Formerly a high school Mathematics teacher, I travelled around Australia when on maternity leave and saw other artisan ice pop makers gracing the streets of the capital cities. Serving up delicious hand made ice pops, full of fruit and with exotic flavor combinations, it reminded me of my youth and I loved the South American influence of the recipes I saw.
So the concept of Lush Ice Pops for Darwin was born! I felt it would be a sure success with our year long tropical weather.
It took me a few more years to finally launch the business and we began trading at Parap markets on October 1, 2016.
In 2017 we had a very busy market schedule throughout the dry season, with Lush Ice Pops at Mindil Beach market, Malak market, Parap market and the Boutique market.
Later in the year we imported some lovely little ice pop carts from Brazil.
The ice pop carts became available for hire for events – weddings, parties etc and December 2017 was a busy time for Xmas parties.
In 2018, we scaled back our market attendance to just Mindil Beach on a Thursday and Sunday, as well as the Boutique market – and the ice pop cart is now being utilized for catering jobs such as weddings, parties and promotional corporate events.
I love the flexibility of running my own business, not to mention the huge learning curve as well as the personal challenges. Suffice to say, I did not go back to my teaching job, but the Mathematics sure comes in handy!!
Some 'poppy' fun facts
Frank Epperson of Oakland, California, popularised ice pops after patenting the concept of "frozen ice on a stick" in 1923. He initially called it the Epsicle. A couple of years later, Epperson sold the rights to the invention and the Popsicle brand to the Joe Lowe Company in New York City.
Epperson claimed to have first created an ice pop in 1905 at the age of 11 when he accidentally left a glass of powdered soda and water with a mixing stick in it on his porch during a cold night, a story still printed on the back of Popsicle treat boxes.
In the United States and Canada frozen ice on a stick is generically referred to as a popsicle due to the early popularity of the Popsicle brand, and the word has become a genericized trademark to mean any ice pop or freezer pop, regardless of brand or format. (The word is a portmanteau of pop and icicle.) They are also called an ice pop or freezer pop in the United States. In the Caicos Islands it is referred to as an ice saver. In the United Kingdom and Ireland the terms ice lolly and ice pop are used, though ice pop is much more common in Ireland. Chihiro is used as a slang term in the Cayman Islands, partially derived from chill. Different parts of Australia use either ice block or icy pole, and New Zealand uses ice block.
Paletas – the inspiration for Lush Ice Pops
A paleta is a frozen treat from Mexico. The word paleta is derived from palo – meaning stick. Essentially they are ice pops, delicious flavoured liquids, frozen with a stick to hold as you eat them. They are made from an enormous variety of fruits and other ingredients including spices and herbs and even flowers. They often include chunks of fruit inside. There are two different types of paleta - Paletas de agua (water/fruit based) and Paletas de crema which are made with some kind of dairy.
Paletas are found everywhere in Mexico and are sold from a paletaria (shop front) or from a mobile vendor with a cart.
Most paletarias are family businesses and the frozen treats are made in an artisanal way. The produce is purchased from markets then peeled, chopped and pureed by hand.