About this project
HANDCRAFTED IN EDMONTON
Café Bel-Air is Edmonton’s first artisanal gourmet ice-pops company. We make the best pops around featuring traditional as well as new, fun flavors. We offer vegan treats and all of our pops are vegetarian, free of tree nuts and gluten. We emphasize local and all-natural ingredients for a healthy, top quality pop.
IT ALL BEGUN IN WINTER
Indeed, starting a popsicle business in winter sounds like a paradox. When my mom first pushed her cooler inside City Hall on a wintery day, back in February 7, 2015, she surely turned many heads. But the pouring support she got from other vendors to the general public was heartwarming. All the hard work in our test kitchen started to pay off. From the very first day, we sought to be unique; not only in the product we make, but also in the way we interact with our customers and in the way we make our community a better one.
Today, we have made over 80 flavors, 85 to be exact. And that is quite an achievement. Flavors such as Mango Lassi, Avocado Coconut Lime, Blackberry Ginger Lemonade, Strawberry Lemonade, Arnold Palmer (sweet tea lemonade), Chocolate Sea Salt, Raspberry Vanilla Tea, Toasted Coconut Chocolate Dip, Matcha Green Tea, and so many more!
OUR UNIQUENESS: SUPPORTING LOCAL
Café Bel-Air is about creating a healthy, fun, all-natural popsicle. Our pops are made with fresh fruits that are in season. Sorry folks, no flavors such as Watermelon Cooler or Cherry Cardamom in winter!
It’s also about supporting local farmers and small entrepreneurs just like us in the beautiful province of Alberta. When available, we take great pride in handpicking our own strawberries, raspberries, and saskatoons. Nature made them, but what Nature doesn't do is freeze them to preserve their freshness!
POPS FOR A GOOD CAUSE
- Edmonton Meals on Wheels
Yes we are a small vendor, but with a big heart! We want to bring a positive contribution in our community one popsicle at a time. Our “pops for a good cause” campaign was a huge success. In 2015, we raised $260 for Edmonton Meals on Wheels; the money came from $1 from every sale in the months of February and March. We sell our popsicles for $2.50 at the farmers' markets. Who said you can't enjoy a cold treat in winter? Not us! We repeated this campaign in 2016 and raised $310.
- Fort Mcmurray Fire 2016
In May 2016, we gave over 150 free popsicles to Fort Mcmurray residents escaping the devastating fires.
- Summerside Residents Association
We love supporting our local community and in 2016, we sponsored two events; namely Father's Day BBQ and Kids Summer Break where we donated over 800 popsicles.
It’s Fun Fun Fun and it remind us of the good times spent on our paradise island of Mauritius. Our goal is to be the first successful gourmet ice-pops company in Edmonton. After long months of winter, we want everyone to have a memorable summer by allowing people of all ages to enjoy a nice and refreshing popsicle.
These are not your regular “tongue-stainers” made with colors and syrup. These are yummy popsicles made with fresh fruits that we source locally when available. By using locally sourced ingredients, we are able to support other small businesses and farmers to create a more prosperous community.
Also, these are not just regular popsicles. These are gourmet popsicles that are hand crafted with love. We not only want to meet our customer’s need with flavors that are straightforward but also we want to exceed their dreams by offering them flavor combinations that they would not have imagined. Like Avocado Coconut Lime; our most requested flavor. Who would have thought of an avocado popsicle? Really! Some of our popsicles contain chunks of fresh fruits while others are more intricate with chocolate dipping and different layers.
Recipe for Strawberry Kiwi
Ingredients (for 10 popsicles)
- 5 ripe kiwi fruits, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 3/4 cupwater
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1 cupsliced ripe strawberries
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 tbsp sugar
1. In a blender, puree the kiwis with the water and sugar. Evenly divide the mixture into the molds.The liquid should rise about halfway. Place in the freezer without the sticks for 1 hour or until firm.
