Popify Pops are perfect pandemic fare

Hyper-local artisan popsicles are available by porch drop and block drop

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By Melissa Elsmo

Food Writer

Becca Martin and her husband Russell have a love of travel and a passion for artisan ice cream. Focusing on their two small children may have curbed their wanderlust in recent years, but their affection for frozen treats was reflected in the smiles on their children's faces each time the ice cream truck rolled around. 

Inspired by unique flavor combinations they experienced internationally, the duo set out to create all-natural, small-batch popsicles both adults and children would love. Martin and her husband spent the next several months in search of the "perfect popsicle."

"To help turn out a quality pop I turned my home freezer down as low as it would go," said Martin. "Once it hit -5 degrees the freezer fan froze."

Despite a few bumps in the road, their experimentation paid off — today Popify Ice Pops boast big flavor and a limited ingredient list.  

Popify's popular strawberry pop is made with nothing more than fresh strawberries, agave nectar and lemon juice. Reminiscent of a classic fudgesicle, the Salted Chocolate Pop is vegan and made of coconut milk, coco powder and salt. Martin indicates the pop is especially popular among adults who embrace a dairy-free diet. 

Popify collaborates with Todd and Holland Tea Merchants to make tea pops. Utilizing the Forest Park tea shop's s loose Lavender Earl Grey Tea, Martin and her husband created a popular Arnold Palmer Pop. Additionally, the tea shop's Strawberry Fields blend with notes of apple and hibiscus forms the base for Popify's Pretty in Pink pop. The rosy hued pop is augmented with organic cane sugar and fresh lemon; it has become one of Popify's signature flavors.

"The pandemic has made it hard to source some ingredients," said Martin. "Looking at tea versus fruit gave us an alternative."

Popify also collaborates with Oak Park's Rare Bird Preserves to craft their Blackberry Cherry pops. Rare Bird connoisseurs are likely familiar with their cherry-lime preserves. Martin collects the tart cherry juice byproduct from Rare Bird and uses it as a base for their blackberry cherry pops. 

While the business owners had visions of participating in festivals and farmers markets to grow the business, COVID-19 concerns dashed those plans and even disrupted plans to bring their pops to block parties and other events.

They opted to try delivery on a smaller scale to bring pops to local residents. Limited delivery slots sold out quickly and Popify cannot meet current demands for their pops. Interested parties should expect to wait 2 to 3 weeks for a porch delivery.

"People seem to appreciate having something fun and unexpected to enjoy during this time," said Martin.

People interested in getting in on the Popify action should follow them on Instagram and Facecbook and join their mailing list to stay up-to-date on all popsicle related news. 

"Flash drops" of unique or one-time only flavors are occasionally announced for same day delivery via social media. Early in June Popify's orange soda cream pop, made from Sprecher soda extract and vanilla ice cream allowed the creative duo to veer away from their standard pops. 

"Flash sales are fun because we usually sell out of pops before the window closes," said Martin. "Flavors like the orange soda pop are too fun to resist making."

Porch drops, block drops and birthday party preorders are also popular ways to snag some of these artisan pops. You may even catch a glimpse of their whimsical pop bike around town.

"Our pops have provided a nice connection to the local community," said Martin, "We love seeing how people react to the them. Kids wait on the porch for their delivery and people honk and wave when I ride the pop bike around town."

While the Martins have been sheltering-in-place they are eager to expand their reach in Oak Park and get their wait times down. Most importantly they are committed to bringing their popsicles to people on hot summer days.

Email: melissa@oakparkeats.com

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