The Modern Pop was born soon after Julie Podolec gave birth to her son Brooks. When Brooks was 18 months old, Podolec and her husband Brad took a common problem into their own hands.
“It all started when Brooks began teething,” says Julie. “We wanted to give him some frozen fruit or Popsicles, but couldn’t find any without chemicals, vegetable stabilizers or added sugar in the grocery aisle.”
So in her kitchen at home, she began experimenting – creating her own frozen treat with only three simple ingredients: fruit, herbs and water. And after testing out about 40 flavors in her kitchen, the couple decided on five flavors that seemed just too good to be true.
Now, the husband-wife team’s idea for a refreshing pop stand, based out of their own freezer, has turned into a health-focused business with locations across Orange County. Clad in a now-signature retro orange apron and with umbrella and freezer in tow, Modern Pop camps in front of Sapphire Laguna every day from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. ready for waves of beach-goers and locals during the hot summer months. Their most popular creation, Raspberry Ginger, gets most of the attention, followed by Strawberry Lemonade – their special creation for picky kids and adults alike.
A commitment to health and simplicity that Modern Pop takes to heart certainly stems from the Podolecs’ personal food beliefs.
“People should know where their food comes from,” says Julie. The ice pops aren’t strained for seeds for this very reason. For Julie, seeds serve as a reminder to customers that whatever frozen treat they’ve chosen is fresh, real and unaltered. Ultimately, Modern Pops are as pure as they get.
Made with hunks of fresh fruit puréed with herbs, and water (sweetened with agave or honey when necessary), the Modern Pop challenges the typical sugary, electric blue icicle in your freezer.
Sophisticated, palette-cleansing flavors like Watermelon Cilantro, Strawberry Basil and Mango Mint separate Modern Pop from your childhood ice cream stand. Dairy-free, with no added sugar and ingredients you can pronounce, the pops are a perfect kind of delicious at less than 60 calories each.
Sold for $3 each at Pizza Lounge in Laguna Beach, The Old Pottery Place (stationed just across Sapphire Laguna), the Sawdust Art Festival, and Bristol Farms Newport for now, the pops also hope to have a home in Whole Foods locations throughout Orange County by the fall.
Though they were perhaps unintentionally founded by an 18-month-old Brooks, we may just have a little culinary genius on our hands.