Simple Summer Pleasures: Augie's Ice Pops at DGS

Posted by Jen McNeely, July 14, 2016
Angie's Ice Pops

Watermelon-lemon-mint, grapefruit-ginger-lime, strawberry-basil-lemonade: these are the flavours that summer dreams are made of. Next time you visit Drake General Store on Queen West, cool off with a handmade, all-natural Augie's Ice Pops. We love the taste, but we also love a good story, and Janet Dimond's beloved Toronto company is definitely that.

How did Augie's Ice Pops start? Was there a particular moment on a hot day in July? Or was it a gradual process?

Basically Augie's was a brainstorm as the result of a career crisis. After much soul searching, and really trying to nail down that idea of "following my bliss," I decided to make a few hundred gourmet popsicles and sell them on the corner of my street on the May long weekend in 2011. I invited a few friends on Facebook and it was a roaring success, with people wondering where to find them in stores etc. Everyone loves popsicles!

You've worked with some of the city's top restaurants and chefs (Mildred Pierce, George, Jamie Kennedy) before starting Augie's Ice Pops. What were the greatest lessons you learned about the food + hospitality industry?

1) Let the main ingredient shine (local, fresh, best quality – we don't always use local, but incredible flavour is always my number one goal).

2) Classic is classic for a reason. Sometimes you don't need to reinvent the wheel. Just make something the very best you can and put your heart into it. I often look to classic desserts and pairings for inspiration in our flavour creations.

What flavours are your top sellers? What have you been experimenting with lately?

Top sellers are usually anything with raspberry in it (we do raspberry-mango-lime and a peach melba when peaches are in season.) Our three-layered pops are a huge hit too (a current fave is Belgian chocolate with vanilla cream and Vietnamese coffee). That's what we've been really getting into lately: the layered and the tie-dyed ice pops. It's that idea that you start eating with your eyes. You can also have fun with the flavours combining one at a time as you eat down the popsicle.

What about Augie's Ice Pops brings you joy?

There are a few things that bring me joy about Augie's. When kids come to farmers markets to buy popsicles, they often do a dance I call “the popsicle dance.” It is pure joy. We make sugar-free popsicles as well, so moms will give their babies their very first popsicle at the booth. Everything stops in that moment just to watch the baby taste their first popsicle. It's a real treat for me.

Stop into Drake General Store and treat yo'self. Nothing is more refreshing on a hot, sticky day than an Augie's Ice Pop made with local ingredients and lots of love.

Posted in: Drake General Store

Tags: Drake General Store  food + drink  summer