From food trucks to Whole Foods, if you haven’t seen Pops by Haley yet…you will soon! The success of the product derives as much from its culinary sensation as from Haley Raphael’s adept packaging, branding and marketing. Many of us fondly remember Flintstones Push Ups ice cream pops. And if pushing sherbet through a cardboard tube could make it fun and exciting, just think what a new generation of recyclable plastic “push ups” can do for layers of delicious cake, velvety icing and colorful sprinkles!
Even before Pops by Haley, Raphael, a Baltimore native, could frequently be found baking desserts for Chanukah and scheming—pre-Pinterest—with her sister about how to make their dad a hotdog-shaped cake for Father’s Day. Her family’s holiday gatherings were rife with tasty Jewish foods, too, and she spent many hours baking with her grandmother.
A 2014 graduate of the University of Maryland’s business school, she started Pops by Haley just six months after graduation, at first baking in her apartment and then taking the full business leap and moving into Union Kitchen Ivy City. She currently offers seven different flavors of pops, including chocolate birthday, s’mores and red velvet.
What really makes this treat creation stand out is its mess-free and transportable design. How many of us have attempted to eat a cupcake in a formal setting, ending up either with icing in or on our nose or watching the treat crumble to our feet? Others of us have been saddled with the responsibility of delivering carefully decorated cupcakes from a bakery to someone’s house or party—complete with the cold sweat of picturing the delicate frosting leaping off the cakes and onto the box in which they’re nestled. Terrifying.
Raphael’s secure plastic dessert-holding tube eliminates all of that stress and makes the pops, which can be customized (flavors, colors and label) and ordered by the dozen, perfect for corporate events, businesses, organizations, even bar/bat mitzvah parties.
For those looking for just one pop, they are currently available directly from Raphael at Union Kitchen Ivy City and at several shops around DC, including Glen’s Garden Market, Union Market and Blind Dog Bakery. And although you will soon be able to purchase them at area Whole Foods (Foggy Bottom, Bethesda and Friendship Heights), Raphael candidly admits, “This is not a health product.” However, her philosophy is, “It’s just the right amount of sweet—so you can have dessert.” The portion size leaves you feeling neither guilty nor dissatisfied.
Raphael is a big proponent of celebrating everything…all the time. That’s something I can wrap my head around: eating the vanilla birthday pop nearly a full two months before my birthday still felt very much like a celebration.