March 22, 2019
In 2017, Theo Weigel wanted to start a full-time business and saw an opening in the market for a gourmet popsicle company. After two seasons testing recipes, then selling from a hand-made popsicle cart last season, Weigel launched a $5,000 ATB Boostr crowdfunding campaign to purchase upgraded equipment and hire summer staff for 2019.
“Our original cart was made out of plywood panels and foam insulation, just to keep everything cold,” describes Weigel. “Then a tote bag was filled with regular ice, dry ice, and popsicles, and that would keep cold all day long. This year, I’m raising money to buy ice cream bikes, good ol’ Dickie Dee style.”
Weigel’s investment into gourmet popsicles is grounded in market growth. In Whole Foods Market’s annual trends announcement, gourmet frozen desserts are listed among 2019’s top food trends and culinary influences. The report predicts that fresh takes on timeless treats will fill specialty frozen sections at grocery stores this year.
Entrepreneurs and investors are getting-in on the gourmet frozen dessert trend, too. In 2018, University of Toronto student Leila Keshavjee pitched her start-up, Happy Pops, on an episode of CBC’s Dragon’s Den and agreed to a $150,000 investment from Arlene Dickinson in exchange for 30% of her company. Part of the deal included access to Dickinson’s Calgary-based consumer packaged goods accelerator, District Ventures.
ATB Boostr helps Alberta-based businesses test their ideas and promote their companies. Throughout the fundraising campaign, investors are offered rewards from the business they choose to fund and entrepreneurs have access to pitch events and coaching.
Should the campaign be fully funded, fresh Froze Pops carts will be found at many of Medicine Hat’s favourite summer destinations including the Medicine Hat Skate Park, swimming pools, splash parks, and many of the city’s popular events.