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Where to Eat in Vancouver: Johnny’s Pops

Where to Eat in Vancouver: Johnny’s Pops

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Contributor Erin McGann has the scoop on where to eat in Vancouver for the perfect pop.

When it comes to summer food, there’s not much that unites people quite like popsicles.

Once the weather warms up, my son requests a popsicle approximately three times a day. By the time proper summer hits, my freezer is a good 30% popsicle by volume, just to cope with demand. So when I saw the sandwich board advertizing artisan popsicles by the seawall in Olympic Village, I nearly crashed into another bike to get the details.

Where to Eat in Vancouver for Artisan Ice Pops

Johnny’s Pops, a cherry-red bike-powered cooler cart, sells a selection of popsicles for $3 ranging in flavours from a virgin blackberry mojito to avocado lime. My son polished off his own blackberry mojito popsicle, ate most of my strawberry balsamic basil one and wailed a bit when he found out my husband’s creamy strawberry lemonade was all finished.

Johnny himself, the friendly face pedaling the cart, started his popsicle business only a month ago. “I read this article a few years ago, where a guy in Atlanta got fired from his corporate job, and was inspired by paletas (Mexican fruit pops) sold from carts, and started his own food cart,” Johnny Wikkerink explains.

Artist Meets Entrepreneur

The son of a dairy farmer and art school graduate had not quite found a job he enjoyed, until he started his own business this spring. “It’s been good, really good. I was never a hide-away by myself kind of artist. I really enjoy the creative and social side of [running a food cart].

At the moment, Johnny sources about 80% of his fruit locally, though as the season progresses that will increase. “I’m connecting with some of the farmers coming in to the farmers markets now, and getting fruit directly from them. That’s the best situation – when I can get the fruit from the person who grows it.”

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Outsource the Popsicle Production

As he’s only a month in, Johnny is still tinkering with flavours and locations. His mobile food cart permit allows him to park anywhere on public land and set up shop. Most days, he parks next to the bike path on the seawall in Olympic Village, sometimes making his way down closer to Granville Island. It’s worth following him on Twitter and Facebook if you plan to check out his popsicles, which you really should.

I’m just happy I can outsource some of the popsicle production this summer. If you’d like to do the same, Johnny’s Pops may be the answer for where to eat in Vancouver.

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