What is in this article?:
- HipPOPs makes high-quality frozen treats mobile
- Looking to franchise
Founder Anthony Fellows discusses the advantages of the portable concept.
Anthony Fellows introduced HipPOPs in June 2012.
Top-notch ingredients, customizability and the sort of mobility that lets you put yourself in front of customers almost anywhere are all ingredients for a successful food concept these days.
If you can put that food on a stick, even better.
That was Anthony Fellows’ idea when he developed HipPOPs — gelato, frozen yogurt and sorbet on a stick that can be served from a food truck or kiosk. The concept debuted in June 2012.
“We market it as a pop-up gelato bar,” said Fellows, a veteran of the frozen treat business, who spent 20 years setting up kiosks, mostly in regional malls. The mall kiosks required operators to make substantial financial commitments that could be difficult to recoup, he said.
“The landlords would kill you,” he said. “You’d have to sign a 10-year guarantee, put $300,000 down, and try to make it back $5 to $6 at a time, and you’re fighting with five other guys who are also selling frozen desserts.”
With a mobile format, Fellows said he could put his resources into high-quality ingredients and provide a top-notch treat.
“And the consumer wins,” he said, noting that the little luxury — treats are priced at about $5 — is something virtually anyone can afford.
Frozen treat trucks are nothing new. In fact, they’re arguably the original food truck, as anyone who recalls the Mr. Softee or Good Humor songs from childhood can attest.
Fellows says his product stands out with its quality, which is in line with modern demands. All items are made with all-natural milk and without high-fructose corn syrup. The pops are also kosher, and most of them are gluten-free. They also have fewer calories than most frozen treats. Even the gelato is made with skim milk mixed with a little cream, giving it a total fat content of 7 percent. Premium ice creams can have in excess of 15 percent fat.
The gelato, frozen yogurt and sorbet is all made at Fellows’ commissary, or “microcreamery,” near Fort Lauderdale, Fla., from which Fellows and his wife load their truck and service functions throughout south Florida.
Fellows can fit up to 20 flavors on the truck at a time, and if the venue, such as a wedding or birthday party, isn’t conducive to a truck, he sets up a kiosk.
“We market it as a pop-up gelato bar,” he said. “You can put the whole thing together — table, acrylic sneeze bar, dipping station, customizable menu — in less than 30 minutes.
“The exciting part of it is you’re able to customize your own bar and be in charge of your treat masterpiece,” he said.