PFM recently interviewed Janet Walther and asked her to tell us more about herself and AZ Pops.
Tell us about yourself and where you’re from.
My name is Janet Walther and I live in Camp Verde. I’ve been in AZ for 13 years and I do the Prescott and Northern Arizona Markets.
What do you sell at your booth?
I sell gourmet popsicles in exotic flavors that are all natural. There are no preservatives or food dyes. Several flavors are just fruit with no added sweetener. These are not like the pops you get in a store. Our popsicles are very flavorful and full of fruit. Some of the fun flavors include Peach Prickly Pear, Lavender Berry, and Strawberry Watermelon.
How long have you had your business and how long have you been a vendor at PFM?
AZ Pops has been in business for over 10 years. We have expanded into Northern AZ just over the last 3 years, which has been great because while the summer season is busy up here it is actually slow in Phoenix because people don’t even want to leave their house.
Is there anything special behind the name “AZ Pops”?
AZ is for Arizona, but what makes that significant is the popsicles are not just made in AZ but are at least 65-70% Arizona fruit and/or produce. We support our local farmers by buying from them.
Tell us about how you get ready for the market.
We manufacture the popsicles in batches of 60 pops per flavor. I always try to have my best sellers, but every market I have at least one new flavor. Currently I carry about 12 flavors at each market. I have a hard time narrowing that list down because I get customers so in love with each of the flavors I just don’t want to be without any of them! I’m actually very easy to set up. My popsicle cart goes up a ramp into the back of my van and I have the pops in coolers. When I get to the market, I load the pops into the cart with the dry ice.
What’s special about your business?
I meet people all the time that say they make their own popsicles, but when they see and taste ours they ask how we do it. The magic is in the ingredients. How we obtain the texture, the layering and the amount of fruit we use has been well honed over the last 10 years. We have come up with the most flavorful and physically appealing popsicles you can imagine.
What are your plans for the future?
We like being “farmers market centric” and don’t see ourselves going into stores. We are now expanding into special events, grand openings, employer events etc. that happen during the week. The cart has a very festive appeal and it is easy for me to roll into position at any event. I have all the licensing and insurance required. I’d like to encourage more people to buy 10 packs to take home to enjoy the pops during the week. We also take special orders for birthdays and parties.
Do you vend at any other markets?
We sell at Flagstaff Community Market, Sedona Community Market and Cottonwood Old Town Music & Market.
How can we find you on social media?
Our website is AZpops.com and you can find us on Facebook here.