Wasabi, lavender and Riesling may not be the first ingredients one would think of for a popsicle flavor, but Steve McGlocklin is changing minds one pop at a time with "Whatever Pops" -- his own line of gourmet handcrafted natural gourmet ice pops.
Launched in May of last year, Whatever Pops has quickly gained popularity in Tampa Bay and beyond. The Cooking Channel selected Whatever Pops in September to serve their frosty treats during the Frozen Treat Truck Tour that pulled into Ybor City's Saturday Market.
This year, Whatever Pops' Coconut Lime ice pop was listed in the Tampa Tribune's Top 12 Things to Taste in 2012.
Known as the "Chief Chiller" McGlocklin uses all natural ingredients and often pulls locally grown produce to add to his popsicles. Over the summer Whatever Pops was a crowd favorite at the Odessa Organic Farmers Market.
Patch recently caught up with McGlocklin, 43, to chat about his tasty business:
Patch: When did you launch Whatever Pops?
McGlocklin: I launched Whatever Pops in May of 2011, the same weekend my fiancee and I got engaged. I'm not saying which was the bigger event (just kidding, honey!)
Patch: What was your inspiration behind doing this business?
McGlocklin: I had been looking into start up ideas in the food industry for a while. I knew I wanted to do something that would allow me to connect with people, and also something that was natural and wholesome, but not too serious. My fiancee and I spent a weekend biking around St. Augustine, and came upon a great paleta (ice pop) shop called the Hyppo. There's nothing more refreshing after a day in the sun than an all-natural ice pop. I knew it was a concept I could make my own, and we were already making healthy snacks for our kids at home.
Patch: How do you come up with the flavor ideas?
McGlocklin: We shop local farmer's markets and look for what's fresh and seasonal, with a preference for local produce. We're not timid about it! We've used everything from wasabi to lavender to kumquats. And some really nice Belgian cocoa.
Patch: Where did the name come from?
There's so much you can do with natural produce and unique ingredients. You know, Whatever!
Patch: Growing up did you have a favorite popsicle?
McGlocklin: I am ashamed to admit I liked those artificially flavored, chemically colored popsicles. But after you taste one of our Strawberry Basil ice pops, you can't go back to "red" flavored popsicles.
Patch: What's your favorite thing about your Whatever Pops business?
McGlocklin: I love interacting with my customers. When someone tells me they like one of our ice pops, it's the best!
Patch: Where can people find you to purchase?
McGlocklin: We are at local farmer's markets in Hyde Park, Seminole Heights, and Wiregrass. You can also find our ice pops at Buddy Brew Coffee, TeBella Tea Company, and Duckweed Urban Market in Tampa. Or, come out for one of the Food Truck Rallies around the Bay area and we'll be there with our Blackberry Honey Green Tea, Riesling Pear, and Chocolate Sea Salt ice pops, plus a whole bunch of other flavors.