Inside People’s Pops Pfizer Building Kitchen


As summer reluctantly folds its beach towels and wraps up in autumn’s cardigan, we still have time for one last popsicle to hold us over till next year. So we sat down with David Carrell of People’s Pops to talk process, flavor pairings and Greenmarket rules; as well as his personal promise to be wherever you are when you want a pop. Even in the fall.

As Andrea Strong explored in our recent cover story, Carrell, roommate Joel Horowitz and high school friend Nathalie Jordi set up their first popsicle stand at the New Amsterdam Market back in 2008. In an era of industrial ingredients, Jordi’s idea was simple: “Everyone loves ice pops,” she said, “but how often do they actually have real fruit in them?”

The three started cooking, mashing and pureeing and, one fateful Sunday morning, schlepped inaugural coolers of their strawberry-basil, blueberry-honey-yogurt and rhubarb pops to market by taxi. Seven years later, the company boasts 45 employees and four brick-and-mortar stores — at Chelsea Market, the High Line, the East Village and Park Slope. On weekends they draw crowds at Smorgasburg, Brooklyn Bridge Park and Brooklyn Flea. They’re also sold in upscale grocers like Whole Foods, Foragers and Marlow & Daughters and hope to be selling multi-packs in your corner bodega soon.

To keep up with demand, the growing company now operates out of a gleaming, 2,728-square-foot, custom-built kitchen in the former Pfizer Factory in Williamsburg, where they make an average of 2,500 pops a day in a rotating cast of 100 fresh flavors. And as summer fades to fall, customers still line up across the city for pops made from crops like cantaloupe and corn, and soon, cranberries and concords.

Pro tip: bring your mittens.

Betsy Bradley

Elizabeth L. Bradley writes about New York City history and culture. She hopes to find Tiffany blue dragees in her Christmas stocking this year.

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