Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Get Black & Blue At Pride, BK FLEA & Water Taxi Beach

With our eyes to the skies and our pop sticks crossed, we're hearing it'll be hot & heavy this weekend. And that's how you want it when you're trying out our newest, baddest, black-est and blue-est pop: Blueberry & Black Tea. It's the sort of flavor that jumps the turnstyle trying to get Straight Outta Compton, but there's nothing straight about it. And that's a good thing, cause that's just the way our pals down at the Gay Pride Parade Pride Fest like it.

But don't fret, Brooklyn Flea Fort Greene, Brooklyn Flea Brooklyn Bridge, or New York Water Taxi Beach LIC go-er's, because we'll be everywhere you'll be this weekend serving up a full selection of pops and shave-ice treats.

Just remember, we're also in Battery Park opposite 17 State Street from 12:30 till we sell out, weather permitting. And as always stay tuned to our Twitter Feed for last minute updates!

Oh, one more thing...we're getting blowed-up all over the place! Thanks so much, Daily Candy, NYMag GrubStreet, Serious Eats, NBC New York, Tasting Table, Greenhorns, TimeOut New York and Daily Radar!

Menu - June 26-27


Blueberry & Black Tea
Sweet Rhubarb & Strawberry 2.0
Strawberry & Organic Cream 2.0

Shave Ice

Turbo-Sweet Rhubarb
Fresh-Squeezed Organic Lemon w/ Mint and/or Ginger


In the immortal words of Stephen Colbert: "RAINNNNNNNNN!!!!"

For our loyal downtown customers, the wait continues. For the 24th day in a row the people's pops is facing down clouds that make Independence Day look like July 4th. But not to fear...only good will come of this hiatus.

Our world class chefs have been working tirelessly in the flavor labs with some stunning produce from our local farmers including this season's first round of blueberries. So don't fret, pop lovers, we will be back and stronger than ever as soon as this weather passes. In the mean time get your people's pops information/location fix on our twitter account, and watch the Colbert v Rain dance-off.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Rain Dance-Off
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorStephen Colbert in Iraq

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sam Champion, why hath thou forsaken us?!?!

We can all agree that this past Saturday was sort of a big, dirty bust. And we didn't feel all that bad about making our last-minute cancellation at the Brooklyn Flea. We simply told ourselves, "It's raining. Nobody eats pops in the rain, and nobody in their right mind tries to sell pops in the rain."

Up to this past Friday, it had rained for 15 of the past 19 days of June, and like every other New Yorker, we were over it. That's why when we woke up on Sunday at 6am, took a long, eye-glasses-less gander out the window and heard those fat drops smacking the pavement, we decided once again to throw in the towel. Accuweather's futuristic weather radar animation & the 90% chance of T-storms reassured us, so we went back to sleep, a tad peeved about our lame-duck Sunday.

A couple hours later, we woke up. Birds were chirping, the sun was beaming, and we were pissed. Like, ultra-pissed. The sort of pissed that gets you an all-expenses paid trip to the slammer.

That's when his name came over us like hot, humid, garlicky breath...Good Morning America's sun-kissed Lord of the Weather, Sam Champion...the revered boogie messiah of bbq's, beach-days, outdoor catered weddings and corporate events himself. A solar deity to most New Yorkers, Sam Champion is North America's Nostradamous: the premier, most precise, finely-tuned instrument of wizard-like weather prediction known today.

That is, until yesterday. He dropped a ball so huge, it crushed our spirits. Pops melted, children cried, and David needed a hug so large, it required several tremendous men to administer it.

So, while we recoup this coming week wondering why Sam denied us our livelyhood, we'll be carefully planning this week at Battery Park. And this coming weekend at Gay Pride. And at Brooklyn Flea Fort Greene. And at Brooklyn Flea DUMBO. And at Water Taxi Beach in L.I.C. (???).

Keep the faith, y'all.


Friday, June 19, 2009

This Week's Flavors: Strawberry-Rhubarb-Rain

Our 29-day pop-up pop shop in Battery Park starts today across from 17 State St!! Come see us and bring your friends, 'cause we just found out this was happening a few days ago and have been too busy making pops to tell anyone. If you can't make it out today, we'll be at the Brooklyn Flea in Ft. Greene on Saturday and under the Brooklyn Bridge on Sunday....unless the weather forecast ends up being accurate, in which case we're going to stay in bed and drink whiskey all day.

So, what did we make this week?

Weekend of June 20th Menu


Fresh Strawberry & Organic Cream
Super-Sweet Upstate Rhubarb
Fresh Strawberry with a touch of Rhubarb

Shave Ice-

Organic Lemon and Black Mint


Many thanks to Caroline Rogers of Looks Good To Me, who sketched the above image of herself enjoying one of our pops at Brooklyn Flea last weekend. Her blog is excellent and next time, she should introduce herself and get the free pop we've reserved for her.

ALSO. We will be selling honeyed pops at the First Annual Bee Ball on Monday night at Water Taxi Beach in the South Street Seaport! Just Food is the great organization behind this party, and we are excited to link up with them to support a cause we believe in: legalizing beekeeping in New York City. Bee there or bee square!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Learning Curve

So we've been learning a LOT as we build this business.