2. In a blender, puree the strawberries with water and sugar. Pour the strawberry mixture into the molds. Insert the sticks into the molds and freeze until solid.
3. To remove from the molds, hold under hot tap water for about 15 seconds and remove.
Where can you find us?
In 2015, we sold our gourmet popsicles at these three farmers’ market:
- City Market Downtown: http://city-market.ca/wp/
- Southwest Edmonton Farmers' Market: http://www.swefm.ca/
- Millwoods Farmers' Market: http://www.millwoodsfarmersmarket.com/
In 2016, we have added 4 new markets:
- Beverly Farmers' Market: http://www.beverlyfarmersmarket.ca
- 124 Grand Market: http://124grandmarket.com
- St Albert Farmers' Market: http://stalbertfarmersmarket.com
- Miller Crossing Farmers' Market: http://www.mcfarmersmarket.ca
To cope with the popular demands of our popsicles, we hired Natasha, who is in grade 11 and she helped us at three markets during her summer vacation. It was her first job and she really excelled. As we continue to grow, we intend on hiring more personnels and contribute hugely to the local economy.
In March 2016, Café Bel-Air won the Alberta Farmers Market Association (AFMA) "Bake it, Grow it, Produce it" award; which recognizes excellence and uniqueness. This is quite an achievement in our first year of operation.
FOLKS TALKING ABOUT US
Edmonton Journal Wednesday June 3, 2015: http://gastropost-files.s3-website-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/newspaper/edmonton/20150603-gastropost-edmontonjournal.pdf
Edmonton Journal Wednesday June 24, 2015: http://gastropost-files.s3-website-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/newspaper/edmonton/20150624-gastropost-edmontonjournal.pdf
Edmonton Sun March 19, 2016: http://www.edmontonsun.com/2016/03/20/tait-cool-idea-at-the-farmers-market
Smile and Conquer August 2016:http://www.smileandconquer.com/2016/08/august-loves.html
See the City May 2016: http://seethecity.blogspot.ca/2016/05/event-what-truck-edmonton.html
INVITED TO THE FRINGE FESTIVAL 2016
HOW WILL YOUR DONATIONS BE SPENT
Your valued donations would go towards:
- renting a bigger commercial kitchen
Quite frankly, our little home-base commercial kitchen has outgrown it’s location. We sell out of our popsicles most of the time due to the love and support from our customers. While a good thing, we are struggling to keep up with demand. Reason being we have limited freezer space and storage for our equipment.
- painting our decommissioned Canada Post mail truck into Edmonton's first all-natural gourmet popsicle truck and installing a generator
To be on schedule for 2017 season, in September 2016 we invested $20,000 of our savings to convert the interior of our truck into a gem. However, we are short on funds and your generous contribution will also go towards painting our truck before hitting the roads.
Thanks for your time reading our story. We will keep bringing you innovative, all-natural gourmet popsicles made with only the best natural ingredients. And many thanks in advance for the support.
Pops...and a whole lot of pops for all our supporters!
2. A popsicle truck giving back smiles to fellow Edmontonians
Our Kickstarter is coinciding with our annual winter “Pops for a good cause” campaign and with your help putting our truck on the road, we will start an annual summer “Pops for a good cause” for Meals on Wheels.
*As a reminder, funding on Kickstarter is all or nothing; if we do not meet our goal, we will not receive any funding.
Risks and challenges
CHALLENGE: Recently, we saw record high temperatures during summer in Edmonton. That poses a risk of having our pops melt.
SOLUTION: Our cooler we are currently using has so far been great. But if are doing more farmers’ markets and festivals in the city, we need to have peace of mind knowing that we will not suffer a serious melt down. We have already been in touch with a fellow farmers’ market vendor who specializes in outdoor wood products. He will design an insulated cart where our cooler will be protected from direct sunlight. With our expansion, we will enable our local carpenter to be busy and thus contributing towards the success of his own businessLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
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