You've had a popsicle — now step up and really have a popsicle with Wild Pops! The gourmet popsicles business popped up recently on Washington Street with unique flavors like Tamarind Thai Chili, Spicy Pineapple and Dark Belgian Chocolate.
The company was created in 2016 by Shira Gold when she lived in Los Angeles and fell in love with Mexican paletas. She eventually moved back to Boston to be closer to family and opened up a commercial kitchen at 3213 Washington St. with a storefront.
“Here, we grew up with ice cream trucks. In L.A., there are authentic Mexican popsicle places, [with] Mexicans pushing carts on the streets,” Gould said.
As for those eye-catching flavors, “Tamarind is huge in L.A. and I wanted it to be spicy so we use Thai chilis,” Gould said. “I make stuff I like to eat. The basic ones are the ones that I think will sell reasonably well. And there are flavors [based on] desserts that I like. There was a cinnamon rice pudding pop, and I love mango coconut sticky rice as a dessert and was obsessed with trying to figure out how to make that into a popsicle.
“Our pops are good. They’re simple. I wanted to make classics and have people come back and eat them over and over again. I wanted them to be high-quality products and not feel pretentious. I didn’t want to make a random flavor because it sounded unique,” Gould said.
And with one taste of Wild Pops, you’ll be able to appreciate Gould’s commitment to her popsicles as they are packed with their main ingredients, be it chocolate, fruit or other flavors.
Wild Pops uses all real fruit cut by hand and adds syrups for liquidy pops like lemon or lime. Every pop is currently vegan, but there will be pops with dairy come springtime. Gould said she prefers to use local produce, but obviously items such as mango cannot be sourced locally. She still uses a California company that imports her preferred Thai coconut milk.
Wild Pops’ main business is through catering and wholesale. Gould says the Jamaica Plain commercial storefront was more of an afterthought as it came with the kitchen space. Opening during fall in New England seems a little ill-timed — she had planned to wait for springtime — but people kept on coming to the store intrigued by the business.
Gould said the storefront had a soft opening to get a feel for things, but it will now be closed until springtime. The kitchen, on the other hand, will continue to be in full swing making gourmet popsicles. During the winter, Wild Pops will be sold locally at the Video Underground business a few doors down, and Gould is working to get her popsicles into local restaurants and stores.
The popsicles, Gould noted, can be customized. “We take people’s flavors and do custom things. There’s a matcha company out of New York City and we used [their product] to make matcha pops. We made tomato pops for a convention for a tomato farmer. We made custom pops for Fox when they did a promo and wanted a bloody-looking pop as a horror thing," she said.
Opening a popsicle business was quite possibly in the cards for Gould all along. “I sold candy as a kid [while growing up in Brookline]. I moved to a different district that had a candy store and stayed at my school so I was the only one who had access to the candy store. I'd get a discount at the store and would sell candy during a 15-minute break at school with help from the principal and teachers. I always thought I'd have a candy store,” she said.