Written by Sommer Figone, I Heart Intern
I’m just one lucky duck lately. I got to visit another of the wonderful additions to Old Towne Orange, and this time it was Front Porch Pops!
You may recognize Front Porch Pops from its little blue cart that travels to farmers markets and sells exciting, colorful flavors of popsicles. Well, lucky for us here in Orange, there’s now a permanent Front Porch Pops shop location next to Watson Drug’s & Soda Fountain. I had a great chat with Erin Whitcomb, the owner, about herself, opening the new shop and the cool flavored pops.
Erin attended the University of Washington, where she majored in print journalism. Despite her major, she worked in television for 11 years, specifically at the PBS station in Seattle. When she realized she was working in an industry that relied heavily on reputations, she decided it was time to do her own thing. She had cooked forever and was a huge fan of homemade ice cream and experimenting with flavors, so Front Porch Pops was born. Her fiance went to Chapman University and they now live in Orange with their dog Molly. The business name, “Front Porch Pops,” truly came from Old Towne Orange and the great sense of community that Erin loves. Erin decided to open a permanent pop shop because customers just kept asking, “Where can I get these popsicles when I want them?”
The shop is technically located within Watson’s because Erin didn’t think she needed a ton of space.
“I tried to scale appropriately so the shop wouldn’t fail,” said Erin.
And that little space really is all the shop needs. With a couple of freezers, a cash register and some adorable decorations, Front Porch Pops has what it needs to sell those yummy popsicles. It had a soft launch to smooth out any wrinkles before the grand opening, which Erin says went great. The hours are created according to noticed trends: closed Monday and Tuesday, 12-8 pm Wednesday and Thursday, 12-9 pm Friday and Saturday, and 12-4 pm on Sunday. Front Porch Pops currently has six carts that travel to various farmers markets, food truck events and private events, so 90% of the business is still mobile.
You may wonder what flavors Front Porch Pops offers, but it’s hard to keep track! While some flavors, like Dark Chocolate Sea Salt or
Cuckoo for Coconut, never leave the menu, other flavors come and go, depending on the season or popularity. A current seasonal flavor is Roasted Peach Raspberry, one of Erin’s personal favorites. She always buys her peaches from a man at the Irvine Regional Park Market who claims that his “peaches are sweeter than [his] mother-in-law.” You’ll notice one of the flavors is Virgil’s Root Beer Float, and that’s because Front Porch Pops is actually sponsored by Virgil’s Root Beer, which is pretty cool. New flavors are constantly invented and added due to what’s available at farmers markets, customer suggestions, or accidental creations. One such accident was actually Raspberry Plum Basil, which sounds interesting, and people love it! I personally had both Watermelon and Strawberry Lemonade, and I was a fan of both. They tasted like the real fruit flavors and were the perfect cure for a boiling day in Orange.
If you take a look at the menu, pictured at the left, you’ll notice that it’s color coded. I thought you might want to know what the colors mean, since I was wondering myself when I first saw it. The orange colors are all fruit-based, the green are all of the creamy flavors, and the pink ones are creamsicle’s, so more of a mix of the two. So no matter if you like something more fruity, or creamier like ice cream, there’s something for you up there.
All of the pops are all-natural, with no high fructose corn syrup or food coloring. Though the lack of food coloring can sometimes be a disappointment for children ordering blueberry flavors and expecting a bright blue pop, Front Porch Pops popsicles are more about
the flavor than the visual, which I think is how it should be. They’re $3 a pop, so it’s a sweet price for a sweeter product.
I had a great time talking to Erin and learning more about Front Porch Pops. The shop had a nice vibe and I definitely think it fits into the community of Orange. Erin is really passionate about what she’s doing, and it’s exciting to see how that translates into her colorful and tasty popsicles. If you haven’t tried one yet, it’s time to head on over to the new shop!
If you want more updates about the new Front Porch Pops shop, or where the carts will be throughout the week, visit their Facebook page!