Watermelon basil, made from locally grown produce, is one of Alchemy Pops unique flavors. Photos courtesy of Alchemy Pops.
July 27, 2015
By Julie Thibodeaux
A Fort Worth-based entrepreneur gathers fresh produce from Texas farmers and transforms it into delicious frozen treats.
TCU-grad Carolyn Phillips is the alchemist behind Alchemy Pops, which launched late last year.
The idea for the business started last summer when she made frozen treats for a party. Friends raved about them.
“I made some boozy pops – strawberry champaign.”
Right, Carolyn Phillips shows off one of her creations.
After that, the self-described foodie began experimenting with flavor combinations. When her living room was filled with two freezers full of pops, she decided her hobby had grown into a sideline.
But she didn’t want to push just another sugar-laden pop.
“I needed to do this in a way that is healthy,” she said.
Being a farmers market fan with a Masters in Sustainability from Arizonia State University, she sought out the best Texas grown produce for ingredients.
As she became more familiar with the local farmers and their crops, she began experimenting with the state’s signature flavors.
Left, These berry pops are top sellers. While all the main ingredients of her pops are Texas farm produce, she does add non-refined organic cane sugar, honey and dairy in some cases.
That’s how she came up with such creative summer offerings such as Peaches and Honey, Cantalope and Mint and Watermelon Basil.
“It’s not just about creating fruit juice for a pop but it’s flavor that takes like Texas to me,” she said.
Other current offerings also include the popular Straight Up Strawberry and Cold Brew Coffee and Cream.
“We try to maintain five seasonal flavors," said Phillilps. "It depends on what’s happening with my farmers.”
So if one of her sources says they’ve got a bushel of great cucumbers, Phillips loves the challenge of turning them into a cool treat.
“It’s kind of fun and goes along with the name,” she said. “Alchemy is about experimentation.”
Right, Honeydew cucumber pop.
While developing her whole sale business, she sells pops for birthday parties, weddings and other special events. But you can also purchase Alchemy Pops in the Cold Springs Farm’s Veggie Van, at Pearl Snap Kolaches in Fort Worth and other store outlets coming soon.
Phillips’ original creations are garnering a following.
This summer, Alchemy Pops’ Kickstarter campaign drew 100 backers, who donated more than $8,000 to keep the pops flowing. Phillips will use to buy some new kitchen equipment and a “pop cart” to take to community events.
While Phillips still maintains her day job at United Way of Tarrant County, the business appears to be taking off. She now has two interns and has hired her first kitchen helper.
“Frozen pops are really trending right now,” she said. “I really do see this taking off. I feel compelled to keep going with it.”
Above, Texas grown citrus is the main ingredient for this pop.