Friday, April 30, 2010

This Weekend Is Gonna Be Big

Nice little New York Times piece about us and our rawkin' Brooklyn Fleamates Salvatore Bklyn, Porchetta and Pizza Moto.

And while we're at it, check out this other New York Times piece about the benefits of shave ice before exercising: To Beat The Heat, Drink A Slushie First.

See you at the Flea and Chelsea Market this weekend! If you stop by, give Dave a high-five for having QUIT HIS JOB today to devote himself to People's Pops FULL-TIME!!!!

(Joel and I are VERY excited).

Ice pop flavors at Chelsea Market:
  • Blackberry & Cream
  • Straight-up Raspberry
  • Blackberry Jasmine
  • Rhubarb, Cream and Cinnamon
  • Apricot & Caramel
Ice pop flavors at Brooklyn Flea
  • 2-tone RhubarbGinger and Sour Cherry
  • Damson Plum and Spearmint
  • Raspberry & Basil

Shave ice:
  • Organic Lemon
  • Plum

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Monday, April 26, 2010

Even At An Early Age....

.....Nat liked her pops.

(added 6/7: apparently, Joel and his sister liked pops too!)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Photos from the Flavor Lab

Joel & Danielle's work this week: ain't it beautiful??

From left to right:
  • Blackberry & X-tra Organic Cream
  • Plum, Organic Yogurt & Tarragon
  • Straight-Up Raspberry
  • Rhubarb, Organic Cream & Cinnamon
  • Blackberry & Jasmine.

Look for them at the Fleas and at Chelsea Market this weekend!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Our Shop in Chelsea Market Is Finally Open!

We're here! We're here we're here we're here!! We're finally heeeeere!!!!

It's been a long time coming, but our shop in Chelsea Market has finally opened its doors, right on point for summer.

The response so far has been fantastic. One of our Twitter tweeps, who follows us even though she lives in California, came in with her family 'cause she happened to be in town. Several people who work in the building have come by for a pop every day since we opened. Our Manhattan-dwelling Brooklyn Flea customers are psyched to access pops midweek, all day, whenever. Our neighbors, particularly at Lucy's Whey, Bar Suzette, Dickson's Farmstand Meats, Gramercy Park Flower Shop, Jacques Torres, and One Lucky Duck have been overwhelmingly welcoming. David's and Nathalie's parents both sent potted plants on opening day, but Joel's parents, who live in Chicago, took the cake by showing up unannounced at the market on opening day!

We feel right at home....

Here's what the press has to say about our Chelsea Market shop opening:

New York Times
Tasting Table
Huffington Post
Time Out New York
Our recipe for rhubarb ice pops in New York Magazine
New York Daily News
Serious Eats
NY Mag's Grub Street
Time Out New York Kids
New York Metromix
Markets of New York
Lickin' It
NYT-The Local
Gail Simmons' ice cream faves in AM New York
Atlantic Monthly website

If you haven't come by yet.....what are you waiting for??

Here are a few of the flavors we've cooked up for this week/weekend.
  • Spiced Rhubarb
  • Blackberry & Lemon Verbena
  • 2-tone Blackberry & Sour Cherry
  • Plum, Organic Yogurt and Tarragon (this one's the JAM!! Go Joel!)
  • Raspberry & cream
And the best news we've heard in a long time...real-live rhubarb has been spotted at the farmer's market. If that don't herald the growing season, we don't know what does!

See you this weekend at the Brooklyn Flea as usual.....and at Chelsea Market!!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

R.I.P. Shaba

I'd like to take some time this week to talk about vans.

A few days ago, on the West Side Highway, I totaled our trusty old Shaba. She'd been with us for about a year. Dave and Joel bought her off of a sketchy Craigslist character we call the Flesh Dealer, who allegedly used it to transport women to and from massage parlors. I'm not even exaggerating--these were his words. We bought her for $2000.

The picture above was taken a few days after we bought Shaba, when she broke down for the first time. There would be many others.

We had some great times with Shaba, so named because when we bought her there was a sticker on the passenger airbag that said "Shaba the Great."

The picture below was taken as the tow driver took her away to the junkyard, moments before the street cleaning cops arrived.

Here's another little picture of Shaba, just for rememberance's sake.

Our new van ($1,500) has 280,000 miles on her and a hole in the passenger seat floorboard (I sit mostly in the passenger seat now) from which I can see asphalt coursing by. She doesn't go above 40 miles an hour, and came with a sticker that said "Porky," so that's what we've calling her.

Within 36 hours of owning Porky, we'd amassed 6 parking tickets, to the tune of $680. The first was for not having pasted lettering with our business name and address on the doors. As Joel was remedying this very problem with acrylic adhesive lettering in the hardware store parking lot, he received a second ticket for the same offense. The third ticket was because the letters are 2 inches high rather than 3 inches. And so on.

I'd rail on New York City's cops awhile, but given that they saved me from both a bike accident and a car accident this week, I'll keep my mouth shut.

