will be open Sunday through Thursday, noon-9 p.m., and Friday through Saturday, noon-10 p.m.

Sara Havens

Sara Havens

Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville, known around town as the Bar Belle (barbelleblog.com). She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."