Summer is a time for slurping popsicles on a curb, and Philip’s Ice Pops save you the sticky fingers by riding around the city on a vintage cargo bike and bringing their delicious pops to neighbourhoods near you!

Named after owner Katie Rachael Walker’s cat Philip, the company, which launched at the end of May, serves up icy goodness in four flavours: Lemon Ginger Rosemary, Fresh Orange & Vanilla Bean, Salted Watermelon, and Organic Strawberry & Basil. To find a neighbourhood store where you can pick up the pops, check their list of stockists.  They also cater events if you want to give your guests a cool dessert. Or, if you’re up for an adventure, follow them on TwitterFacebook, andInstagram to catch the Philip’s Ice Pop Mobile! You can find Philip’s in front of La Merceria (506 Adelaide St. W.) this Friday, August 2 from 12pm to 6pm, and at this Sunday (August 4)’s Parkdale Flea!

We caught up with Katie to find out about the inspiration behind these delicious and inventive snacks.

Shedoesthecity: Where did the idea for these ice pops come from?

Katie Rachael Walker: Ice pops—or anything frozen—have always been my go-to snack. Even in the middle of the winter I would trek to the corner store for a ice pop! After starting to eat healthier, I noticed how many additives and strange ingredients were in the ice pops I was eating. With no intention of starting a business, I bought an ice pop mold and started to experiment with interesting flavour combinations.  Eventually, I starting sharing them at dinner parties and hang outs with friends. They were a hit with everyone who tried them and it grew into a business from there.

SDTC: What’s the reception been like so far?

KRW: I have had a great response so far; everyone from little kids to grandmothers seem to enjoy Philip’s Ice Pops! I find that parents love them for their children because they are a healthier alternative to other frozen treats out there, while the flavour combinations like Lavender-Lemonade and Strawberry-Rhubarb are sophisticated enough for adults, too.

SDTC: Why did you decide to name the product after your cat?

KRW: I figured that the name went along with the fun and playfulness of the flavours.  Also, who doesnt love a good cat pun? Feline hot?

SDTC: I love that you cart your ice pops around by bike! What made you choose that way?

KRW: I think subconsciously I was thinking of Dickie Dee from back in the ’90s! I loved when he would bike through the neighborhood, ring their bell, and every neighborhood kid would run down the street for an ice pop! 

SDTC: How much planning went into your business before you actually got things off the ground?

KRW: Everything happened really fast with Philip’s Ice Pops. I started experimenting with making ice pops in January, 2013, but didn’t yet know that a business would come out of it. I guess everything really started when I came across my vintage cargo bike on a trip to Hanlan’s Point on Toronto Island in the spring. A bike shop owner named Manuel had a rickety, yellow cargo bike that he had picked up in Mexico a few years back. I offered to buy it from him on a whim, thinking it would be a fun project.  While the bike was being turned into Philip’s Ice Pop Mobile, everything else started taking shape. There were a lot of sleepless nights getting all the details in order.

SDTC: How hard is it to start your own business?

KRW: It definitely takes a lot of work to start your own business, but it is very rewarding at the same time. Having a business means that you are constantly working and thinking of new ways to grow and get your name/product out there.  Putting time into something that is completely yours makes it worth a few sleepless nights. I have also had the pleasure of meeting some really amazing people along the way that I am sure I otherwise wouldn’t have.

SDTC: Without giving away any secrets, how do you make your ice pops? How long does it take?

KRW: Philip’s Ice Pops are all made with fresh fruit and raw sugar. I find that using the freshest fruit possible is really important to make the tastiest pops. I have a great fruit supplier that saves the super ripe fruit for me since he knows I am going to use it right away! I find that juicing rather than pureeing the fruits gives a more intense flavour and better texture. From a lot of trial and error I found that the best method is infusing the simple syrups; it really intensifies certain ingredients without having pieces of fruit/herbs within the pops! To make about 150 ice pops it usually takes me three hours to make the mixture, plus six hours of freezing time.

SDTC: You only use local and seasonal produce. Why was this so important to you?

KRW: Using seasonal, local produce make a huge difference in the intensity of the flavour. It is actually surprising, the difference it makes. I did a taste test with a friend last month with our strawberry basil ice pop. I used California strawberries for a batch and Ontario wild strawberries for another. The Ontario one was fresher and almost jammy tasting in comparison. I love when people have an ice pop and are blown away, and I think the quality of fruit puts people over the edge.

SDTC: What’s next for Philip’s?

KRW: Next year I am looking at turning Philip’s Ice Pops into a mini food truck. I just found a small trailer that I am going to transform into the new Philip’s Ice Pops mobile. I am remodeling this 1960s trailer into a huge cat: whiskers on the headlights and ears on the hood. I am sure I will get some “crazy cat lady” glances, but it will be so much fun.