Strasse Pops brings frosty snacks to city parksJune 27, 2019
By ALLEN LAMAN
JASPER — When she talks about Strasse Pops, Alana Hulsman jokes that she is just “one lady and one blender.” She’s not lying.
A transplant from Birmingham, Alabama, Alana is also a savvy entrepreneur who brought a tasty piece of her hometown to Jasper through her local business.
Soon, she will share it in a way that has never been done before.
If all goes well, beginning next week, the organic popsicle maker will become the first vendor to regularly set up shop and sell goods in select city parks.
Alana owns and operates the gourmet treat stand with her husband and Jasper native, Justin. The name Strasse Pops is a nod to the city’s heritage, as Strasse means “street” in German.
About three months ago, Alana began blending locally-sold fresh fruits; filling and freezing stainless steel molds; and heat-sealing her popsicles in wax-lined, kraft paper packaging. And she did it without any previous experience.
Strasse Pops are now selling out on Saturdays at the city’s farmers market and the business has received massive catering orders that fill the Hulsmans’ freezer with the all-natural treats.
After Alana and Justin relocated to Dubois County three years ago with their children, Jack Gamble and Everett Hulsman, it felt like something was missing.
Birmingham is home to a popsicle place that the family frequented year-round. It sold fruity pops in the summer, a pumpkin pie flavor in the fall and even an eggnog option in the winter.
Alana is a stay-at-home-mom, and so when she’d take her kids to places like the Jasper Riverwalk and the Parklands of Jasper, she found that they often ran out of snacks before they were ready to leave. That’s when she realized what she could do.
“I just kind of had the idea,” Alana said. “These popsicles are really healthy. They’re a healthier, sweet alternative, and I think they’d go over really well [at] the park.”
Strasse Pops’ flavor selections will rotate with the seasons. Currently, they include mango, pineapple, strawberry, chocolate, watermelon hibiscus, coffee, peach, banana and more.
The Jasper Board of Public Works and Safety recently gave the Hulsmans permission to sell their pops at the Jasper Riverwalk, the Parklands of Jasper and Central Green.
Alana isn’t quite sure what times the Strasse Pops cart — a custom-made tricycle outfitted with a box freezer and an umbrella — will be at those parks. To start, she plans on using social media to alert followers as to when they’ll be out and open.
City Attorney Renee Kabrick stressed in an email that this “could be considered a ‘pilot’ project and that the City is currently working on a mobile food vendor ordinance that we hope to begin discussing in the next few months.”
Strasse Pops will also continue selling its frozen delights at the Jasper farmers market this summer.
Breaking into the tight-knit Jasper community wasn’t easy for Alana when she first arrived, but the market has given her an avenue to connect with others and share a piece of herself with them.
After hearing Alana’s presentation to the board of public works and safety, board member Nancy Eckerle told the budding businesswoman that her next stop should be on the ABC television show “Shark Tank.”
The success feels surreal, Alana said, and she’s in awe at how fast she has been accepted and how quickly business has picked up. Maybe, one day, she’ll have a storefront shop.
For now, you can find her near her tricycle stand, pedaling along an uncharted path with a box of frosty, healthy snacks.
“I’m just gonna kind of enjoy the ride for a little bit,” Alana said. “See how it goes.”
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