Lightning and rain were not part of Andi McDaniel's and Sarah Newberry's plan for the debut of their 10,000 Licks handmade ice pops. But despite the stormy weather and constant wind, the pair sold their first public popsicles on Saturday at the Fulton Farmers Market.
Prior to this weekend, the two women had provided the gourmet frozen treats to private functions and other events but, according to their website, this introduced their pops to the world.
Newberry, from St. Paul and McDaniel, a Longfellow resident, brought a stand-up freezer full of more than 100 popsicles in five different flavors.
Selling for $3 apiece, the pair had brought strawberry basil, bluegrass (blueberry and lemongrass), cantaloupe ginger, honeydew mint and watermelon mint.
McDaniel broke down the basic structure of the pops.
"The blueberry one has dairy," she said. "We'll probably have one each week that has some dairy in it, but the rest are basically just real fruit and simple syrup with honey."
Of course, each pop flavor has its own recipe. For example, some don't mix well with honey and some need dairy in order to make that perfect frozen consistency. For now, they are using organic ingredients and working to incorporate more and more local items into their creations.
Their company started off a bit by chance,
"Andi had the idea and she realized after knowing me a short while that I might be the one," Newberry said.
"After she made an amazing ginger ice cream that I had," McDaniel added.
As they both have regular jobs — McDaniel is a web producer and Newberry, a music therapist — they thought a seasonal venture might be a good fit.
McDaniel cites the combination of tasting an amazing sweet corn ice cream in Oakland, where she used to live, and the gals' love of the season as the inspiration for choosing to make ice pops their product.
"We're devoted to being in Minnesota, to being in the Midwest, and a big part of that is the short, intense summer," she said, explaining that ice pops represent and celebrate that feeling.
The women have used Facebook and Twitter, as well as their website to get the word out about the pops. McDaniel writes their blog, which tell of failed pop ideas (Chai-tastrophe!), how they found a commercial kitchen, and recipe info.
Market board chair, David Nicholson, heard about them when they called him up with questions about how to get into one of Southwest Minneapolis's markets.
Once 10,000 Licks had obtained its licensing, Nicholson told them that bringing samples to a Kingfield/Fulton Farmers Market board meeting would not hurt their chances of being accepted mid-season as vendors. They took his advice and the rest is history.
"I think the samples put it over the edge —the fact that there are some unusual flavors, that they are using fresh, good quality ingredients in their product. I don't know to what extent what they have today (Saturday) has been sourced here, but their intention is to source from the farmers markets they attend. Those are things that all fit pretty well with what we have going on," said Nicholson.
Once the clouds went away and officials reopened the market around 10:30 a.m., 10,000 Licks seemed to be a hit, particularly with young families. At one point, their tent was blown down by the wind, but it didn't stop folks from buying the pops, especially for their kids.
McDaniel and Newberry are already looking forward to next week, announcing some potential flavors on Facebook: Sweet Corn, Strawberry Basil, Lavender Lemonade & Cherry Cheesecake.
McDaniel's blog also asked the question, "What will you order?"
Since the sweet corn flavor itself helped inspire the birth of 10,000 Licks, perhaps that's the one to try next.