This lovely note landed in my inbox the other day, and I actually get asked this question a bit, so I thought why not blog about it.
This blog post will be helpful for
- Anyone looking to fundraise by making and selling pops
- Anyone looking to serve up pops, without access to power
- Anyone wanting to create some home made pops using seasonal fruits, including some secrets to making delicious 100% fruit pops
Our lovely letter from Aussie-in-Canada Allyson
I’m an Aussie Mum (from Perth!), temporarily living in Canada, trying my hand for the first time at homemade fruit popsicles and in searching for new flavours came across your beautiful website. So far, they are a big hit with my 1 and 6 yo kids!
My 6 yo son had a brilliant idea to make “icy poles” for his stall at his school’s business fair this year…..he gets to keep the profits! It’s a bit like selling ice to eskimos here after the 6 month winter of snow and ice that we have just had! I had to explain to the school business fair coordinator that ice blocks at the beach are quintessential Australian childhood experience, and one we wanted to share with the locals out here on the prairies!!
I was very much hoping you might be able to offer some guidance and advice. I’m worried that we won’t be able to keep the icy poles frozen for the 3 hours of the fair in our esky with ice. I’ve wrapped them in wax paper, and put in plastic tubs in our home freezer for now. There’s no power available on site at the fair for a freezer.
Thanks so much for reaching out. Hope you don’t mind me replying to the world.
Great questions – would love to help out and support a budding entrepreneur
Keeping your cool
Keeping ice pops frozen without power or the special ice pop carts is a little bit of a tricky one. I don’t have all the answers as we’ve always tended to use freezers, have generators for power or use our Ice Pop carts.
I usually say to people, that Pops can be a little more resilient than you think, but you also got to show them respect. As in, don’t panic if the pops are out for a little while but at the same time, don’t push them too hard and keep them out for ages.
There are also lots of variables too, to consider if you are going to use an esky and ice, and a few things to remember
- How good your esky is – don’t use a cheapie, better a commercial grade or the like. I think the States seem to have some great foldable cooler boxes with great thermal properties that might work well
- The actual temperature on the day and are you in shade
- How full the esky is of ice and pops. The fuller the better to keep the thermal mass as low as possible
- How often you open and close the lid. The more you open the more cold air will escape. Perhaps you could have an insulation sheet to help keep the cold in.
- What your pops are made from.Rule of thumb is that pops will melt about the same rate as ice (if not faster, if you are using sugar, and also full fruit pops will hold better than water based ices (such as Ginger Beer, or pops with more fruit juice).
- Consider how long the ice pops will actually be out of the freezer for. I know the market may go for three hours but remember you need to pack them in an esky, get them there, set up for the event and then start selling. So maybe the pops are out of the freezer for 1-2 hours before you actually start selling.
Ideas to trouble shoot
- Can you put the esky in the freezer until you need it, so it starts a little colder
- If you live close by can someone drop the esky to you closer to selling time
- If you have a teeny, small chest freezer or a portable, camping freezer (like and Engel or Waeco, pictured below), even without power it would still be a good option. At the very least it’s been sitting at -18C or so before you leave home.
- Just do a test with some of the pops you make to see how long they last on the bench or in the esky with some ice. Will just give you a ball park to work with, and some confidence.
- Is there a local popsicle business that might kindly lend you their cart for the event?
- Just accept that you might have a few dead marines at the end, but it’s for the greater good.
- Could you bring along some cups and turn some melted ones into slushies – just add soda/lemonade?
- Lean more towards whole fruit ice pops, or creamy (dairy or coconut cream) pops rather than water based pops
I was in Canada (BC) a couple of years ago and the fruit in summer was amazing!! I had a quick look online for seasonal availability and found a good article here. Some flavour combinations for summer that I think would work (as a suggestion).
- Orange, Pineapple and Lime (Go Frosty Fruit but better). Make sure the pineapples are really ripe, and use whole pineapple to give the pop some body and juice your oranges and limes
- Rhubarb, Strawberry and Apple – cooked and blitzed (might need some sugar to balance the rhubarb tartness). You’re using whole fruit so this would be quite stable.
- Our biggest seller is Raspberry Lemonade, but you could recreate with raspberries, cooked apple and a bit of lemon juice.
- Peach, orange and raspberries
- Cantaloupe, Honeydew and Mint
- Choc Banana – use really ripe banana where black spots are starting to appear. This is when the starch is starting to turn into sugars.
There are lots of flavour combinations that you can create, so don’t let me constrict you.
When putting together fruity flavour combinations here are some considerations:
- Try and use at least one whole fruit ingredient to help with the texture and stability of the pop. Especially important if not using sugar. Think of how hard an iceblock is straight out of the freezer. That’s why we use things like sugar, fats from dairy and coconut cream, or whole fruits to help with the texture, so its easier to bite into and makes it more enjoyable. Deliciously sweet, well ripened fruit plus the fibre from whole fruit helps creates a pop with a better texture.
- If you are not using sugar at all, the pops will come out of the freezer super hard. Just give them a bit of time (say 5 mins) to soften and the texture and flavour will be much more enjoyable.
- Remember that food doesn’t taste as sweet when it’s frozen so you want to a) use the best fruit possible and this is best in season b) make sure it’s really ripe c) use a touch of sugar (be that white, cane sugar, dates, rice malt syrup, xylitol as a few examples)
- If using sugar, white sugar just dials up the sweetness whereas a lot of the others impart flavours – which is ok sometimes, and other times (in my opinion not). For example in a fresh and fruity flavour like Watermelon Lemonade or Orange, Pineapple and lime I don’t want caramel-mollasses types of flavours
- Can you use other herbs and spices to add flavour – mint, vanilla, cinnamon, star anise as examples.
- I like to add some acidity to whatever fruity flavour combination as it helps to lift the flavour and make it sing. It’s all about balancing flavours – lemons, limes, passionfruit, pineapple, raspberries are some examples. (I might also be overthinking this for 6 year olds, but I take pop making quite seriously 😉
On the day
Here are some little hints and tips to help make your selling – fundraising day a success
- Free samples. Great way to chat to people, and bring them over to your stand, and also help them find the perfect flavour. We just cut up small cubes of the pops and give them to people
- Plenty of spare change
- Portable hand washing station – soa
- Great signage to attract people – you can see below on our pop van the large signage up high. I know you’re not going to go to that complete
- Unwrap the pops and put the wrapper in the bin and put a napkin around the bottom
- Maybe some music to add some atmosphere if you have portable speakers
- Menu board and chalk / liquid pens
- Have fun!
How we can help
Of course if you are based in Canada, at the moment this is the best we can do! However, if you are based in Perth, WA and are looking at doing some fundraising for your school or not for profit then please get in contact.
Leave all the tricky stuff to us – the pop making, packing, and logistics.
We have fundraising packages available and provide you with a cart full of delicious ice pops to sell at your event (plus menu board, umbrella and all the attention seeking trimmings), as well as a checklist of all our pop knowledge to help you make the day a success.
We’ve helped schools and not for profits sell thousands of ice pops over the years – and have popped up at Perth Modern, Iona Presentation College, St Vinnies and lots of others.
Just fill in the “Enquire Here” form at the top of the page on the right and we will get back to you with our fundraising options.
Hope this helps!
Best of luck!