There’s no better summer treat than an icy cold popsicle, and, fortunately, there are many all-natural, locally sourced and produced options available. Enter John Doumas of Pop Star Handcrafted Popsicles, who joins us for a little Q&A on the Dallas Design District's sweetest little secret.
Dallas Design District: What do you love most about being in the Dallas Design District?
John Doumas: The Dallas Design District is synonymous with creativity, and we love the eclectic mix of galleries, showrooms, dining and entertainment options located in the heart of the city. We couldn’t be more excited to be a part of this community and are looking forward to the new developments yet to come.
DDD: How did you get into the gourmet popsicle business?
JD: After turning 40 in 2011 and spending nearly 20 years in the technology consulting industry, I wanted to learn something new. I wasn’t exactly sure what that would be at the time, however, a passion for frozen treats and my own dietary restrictions (Crohn’s disease) led me to start Pop Star. We first started making our frozen treats in a shared catering kitchen on nights and weekends. We now have our own 2,500-square-feet manufacturing facility in the Design District, and our products are sold in grocery stores, restaurants, schools and entertainment venues across Dallas/Fort Worth.
DDD: What sets Pop Star Handcrafted Popsicles apart from other gourmet frozen treats?
JD: Beyond our team’s passion and commitment to creating the best product possible, I believe the most significant difference from our closest competitors include:
- Pop Star is locally owned and operated and takes pride in the development and support of our community and economy.
- Pop Star was born out of our involvement at local farmers markets and has allowed us to build and cultivate lasting relationships with our loyal customers.
- Our strategic goals revolve around the manufacture and sale of our products in places where people are already inclined to buy food. So while we don’t have any retail locations (by design), we do sell our products in local grocery stores, restaurants, schools and entertainment venues across DFW.
- Through the use of our signature pop carts and nostalgic VW bus stands, we can offer an experience above and beyond your typical frozen treat shop.
- All of our frozen treats are made with only the highest quality all-natural and organic ingredients and no artificial colors, sweeteners, preservatives of any kind. We believe the best results come from simple, wholesome ingredients. We believe all of these differences translate into a better customer experience and higher quality, better tasting product.
DDD: Are flavor offerings typically seasonal, or how often are you updating or adding new flavors to the menu?
JD: I think people really enjoy the fact that we do offer a rotating list of seasonal flavors. We’re lucky to have relationships with some of the area’s best growers, producers and artisans, which gives us access to local, high-quality, seasonal ingredients. So in the summer you’ll see unique flavors such as Cantaloupe Lime, Yellow Flesh Watermelon, Cucumber Lemon Mint, and in the winter you’ll see Honey Tangerine, Grapefruit Mint and Chocolate Peppermint. Also, our team loves to explore new ideas and recipes. We typically add at least two to three new flavors each quarter. Our most successful new flavor this year has been Tropical, which incorporates organic mango, pineapple, strawberry, orange and lime juice.
DDD: Explain the different catering experiences Pop Star Handcrafted Popsicles offers.
JD: Creating fun and memorable experiences for our customers is something we take a lot of pride in. We tailor each Pop Star experience to the needs of our customers, whether they need a simple popsicle delivery, a rolling popsicle cart or one of our vintage VW bus stands for a corporate event or wedding.
DDD: What are people usually most surprised to learn about Pop Star Handcrafted Popsicles?
JD: I think people are most surprised to learn that we’ve been producing our all-natural frozen treats since 2012 and that we make everything locally here in the Dallas Design District. In addition, people are really surprised to learn that they can rent our signature pop carts and retro VW bus stands for their own special occasions, birthday parties, weddings and corporate events.
DDD: In your opinion, what’s on the horizon in the frozen treat industry?
JD: A trend across America that I don’t see going away is the demand for food transparency. Simply put, consumers want to know what’s in their food and where it comes from. This is particularly important to us, considering most of the frozen desserts you find in the grocery store are filled with artificial ingredients, stabilizers, corn syrup, etc., all in an effort to make something fast and cheap. So I definitely expect to see more artisanal and handcrafted products popping up at local grocery stores.
DDD: Which seasonal flavor is your current go-to?
JD: When the temperature reaches triple digits it’s really hard to pass up one of our Watermelon Lime, Cucumber Lemon Mint or Chocolate Peppermint popsicles. Both the Watermelon Lime and Cucumber Lemon Mint flavors are light and refreshing, while the Chocolate Peppermint provides a nice burst of mint to help cool you down.
DDD: Any hints you can give us on fall/winter flavors we can look forward to enjoying?
JD: We’re extremely lucky to have a team full of people who are passionate about food. So there’s never a shortage of ideas and collaboration happening in our kitchen. Without giving too much away, Pop Star fans should expect to see some fun and unique flavors utilizing ingredients like crisp fall apples and cardamom, delicious honey tangerines and an amazing chocolate and coffee combination that we can’t wait to share with everyone.
DDD: Finish the sentence: “Every popsicle should be...”
JD: Simple, all natural, delicious.
So when you're craving something cool, refreshing and guilt-free, visit one of the local farmers markets to find Pop Star's VW bus setup. You might also luck out and find some popsicles at The Slow Bone off Irving Boulevard. Wherever you find them, don't miss the opportunity for a cold, refreshing treat that's made right here in the Dallas Design District.