Farmers, Fishers, Bakers, Makers: Meet Eli Kaplan of Mom and Popsicles
Orange Souchong, Black Sesame and Raspberry, Honeydew Lemongrass, Salted Caramel. These are just some of the flavors that Greenpoint’s local popsicle company, Mom & Pospsicles, has been sharing in their Instagram feed (and at Sunday’s McGolrick Farmer’s Market) lately. As a self-proclaimed popsicle aficionado, I needed to know more about the person behind this pop-up, so I hunted down the little company’s founder, Eli Kaplan, and asked him to share a little about his relationship to Greenpoint and his experience owning a real mom-and-POP shop.
Besides the McGolrick Park Greenmarket, what’s your favorite thing about Greenpoint?
One of my favorite things about Greenpoint is it’s adventure for growth. I’ve lived in the neighborhood for 10 plus years, and it is exciting to see the changes that have taken place (many new options of creative food establishments, and other small/local businesses), without the neighborhood losing it’s soul/identity. It was and still is a friendly, creative place for people of all kinds. Personally, one of my favorite things about the weekend is getting to grab a fresh horchata from the local food vendor around the corner from my apartment. Go Greenpoint!
What’s the best part about being a local food purveyor?
One of the best things about being a local food purveyor is being able to bring the people and the communities we serve a fresh dessert they can be proud of. Not only are our popsicles a healthy, all-natural, delicious dessert option, but they are also a responsibly sourced product that contributes to the success of the local food system. It is terrific to be a part of that chain of consciousness, and it feels good to see our customers happiness to participate in this positive cycle as well.
What’s your biggest challenge as a local food purveyor?
One of the biggest challenges as a local food purveyor is that our popsicle flavors/offerings change with the farm season/time of year. With different fruits/herbs/vegetables being available dependent on the farming/growing season, it offers a chance to change our menu. However, sometimes customers become attached to their favorite popsicle, and the change in availability can sometimes be initially disappointing to them. Until they make a NEW favorite mom & popsicle flavor of course!
Do you have a recent favorite quote that keeps you motivated or positive?Writer/humorist Erma Bombeck wrote “I am not a glutton – I am an explorer of food.” This idea makes complete sense to me, and the mom & popsicles approach to food. We are always working to bring the freshest, most creative, and inspired offerings and combinations in our popsicles. If we can’t be excited and passionate about our product, then we can’t expect our customers to be either. We continuously seek to push the envelope, expand peoples ideas of what a popsicle can be, and put smiles on the faces of the people we serve.
What’s your favorite popsicle that you make, and why?
One of my favorite popsicles that we make is our strawberry-basil popsicle. It represents us well in that it is straight-forward, and unique and creative at the same time. It’s got fruit, herbs, a little of everything. I’ve found that berries are a very approachable fruit to a wide variety of people and customers – so it’s a popular choice. But the basil adds a bit of earthiness and complexity, also appealing to an adventurous palette.
Greenpoint’s McGolrick Park Down-to-Earth Market is open Sundays, from 11 am- 4pm.
Illustration by Libby VanderPloeg