Local gourmet frozen popsicle purveyor MEMPopS is expanding to its second location in April with a spot secured in the new Crosstown Concourse development.
MEMPopS owner Chris Taylor found inspiration to open his own frozen popsicle business last year after seeing similar successful concepts in other cities. Now he plans to bring his unique frozen refreshments to Crosstown and has signed on for a 650-square-foot space.
“I live two blocks from Crosstown, and I’ve been watching the construction,” said Taylor. “So I approached them.”
Once an abandoned 10-story Sears regional distribution center, the iconic building is being transformed into a mixed-use community with 270 residential units above commercial, retail and community spaces. Other tenants include a vegan organic restaurant, grocery store, art gallery, coffee shop, greenhouse space, pharmacy, health center, YMCA, and eventually a school.
Other Crosstown tenants will include Methodist Healthcare, Church Health, Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors, Crosstown Arts, The Curb Market Crosstown, LEDIC, NexAir, ISS Facility Services, ALSAC, Mama Gaia and G4S.
Over the next few months the Crosstown restaurant space will be designed and built out for a projected April opening.
“We make all-natural, hand-crafted popsicles here on site (in East Memphis), and we’ll be making popsicles at Crosstown as well,” said Taylor. “All of our flavors are seasonal so they will change throughout the year.”
During the winter months, cream-based popsicle flavors are popular including a Canoli popsicle, peppermint fudge and key lime pie, as well as blood orange and grapefruit since they are currently in season.
Summertime flavors might include cherries, peaches or watermelon. For an upcoming Valentine’s Day special, the Ridgeway MEMPopS location is making chocolate-dipped strawberries and chocolate-dipped popsicles.
“We have a lot of local fruit coming in, so we buy it and make popsicles from it,” said Taylor.
Taylor worked out a deal with fellow Crosstown tenant the ShoreTel Center to use its kitchen/commissary for making the popsicle mixes, and the pops will be frozen in the MEMPopS store.
The first MEMPopS store opened last March at 1243 Ridgeway Road in East Memphis and the light blue MEMPopS popsicle truck can be found at various events around town.
Taylor expects to hire six to ten employees at the new Crosstown location by the summer.
For future plans, he hopes to be able to open a couple more MEMPopS stores in the next few years.