Love comes in many forms, and for Kari Benson, it was love at first bite. Last year Kari visited the Fairhope Arts and Craft festival and noticed a niche vendor selling gourmet pops. Curious about what a “pop” was she discovered the company, Frios Gourmet Pops, who makes frozen desserts from fresh, local fruit, organic sweeteners, and even local dairy. Kari purchased a Key Lime Pop and was instantly in love.
“It was certainly no ordinary popsicle,” Kari said. “The flavor, smoothness, and presentation of the product was all spot on – you could tell with a single taste that the company was passionate about what they do.”
Kari couldn’t stop thinking about the delicious treat she purchased at the festival and wanted to have the pops at her daughter’s birthday party. When she called Frios to ask about catering the party, she found out they were based in Gadsden, Alabama and a little too far for the party. However, she also learned that Frios had plans to expand in the Fairhope area. That’s when love met opportunity and Kari started thinking about becoming a part of the Frios team and opening her own Frios business in Baldwin County. Further research into the company and the story behind how this Gadsden company evolved really intrigued Kari.
“I thought if I don’t pursue this, I’ve missed an opportunity.” Kari said. “I had been thinking of ways I could have a fun career and also have the flexibility to spend time with by daughters.”
Her career as a pharmacist at the Mitchell Cancer Institute puts her in Mobile for most of day and with two young daughters she found herself not wanting to miss out on all the fun things a five and seven year old get to experience. Owning her own business was the ticket to making herself more available for her girls.
“The first time we talked to Kari it was evident that we shared the same passion and drive for our product,” said Andy Harp, founder of Frios Gourmet Pops. “I have to admit I was skeptical after hearing she had only tried a single pop and wanted to own a Frios in Baldwin County. But Kari is a natural fit and a perfect example of what we look for in a distributor. We are very proud to have her as part of the Frios family.
Kari opened Frios of Fairhope in June and it has been a big hit with a quick following of “Frios Fans.” The store, which is located inside the Windmill Market in historic downtown Fairhope, has already outgrown its space on the patio and will soon move into a permanent structure inside the main dining area at Windmill Market. “I am so excited about the quick success we have seen in Fairhope and very thankful to our customers and supporters who have helped us grow so fast.”
Frios believes a quality product starts with the freshest possible ingredients. The frozen treats are made from simple ingredients and use produce and dairy products from local farmers and suppliers. The company has relationships with farmers all over the southeast and are continuing to grow their network of local sources. The fruit-based pops contain no artificial flavors and utilize organic sugar, agave, or locally produced honey.
Because of the ingredients used the flavors offered are seasonal and are offered in a creamy variety or a fruity variety. Some of the flavors (some of which are subject to seasonal availability) are Avocado Lime, Blueberries Cheesecake, Cherry Lime, Key Lime Pie, Sea Salt Caramel, Cookies & Milk, Pink Lemonade, Lemon Ice Box Pie, Watermelon Mojito, Mango Orange and Banana Pudding.
Fall will bring new flavors such as Smores, Caramel Apple and Pear Ginger – just to name a few.
Frios of Fairhope is open daily from 11am until 6pm. They also have a Frios cart that goes to different locations and special events to sell the gourmet pops.
Frios Gourmet Pops @ Windmill Market, 85 N Bancroft Street, Fairhope (251) 581-1909 • Facebook “Frios Gourmet Pops – Fairhope” • http://www.friospops.com/fairhope