A Popsicle a Day
Aug 04, 2015 08:49AM
● By Dia
Ben Bates has been working as a hospital chef manager for the past several years. But in 2010, he channeled his culinary expertise and years of training into developing his take on one of summer’s favorite treats: popsicles. In 2013, he and his wife, Rosy Gurung, opened HipPop, an all-natural popsicle, slush and shaved ice joint on Main Street in downtown Grapevine.
While Bates works at Baylor Trophy Club, Gurung runs the shop. Although Bates likes the flexible hours at the hospital – Monday through Friday, breakfast and lunch – his true passion lies in mixing up flavorful concoctions at HipPop.
“Since I’m working at a hospital, I don’t get to play as much as I would like,” Bates says. “This lets me be creative and come up with stuff. That’s what I like about running the shop – the freedom to play and do whatever I want to do as far as flavors go.”
And play he does. Pop flavors on the menu include Busta Lime (Jalapeño Cucumber Lime), Insane in the Membrane (Mango Habanero), and Tribe Called Zest (Blueberry Lemonade). Bates and his friends, as well as some local customers, have created the pops’ fun names over the years.
However, HipPop also offers flavors for the tamer pop lover. According to Bates, Cookies and Cream and the MC Nana (Mango Coconut Banana) are both popular picks, especially with children. Also on the pop menu: Ice Ice Berry (Strawberry Lemonade) and Piña Colada (Pineapple Coconut Lime).
The process of creating these summer treats is important to Bates and Gurung. They are constantly bringing in fresh, local produce to juice or puree. Then they add simple syrup made with organic sugar and filtered water.
“We have a machine that freezes it in 17 minutes – so really fast,” Bates says. “The faster you can freeze it, the better the texture will be.” As for the shaved ice, HipPop offers a wide variety of both natural shaved ice, made with fruit puree, organic sugar and filtered water, as well as traditional Hawaiian shaved ice.
The slushes are made the same way, but each slush is customizable. That means you can do some experimenting yourself by getting different fruit purees and flavors layered in.
The husband and wife team change their flavors regularly, and the loyal locals that frequent the shop offer feedback. HipPop also offers catering. Most recently, Bates and Gurung have purchased a food truck, in addition to their two push carts, to expand their catering opportunities. “Every year we do a little more,” Bates says. “Give us a try. I think we have something for everyone. Everybody leaves with something they like.”
Whether you’re looking for a sweet treat to relieve the summer heat or want to flex your experimentation muscles, you can be sure you’ll be hip with your pop at HipPop.
520 S. Main St. #205