If Starbucks can market frappuccinos, why can’t some aspiring entrepreneur in wine country take advantage of the region’s climate and soil and market wine-based popsicles?
That’s the logic of Tipsypop’s Heather Wolfsmith, who’s hoping to start making and selling all-natural boozy popsicles from her Portland test kitchen once the OLCC signs off on her plan.
“I had the idea to do this five years ago and never acted on it,” the financial industry veteran says of the growing “poptail zeitgeist.” “Now I’m acting on it.”
Wolfsmith says she’s been perfecting the Push-Up-like sorbet popsicles over the course of the summer using wholesale wine. The plan, she says, is to partner with an Oregon winery for all her wine needs and to introduce the product to the public via the internet, then to start pitching to markets like New Seasons, Whole Foods, and Fred Meyer sometime this fall.
The initial flavor line includes grapefruit frosé, pineapple granita and champagne, pomegranate sangria-pinot noir, and mimosa. Each Tipsypop weighs in at an ABV of 6.7 percent, or just under the ABV of one glass of your average wine, meaning you're going to have to consume eight of them to get bottle-of-wine-drunk. They’ll come in packs of four and retail for around $8 or $9 a box.
Wolfsmith says she’s hoping you’ll find them in the freezer section near the chilled wine section at a market near you, but she adds that Tipsypops are shelf-stable, so you might find them elsewhere in the market where you can pick up a box or two to freeze at home.
And Wolfsmith says growth is already baked into her business plan before she’s even sold her first popsicle. Tipsypop is already doing R&D on a line of poptails—think palomas, margaritas, and Moscow mules with ABV of around eight or nine percent—which the company wants to roll out in bars and liquor stores in time for next summer’s heat wave.