Photos by Chapman Croskell.
Exotic combinations and creative flavors — like lemon ginger and Mexican hot chocolate — make up the menu for Revolution Artisan Pops, a newly-opened popsicle store in Old Town.
The shop is locally owned and managed by partners Jarod Dunn and Rebecca Barringer, two current CSU students.
While Dunn manages the business aspect of the shop and obtains his Ph.D in ecology from CSU, Barringer is currently majoring in food science and human nutrition with a concentration of dietetics. She applies what she learns from her classes into the creation of the popsicles.
“It’s a revolutionary period of experimenting with creative flavors and then expanding on them. This is our revolution, so we are going to take it forward,” Dunn said.
This “revolution” is what inspired their logo, a fist pumping in the air with a popsicle in hand. Not only do their flavors stand out, but also their process behind creating their revolutionary popsicles.
While most popsicles are made by placing liquid into a freezer mold and left to cool for between four to six hours, their popsicles are cooled in a machine that gets as cold as -17 degrees Fahrenheit, freezing the pops within 20-25 minutes. They prepare a maximum of 160 per freezing. This method preserves a higher quality of the product.
“Ice crystals form on the popsicle when it takes longer to cool,” Barringer said. “Water molecules dilute the flavor and decrease the quality. We freeze them so fast that those water molecules don’t have the time to form.”
Unlike typical grocery-store popsicles, popsicle revolution makes their pops with fresh and local ingredients with no additives, emulsifiers or preservatives, according to Barringer.
“A little bit of fat is good for you, and many people don’t think like that,” Barringer said. “Here at Revolution, we feature popsicles that perfectly balance both the nutrition and the sweetness aspect.”
Healthy, local and unique, Revolution Artisan Pops is partnered with other local companies. Morning Fresh Dairy supplies the cream for their popsicles, and spices are supplied by the Savory Spice Shop. Harbinger’s Coffee and local growers also contribute products.
Currently all fruit is imported from California, but the couple hopes that soon everything will be Colorado-grown. The menu will expand to introduce a brand-new popsicle every month. By Saint Patrick’s Day, the shop will offer a lime-cucumber popsicle.
The couple draws inspiration from a similar shop in Dallas, Texas to create their very own that stands out from all the other shops that line the streets of Old Town. Dunn draws on his creativity from the experiences he had managing restaurants, kitchens and high-volume bars back home in the San Antonio area and Austin, Texas. His experience working on drink recipes and crafting cocktails gave him the idea to introduce a non-alcoholic Mojito Popsicle sometime this summer.
“Having this experience really set the ground on the popsicle recipes,” Dunn said.
With the summer transitioning away from the majority of cream-based popsicles to fruit-based, Dunn and Barringer hope to partner with more local businesses and feature new concoctions such as mini-pops and popsicles to go that will be packaged in a way to prevent melting.
“We also hope to introduce non-alcoholic craft cocktails where a popsicle serves as a method to keep the drink cool and as the popsicle melts it will add more flavor, rather than dilute it,” Dunn said.
Business has been growing steadily for the company since their short span, with this weekend attracting twice as many customers as their opening week.
Eventually, they hope to cater to weddings and festivals this summer and hopefully feature BOGO deals and a virtual punch card.
“We always lose our physical punch cards,” Barringer said. “This way, we can just input your information and the punch card will pull right up.”
Prices range from $3.25-$3.75.
“It’s a great-quality popsicle for the price and the money stays within Fort Collins and is distributed to a local partners in the community,” Dunn said.
Collegian A&C Reporter Connor DeBlieck can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @CDeBlieck1995.