The new store called Peace, Love & Pops, with a fun 1970’s themed design, recently appeared on University Boulevard and will open soon towards the end of May.
The store will sell popsicles, also known as Ice Pops. Owners Scot Harrison and Jim Roberts mentioned how much they loved the simplicity and fun of eating a popsicle and how it can be eaten anywhere — in store, out of the store, or people can just pick it up and go.
“Our focus was to find a simple product and make it easy to repeat and fun,” Harrison said.
How they came up with the idea
The business idea grew out of the owners’ experience at a popsicle shop called Steel City Pops in Birmingham, Alabama, which they visited when Harrison was living in Alabama. Both Roberts and Harrison loved the taste of the ice cubes and the business idea.
Roberts mentioned that after several years of visiting the popsicle shop in Alabama, both Harrison and Roberts had retired from their previous jobs to pursue the business idea in Arizona. They took the idea further and developed their own name and brand.
The store’s name comes from Harrison’s wife. He said of the branding and name, they wanted “something fun, lighthearted and reflective of a cold treat.” It also turned out that the name was available as a business and domain name.
“I couldn’t understand why we didn’t have the concept here, in one of the hottest places on earth,” Roberts said.
Why University Boulevard?
Both owners live in the Oro Valley and wanted to open a shop across town. However, Harrison mentioned that they didn’t find what they wanted in terms of space. After visiting the University of Arizona and seeing that some of the seats were vacant, they decided to buy a seat on University Boulevard.
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“It’s more like the room found us. There’s a great popsicle here, a lot of foot traffic … a lot of visibility,” Harrison said.
Harrison said it’s a great location for her business given the many students, faculty, surrounding businesses and the city of Tucson.
Goals for Peace, Love & Pops
In discussing goals for the company, Harrison emphasized the importance of building a company to be proud of and that doesn’t tire team members.
Harrison has hospitality and radio media experience, and Roberts has experience developing and operating convenience stores. They are able to combine their skills and strengths effectively and cooperatively.
“We want to engage our employees and team members and make some money, but also understand there’s more to it than that…to also focus on their studies and visit their families,” Harrison said.
The business owners said they want to create a work atmosphere that doesn’t feel like a job and they want their employees to enjoy coming to work and being a part of it.
“We will review opportunities over time. We don’t want to force ourselves into anything. We want to tell people about us, but not sell people to us,” Harrison said. “When we bring our personality, our product, our approach to life and this business to people and they see it for what it is and it’s real and real, they’re drawn to it and we don’t have to sell to anybody.”
Here’s how to get $1 off your next popsicle
When the store opens in May, customers can also get a free water bottle with the purchase of a popsicle. If you return the water bottle, you’ll get a $1 off your next popsicle.
“We didn’t want many [the water bottles] to the curb, so if you return that bottle, you’ll get a dollar off your next popsicle… It’s part marketing, part being a good neighbor, and just trying to be helpful,” Harrison said.
Going forward, both Harrison and Roberts said they hope to expand to other parts of Arizona, but for now they will be enjoying the start of their new business.
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