If you’re cruising down Highway 17 in the vicinity of Charleston, South Carolina – and you’re craving something refreshing and just a little out of the ordinary – stop, go onto Facebook or Twitter, and see where the King of Pops – Charleston is hanging out for the afternoon. Then turn onto the peninsula, and head towards Meeting Street and Ann, or Washington Park or Marion Square – or wherever he happens to have his cart, and give one of his handmade pops a try.
Now, these aren’t your run-of-the-mill fudgsicles or creamsicles – we’re talking lemon-basil, grapefruit-mint, chocolate-sea salt, raspberry-lime, the Arnold Palmer (sweet tea-lemonade) – just to name a few. I had the pomegranate-margarita, and it was yummy.
King of Pops began in Atlanta where the popsicles are made – the Charleston King of Pops drives there weekly to stock up. From the Atlanta King of Pops ‘About’ page:
If you’ve heard a story about our beginnings, it was more than likely a tale of one person overcoming a corporate layoff. While this is true, it’s not the whole story… King of Pops was conceived overlooking the beach in Central America. Three brothers, born of a fruit-smoothie-loving mother, were talking about life and love, but mainly paletas.
For the next few years, these three gringos day-dreamed of bringing paletas, the fresh, all-natural frozen pop they had fallen in love with, back to share in the U.S. Eventually, Steven was laid off by AIG. There were no more excuses not to follow his dreams – King of Pops was born. Vacating the cubicle for the kitchen, Steven, with the help of brother Nick, family, and a handful of friends, started working out recipes. After countless hours of experimentation, full of success and failure, King of Pops opened its first cart, much like the ones that had inspired the brothers years before. The Poncey-Highland location was a quick success. In addition to selling a lot of pops, Steven also met Gabriella Oviedo, who enthusiastically stepped in to help keep up with demand. Eventually, all-night making sessions weren’t enough, and it was time for Nick to come on board full time. Leaving his stable job as a lawyer to work on what he and his little brother had dreamt together.
Now that’s a good story. And I can’t wait until fig-honey is on the chalkboard!
More on the King of Pops:
Charleston City Paper (18 April 2011)
Atlanta Restaurant Blog (9 May 2011)
Chow Down Atlanta (27 April 2010)
FoodieBuddha.com (CNN video, 4 July 2010)