After closing for the month of January, Lil’ Pop Shop reopened on Feb. 1 to offer artisanal popsicles to the West Philadelphia community.
Owner Jeanne Chang anticipated that business would be slower in the winter and has been preparing since the shop’s opening last May to take a few weeks off in January.
“We know it’s a seasonal business,” Chang said. “We are built on that expectation.”
Located on 44th and Spruce streets, Lil’ Pop Shop has become a favorite neighborhood shop, selling popsicles with unique flavor combinations such as Coconut Hibiscus and Mango Ginger.
Chang explained that the summer months are busier and the profits the shop makes then helps to cover what business it may lose in the winter.
“We closed in January because schools were closed, it was the heart of winter and it’s the holidays so people are traveling,” Katie Banker-Smith, an employee at the shop, said.
Although the shop was closed in January, Chang kept business going by catering special parties and events.
“We were still in high demand while we were closed,” employee Katie Gallagher said. “People came by to see if we were open.”
Now that the store has reopened, they have added some seasonal popsicles to their regular menu to make the popsicles more fit for winter. Some options include a mulled apple cider and a green tea flavor. They also have a “feel-better” popsicle made with citrus juice, honey and cayenne “to really kick your immune system into gear,” Chang said.
Hot chocolate and other warm drinks have also been added to the menu.
Another option they offer is to buy six packs of popsicles so people can take them out of the store and eat them at their home.
Students are not deterred by the cold and still plan to visit the shop.
“I’d definitely still brave the cold to go to Lil’ Pop Shop,” College sophomore Jillian Kaltman said. “Their popsicles are one-of-a-kind and too tasty to resist. Popsicles melt in the summertime anyhow so now is a time when we don’t have to worry about that issue.”
Yet Chang is looking forward to the summer months when fresh fruits and other ingredients will be more readily available. She is also excited for the parklet to return outside the shop in March or April.
But until then, Lil’ Pop Shop will have to get through the cold winter months selling cold treats.
“It’s like ice cream … people buy ice cream all year round,” Banker-Smith said.
To which Gallagher responded, “It’s better than ice cream.”