Cool treats come to farmers' market
The Rosemount Farmers' Market will have a new vendor this year with a pretty neat story.
JonnyPops is a company started and run by four St. Olaf College students.
The company sells gourmet frozen bars made in Northfield. Since the company started in 2011 it has seen steady growth and is turning a profit. That is pretty impressive considering the business run and operated by four young men who will start their junior year of college this fall. The team includes CEO Erik Brust, Kilian Wald, Connor Wray and Andrew Sather.
Vice president of operations Wald said the four principal owners of the company started it the summer after their freshman year.
"We built it from the ground up," said Wald.
JonnyPops uses fresh fruit, real cream and cane sugar to makes its pops, said Wald. The company currently offers three flavors: Coconut Pineapple Paradise, Merry Mountain Berry and Summer Strawberry. Wald said several more flavors will be available soon, including chocolate and coffee.
As often as they can, the company uses local produce including berries from Lorence's Berry Farm. To make the pops, the company rents an industrial kitchen in Northfield and Wald said they hire college students as employees.
"We want to be seen as a community company," said Wald.
Running a business and being a college student can conflict at times, but Wald said they make it work. He added that St. Olaf College has been supportive of their business and they have even received help from professors and grants through the college.
"We have been very careful to avoid the pitfalls that a lot startups fall into," said Wald.
Currently the company is busy trying to build its brand. The company offers its products at a number of retail locations and at farmers's markets throughout the Twin Cities. JonnyPops will be at the Rosemount Farmers' Market, which runs from 2 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays in the Rosemount Community Center parking lot.
From the start
CEO Erik Brust came up with the concept for JonnyPops with his cousin Jonathan Jeffrey. Before they could start a company of their own, Jonathan died as a result of drug addiction. Convinced it was a good idea, Brust started the business and named it after his cousin's childhood name. To further honor Jonathan the company donates a portion of its profits to The Hazelden Foundation for drug treatment.
For more information on JonnyPops visit their website at jonnypops.com.