For as many years as St. Augustine is old, Hyppo Gourmet Ice Pops has a flavor. For those of you up on your history, that's 450 all-natural flavors like blueberry lavender lemonade, Reisling pear, pineapple cilantro, Champagne mango and avacado coconut, all made with no preservatives, artificial colors or GMOs. There's the Elvis, with honey, peanut butter and banana; there's Mojito peach with fresh mint, lime and peaches; there's an eclectic mix of blackberry and clove. There's even a beer popsicle made from the city's popular Intuition Ale Works brew. Whatever your taste or craving, there's a flavor to quench your thirst and perhaps even surprise your tastebuds.
Owner and creator Stephen DiMare first learned about paletas, Spanish for popsicle, in 2010 on a plane from a fellow passenger while flying back from a wedding in St. Augustine. He ended up experimenting with different flavors and combinations in ice trays in his Montana apartment, and he fell in love with the process. He returned to St. Augustine where he rented a small retail space downtown and put his idea into action.
“The idea behind the pops was simple," he said. "Fresh fruit, cane sugar, and whatever other interesting things might go along with those.”
Today, DiMare has two locations in St. Augustine, including one on popular St. George Street in the Old City, and two more in Gainesville, home of the University of Florida, where he serves orange juice and blueberry popsicles to hungry Gator fans. This spring, he's opening his first Jacksonville location in the hip neighborhood of Riverside. Known for its emerging foodie scene with restaurants and pubs like the Blind Rabbit and Kickbacks, Riverside will be the perfect fit. Hyppo Gourmet Ice Pops are also sold in area grocery stores, like the Fresh Market and Earth Fare, and on board the Hyppo Pop Wagon, which is far from the ice cream truck of your childhood. This bright delivery truck is hand-painted with watermelons, strawberries and bananas with the phrase "Eat Fruit!" on the side. The First Lady herself would be pleased.
Coinciding with spring break is Florida's strawberry season. The famous Plant City strawberries grow not too far from St. Augustine and are the star ingredient in flavors like straight-up strawberry, strawberry lemonade, strawberry basil and strawberry datil, made with the flavorful St. Augustine datil pepper.
In the hot Florida sunshine, there's no better treat than a popsicle—unless, of course, it's a healthy, refreshing and interesting gourmet ice pop.
48 Charlotte St., and 70 St. George St., St. Augustine, 904.217.7853