Say goodbye to old school popsicles, with their artificial flavors and lurid, mouth-staining colors. Say hello to ice pops in flavors like strawberry basil lemonade or vanilla peach spice.
The gourmet ice pops come from Pop Couture, a company started by Baltimore-area lawyers Justin Daniel
and his business partner Pete Stine and debuted at the Fells Point Farmers’ Market three weeks ago, just in time for Baltimore’s 100-degree dog days of summer.
Pop Couture ice pops are all natural and made with locally sourced or organic ingredients. Daniel says now is the perfect time to be in the gourmet ice pop business because people are increasingly conscious of what they are eating.
“Even it it’s a treat, people want to know what’s in it and where the ingredients came from,” Daniel says.
Daniel and Stine, who both have families, met while working as lawyers and decided they wanted a business that would help them escape paperwork and put them out in the community with the public.
“We both loved making ice pops for fun, and we wanted to make a product we were passionate about,” Stine says.
They turned their passion into a business this past April and now make about 400 pops per week in a commercial kitchen outside of the city.
Pop Couture’s flavors change all the time.
“It depends on the fruits we can get at their peak of flavor. When we get great stuff, we find a way to make it into an ice pop,” says Stine, who sometimes goes to local farms to pick the fruit he needs.
Flavors run the gamut from crowd-pleasers, like strawberry or blackberry, to the exotic, sour cherry balsamic or spicy pineapple habanero. Pop Couture tries to keep some basic fruit flavors in stock, but is always working on new combinations.Its flavors are works in progress and some are downright experimental.
“Blueberry lemongrass is probably our most unusual flavor combination to date,” says Stine.
Avocado is also on Pop Couture’s flavor list. “We’re working on incorporating vegetables into the pops. Mango-carrot is a flavor we’re experimenting with right now,” Stine explains.
Pop Couture sells its pops at local markets and caters barbecues, pool parties, and other private events. Just last week, they put their umbrella-covered freezer on a freight elevator and catered a birthday party in a downtown office building.
“That was a lot of fun,” says Stine.
Allison Dugdale and her husband Dan Harrison, of Fells Point, recently sampled Pop Couture’s mint lemonade ice pop at the Baltimore Farmers’ Market.
“It’s excellent, not too sweet. Very real tasting,” said Harrison, as he passed the ice pop to his wife.
“It’s wonderful. It’s like air conditioning for your mouth,” said Dugdale. “And you can quote me on that.”
What flavor popsicle would you like to try? Tell us in comments.
by Danielle Sweeney