After Sunday's market at One Hanson, Joel went back to the van to find one of the tires completely bust. He replaced it with the spare, which was, as it turns out, a different size from the other tires and made a rubbing noise against the wheel well every time he changed lanes or turned.

After a few hundred dollars of work and several trips to Purgatory (a.k.a. the DMV) Porky passed NYS inspection yesterday.

Welcome, Porky! R.I.P. Shaba.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Pops and Panic Attacks

I moved back to New York City seven days ago today, and here's what my keychain looks like already.

It's been a very full week.

We got our worker's comp set up, touched base with the Dept. of Ag & Markets, and received our keys to Chelsea Market (which account for only two of the above).

We argued over how to display our pops in the five-foot freezer case that was delivered today and discussed the pros and cons of using an iPad as our cash register.

We nearly took a hammer to our printer, which won't print, even after several hours of cajoling.

We picked up thyme from the Greenmarket, ginger beer from the folks at Brooklyn Soda Works (rhubarb and ginger beer?) and bonbons from Daniel at Fine & Raw (strawberry and chocolate?) with which to screw around in the flavor lab.

We ordered stools, bought paint and stamped pop sticks.

Tonight, we spent hours looking for parking in the East Village, then threw our hands up, drove back to Brooklyn and took the train home.

And we made pops for the first time this season, out of frozen fruit. To mixed results.

The rhubarb worked great, as did the blackberries and raspberries, but we were so unhappy with the strawberry & cream pops we made (bland, shardy, worthless) that we threw them out. We've never had to do that with a batch of pops, ever. That was a dark day.

Oh yeah, that same day, I got hit by a car.

Those are the nice cops who drove me and my busted bike back to work.

Suffice it to say, it has been a week during which zen moments have been somewhat elusive. Which is why we've particularly relished the task above, which has kept us busy for four nights: glueing pop sticks to the plywood frontage of our kiosk. The repetitive act is strangely soothing, and it's a good time for us to unwind, brainstorm and be with each other. It's starting to look damn good, too (time-lapse to come)

Seven days to go. And then the real hard work begins.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

It Takes a Village

Our new shop opens in two weeks. As you can imagine, it's been a frenzied last few months, and for everything we've gotten accomplished, two more things to do pop up in its wake. It's like playing that arcade game where hippos pop out of holes and you have to punch them back in, and as you slowly get the hang of it, the hippos start coming faster and faster until you LOSE YOUR MIND.

Some people manage to hang onto businesses all by themselves, but there are three of us. Wait, who am I kidding? There are far more than three of us. It really DOES take a village to raise...a pop shop.

Despite her long-guaranteed membership in our highly exclusive Free-Pops-For-Life Club (of which most other members share our last names), our recently degreed friend Judy "Pooty" Goodwin, Esq. acted kindly as pro bono lease-reviewing lawyer. Internet genius Todd Shaffer took our website (have you seen it yet?!!) from dead to live, and Robin Hiner is building a top-notch bespoke counter for our shop. Expert foragers Annie Myers, Johanna Kolodny, Katy McNulty and her boyfriend Jonathan helped us track down frozen fruit with which to start our season, and our new Chelsea Market neighbors Amy Thompson and Mary Cleaver generously helped us track down kitchens. Sergio Hernandez offered some deep insights into the business of running a business, as did Daryl Hanna. Angelic Pam at Progressive got us a sweet deal on van insurance, although this only somewhat makes up for how gouged we're getting on business insurance. The talented Jason Urban dreamed up some t-shirts that we can't wait to see in the flesh (stay tuned!), and Christopher Sloboda managed to design a logo that all three of us can wrap our heads around:

What do you think????

We've ordered bags, molds, labels, and started stamping pop sticks--so far, Joel is 996 ahead of me and David. (Yes, he counted. Back from 1000.) We applied for a line of credit, designed a look for our shop, and filled out our 2009 business tax return. Ol' Shaba is back on the road, shiny new plates, registration and all. Dave and Joel detailed her up and even got a spare tire. She and I will be gunning up north tomorrow to buy some frozen Hudson Valley berries with which to start the season before fresh fruit walzes back into town.

On Tuesday, we make the first pops of 2010. Look out for something involving rhubarb and strawberries sourced from Beth's Farm Kitchen, and through Jim Hyland of Winter Sun Farms, we've also got our hands on some of last year's precious organic blackberries and raspberries from Stone Ledge Farm in Cairo, NY. Using frozen fruit is a bit of a departure for us--traditionally, our season doesn't start until fresh fruit comes into town--but this year's reality is that we start writing rent checks on April 15 and need to have something to show for it. It will be interesting to see whether there's a difference between pops made from frozen or fresh fruit, but given that, after all, our pops are themselves a frozen product, we've made peace with the idea.

And this weekend: the triumphant release of People's Pops 3.0!!

Come see us Saturday as the Brooklyn Flea in Ft. Greene returns outside, and on Sunday's Brooklyn Flea at One Hanson, a brand-new spot for us.

We'll post this week's flavors once we've thunk 'em up.