The Pop Stop: Popsicles in Pittsburgh

What’s better than beating the heat with a popsicle? How about beating the heat with a freshly made popsicle containing fresh fruit and ingredients from the back of a bicycle? Pittsburgh’s newest (and only) popsicle delivery system on 2 wheels is changing the way to eat frozen treats.

English teacher and Pittsburgh native Todd Saulle started The Pop Stop after a conversation with a friend who owns a popsicle shop in West Philadelphia. Saulle was captivated with the idea and started research immediately. Given the recent boom in mobile food in Pittsburgh, Saulle decided to take the concept mobile, and thus The Pop Stop was born.

Now, for the record, these aren’t like those old school orange juice popsicles you attempted to make every summer in your freezer with toothpicks and ice trays. Saulle uses an industrial kitchen and equipment to keep up with demand. The space came with a little help from Franktuary.IMG_4645

“I need[ed] a commercial kitchen space to make the pops. Fortunately for me, my mobile food compatriots at Franktuary came to my aid. The Franktuary ownership, Megan Lindsey and Tim Tobitsch, were more than willing to provide me with a commercial kitchen space at their new L-ville location. Without the help of the ownership and staff of Franktuary, The Pop Stop could not operate. So, in return for their generosity, I provide them with a few batches of popsicles every week. Currently, they have two seasonal flavors: Straight-up Cantaloupe and Watermelon Parsley. You can also try an alcoholic based pop with Wigle Ginever, cucumber and lime.”

Now at this point, I’m sure the chemistry people are scratching their heads and asking, “How do IMG_4700the alcoholic pops freeze?” Saulle says it’s all about proportions. He uses just the right amount mixed with other ingredients to make sure the popsicles freeze, and still taste delicious.

The Pop Stop only sells its alcoholic popsicles at Franktuary, and Saulle says the bulk of his interest is in making fresh, healthy popsicles. The Pop Stop popsicles are made in the style of Mexican Paleta–which is a puree of fresh fruit with a hint of herbs. The taste is different from those creamsicles you can get from the ice cream man, explains Saulle. “Each popsicle has a softer texture than you’d find with your childhood favorites. Instead of biting into hard frozen sugar, it’s like biting into a piece of fresh fruit, just a little colder.” The Pop Stop currently offers Watermelon Parsley, Strawberry Basil, Cantaloupe, Rosemary’s Berry (raspberry), and Honey Peach.

So how do these pops get from the freezer of Franktuary to the event of choice? On a bike of course. Saulle uses a heavy duty cargo bike that holds about 400 popsicles. Talk about a sweet ride!

IMG_4677You can find The Pop Stop Friday, August 9th at BikeFest and Sunday, August 25th at Pedal Pittsburgh. Saulle hopes to expand business next summer to make stops all over the city as well as private events. You can also find the pops on the menu at Franktuary.

To get in contact with The Pop Stop for your next event, you can email or check out the site and fill out an event request form. Follow The Pop Stop on Twitter so you can drool over the photos of popsicles in the making.

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