Hanging out with the Pop(sicle) man!


If you find yourself sweating your way through the strollers and hot tamales at the City Market some steamy Saturday morning, don’t panic. Tucked away between the pies and flowers is a little silver treasure chest on wheels: Pop’s Achilles Ice Pops (formerly Pantheon Popsicles). James Rucker, the ice pop/popsicle master, is there for you with some icy, sweet goodness on a stick.
For three dollars treat yourself to one of these rich, satisfying ‘sicles. From peach to hibiscus, Mr. Rucker makes his popsicles in small batches from locally sourced ingredients. These treats are the perfect summer refreshment!
Every time I see James (usually at Circa when he’s taking a break from his kitchen across the street) we talk about the new recipes that he’s trying. “The lemon’s too tart,” he tells me. “Why does everyone want me to put basil in them?!” He replies to my suggestion of adding basil to the lemon. I just keep throwing out new combos and ideas and we laugh about most of them.
This week I popped by the kitchen, for a change, and we talked about Greek mythology, politics and the local blackberries that he was mashing in a sieve.

The ice master at work!

We discussed his worry about making his passion into a truly viable business. With local, seasonal, vegan and delicious ingredients, what’s not to love about Pop’s pops?
However, it’s the concern of every new venture: will this simple and great idea keep making sense and cents? With three weekly markets for all things local, you can support many of Charlottesville’s courageous entrepreneurs by putting your money (and an ice pop) where your mouth is.

I peeked in the freezer…

Can’t make it to the City Market? Ask James about bulk orders for the ultimate summer party treat or swing by Rebecca’s over in the Barrack’s Road Shopping Center and pick up one for the road.
By the way, the new watermelon flavor is choice (see pictured above)!

Do you have a great suggestion for a popsicle flavor?