How to buy a van off Craigslist. How to deal with the fact that the insurance costs more than what we paid for the van. What to doodle during hours on the phone spent finagling an alternative insurance plan, which, despite our best efforts, costs just as outrageously much. How to extract more credit from a bank so tightly wound that I've gotten bigger tips as a waitress than the credit they've extended.

Navigating the vagaries of various City departments: Revenue, Special Events, Health and Milk Control, Licensing and Permits, Ag & Markets, and Consumer Affairs, to name a few. Mapping out the best routes (whether in the van, on a bike or on the subway) between our commercial kitchen, the Greenmarket, Jetro Cash-n-Carry, our various apartments, and our dry ice supplier. Finding out--quickly--where to go when they're out of dry ice and we've got a freezer full of melting pops.

Tooling around the city breathless, passing the checkbook from hand to hand. Designing ingredient labels that the DOH will approve. Stamping pop sticks by hand, on both sides, 1000 to a session. Realizing that food-safe ink wasn't used. Realizing that they'll work just fine as business cards.

And then there's our technique. What are the most aerodynamic, wasteless ways to hull strawberries or wash rhubarb or measure out simple syrup? What's the ideal Brix level in a given pop mixture and how can we keep it there when our ingredients change week to week? How long do the pops take to freeze, and how do the different ingredients react to a blast chiller? What are the cleanest, most sensible ways to pour pops, unmold and wrap them? What--do you remember, guys?--is the legally correct proportion of sanitizer we're required to apply to clean molds?

Where can we source the best quality fruit for a good price and, for that matter, what fruits will survive this mid-June onslaught of water and cold?

What is the best proportion of gin to tonic after a long day's work? Might it be 100% gin, or does that just seem like the right solution when the bottle of tonic is empty and we're too tired to walk downstairs to the bodega?

Will it cost more to hire people to work the stand or work fewer stands and manage them ourselves? And how can we make the bloody sky stop raining?? How do we keep up with the endless ribbons of receipts for anti-bacterial wipes, pH test strips, food prep bucket lids, chalkboard paint, seven-ounce cups, gorgeous black mint, boxes of pop sticks, organic lemons, a couple hundred pounds of sugar, Department of Health permits, Deparment of Ag & Market permits, and dry ice, to name about a quarter of the things we spent money on this week?

How can we stay sane in the face of all these questions?

Now that is a good question.

Well, we've reduced our wastage. We found good prices on molds, packaging, a juice squeezer and a used freezer. Maxwell Farms, from whom we bought fruit this week, brought to the Greenmarket the best strawberries we've seen yet. We downloaded QuickBooks. All of our permits are finally in line. We designed labels we like. The pops, especially strawberry & cream, taste DYNAMITE. We figured out how to keep the pop sticks from slipping down while they freeze. This week, we had our second wholesale customer and two pieces of fan mail. We have a 29-day concession in Battery Park, four months in the making, that starts tomorrow.

And rain is predicted for the next ten days.

Still, I feel great. Learning feels great: diplomacy, negotiation, patience, creativity. Every little problem we surmount makes us Caesar-victorious.

And we still honestly have a great time together. That's the best part of it all.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Under The Bridge: 2.0

Our favorite band in the universe is the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Not only do we love the four-time grammy-award winning band's music, we also respect Anthony Kiedis' hot mane and sexy bod. Our favorite song, Under the Bridge was released on March 10th, 1992 – and was the driving force behind our 5th grade heroin addiction.

That's why we're dedicating this upcoming weekend to Anthony Kiedis and the Red Hot Chili Peppers by setting up shop Under the Brooklyn Bridge this Sunday in DUMBO.

Of course, you can still find us rocking out in Fort Greene at the Brooklyn Flea. Just be sure to get your ears candled for this Sunday's debut at the Brooklyn Flea's newest outpost in DUMBO.

Weekend of June 13th Menu


Fresh Strawberry & Organic Cream
Super-Sweet Upstate Rhubarb
Fresh Strawberry with a touch of Rhubarb

Shave Ice-

Organic Lemon

Organic Raw Cane Sugar, Ginger and Rhubarb

Monday, June 8, 2009

The View From Behind

People's Pops in action at the Brooklyn Flea this weekend. We can't believe how good the weather was and we are SO GLAD TO BE BACK! Thanks for coming out and eating pops!!

One of our more satisfied customers:

See you next weekend! All dogs get free snowballs!!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Respect the Rhubarb. Sweat the Strawberry.

We know, we's late to give you our 2009 DEBUT menu, but not too late to get you PUMPED! Don't forget, we're at the Fort Greene Brooklyn Flea on Saturday, June 6th. And at our brand-spankin' new location in Carroll Gardens at the Brooklyn Indie Market on Sunday, June 7th!

The summer sun hasn't quite set in yet for peaches, blueberries or watermelon, but that's a good thing for you rhubarb-freaks. We've made a fantastic few batches of the best that New York's Union Square Green Market has to offer:

Menu - June 6th, June 7th 2009

Strawberry & Rhubarb
Rhubarb & Elderflower

Strawberry & Buttermilk

Shave Ice:
Rhubarb (and Licorice?!?!)
Lemon Mint

Can't wait to see y'all!


Oh, and check it out! We made Cool Hunting today! Thanks a bunch Laura!!!