With fresh ingredients and inventive flavors, Sara Bornick ‘00 brings back memories of childhood summer-day bliss with the gourmet popsicles sold at her Cincinnati streetpops shop.
A native of Green Bay, Wisconsin, Bornick spent her time at Wittenberg playing basketball and rugby, working at the Springfield Country Club, and exploring her passion for art. After graduating with a degree in art, Bornick began working as a freelance graphic designer for various ad agencies where she felt drawn to the culinary aspects of food styling and photography. After moving to Cincinnati for additional freelance work, she took her interest a step further and attended culinary school. Though she originally intended to work with ice cream, she recalls a memorable experience at a North Carolina “popsicle shop,” which served as the inspiration for her creation. She also continues her passion for graphic design as an experienced freelance production artist and designer.
Beginning first as a mobile business, streetpops now offers a wide variety of creative flavors from its Cincinnati headquarters. Located downtown near the Cincinnati zoo, customers can cool down with a refreshing strawberry hibiscus or a silky chocolate sea salt pop. On top of these tasty flavor combinations, the company takes pride in creating an all-natural dessert experience.
“We still, to this day, don't use any high-fructose corn syrup, artificial ingredients, or additives,” Bornick said. “It's been a fun challenge over the years to come up with delicious, healthy alternatives and surprising flavors.”
Continuing to showcase her creative talents, Bornick is currently working on some exciting new flavors through partnerships with local and national brands. She hopes to continue the collaboration she started last year with a few breweries, as well as incorporate other beverages like tea and coffee into the pops. Additionally, Bornick is working to accommodate dietary restrictions. Her upcoming sugar-free and extremely low-carb line will enable those with diabetes to share in the fun.
“I want to be able to offer kids and parents [with diabetes] something fun, healthy, and delicious that still follows our all-natural approach and works to stay within their restrictions,” Bornick said.
Eager for customers to savor these upcoming lines, Bornick hopes that 2021 will bring some better times. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this past year was extremely challenging for members of the food and hospitality industry—especially for shops whose products are best indulged in the company of others.
“I personally just missed the fun and engaging atmosphere that came along with streetpops slinging pops at public and private events,” Bornick said. “Our products are meant to be enjoyed out in the world among people, and it's tough to walk around eating a popsicle with a mask on.”
This year of promise will also be significant for the shop for another reason. This month, streetpops will celebrate its 10th anniversary—a testament to Bornick’s drive and ingenuity. Bornick explained how her experiences at Wittenberg gave her the confidence to explore her passions. She advises aspiring entrepreneurs to “work hard, be nice, and stay humble”—a saying she actively works to implement in daily practice.
“Be true to yourself and your ideas. If you aren’t enjoying yourself, then it will show through in your work or product,” Bornick said.
To kick off the celebration, streetpops recently announced on their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/streetpops) that the shop is finally open for business, and everyone involved with pops production is eager to serve customers again. The shop’s summer hours will begin on May 29.
With both their carts and food trucks, as well as small coolers, streetpops offers catering for corporate and private events. Wholesale pops can also be shipped nationally and delivered locally. In the future, streetpops hopes to make it back to the summertime Springfield Food Truck Rally. All popsicle lovers and sweet advocates can be assured they will discover an original flavor they will forever cherish at streetpops. Additional information and current flavor list is available at the shop’s website: https://www.streetpops.com/
-By Emily Nolan ’21