Spreading Sweetness with Frios Gourmet Pops of WNC

April 26, 2023

When Cory Nuckolls and Maddie Culbertson were looking for their first step into the business world, they knew they wanted to bring people together to share a happy memory. And to accomplish that, what’s better than a popsicle?

“We’ve loved bringing moments of joy, happiness, and dignity to our guests,” says Culbertson of Frios Gourmet Pops of WNC. “We’ve created community if our hand-poured popsicles can spark laughter and encourage folks to slow down and intentionally enjoy a sweet treat together.”

The couple is the local franchise owners & operators of Frios Gourmet Pops,  which sells eighteen different flavors of ice pops wholesale to businesses and directly to consumers at community events.

Check out our full Q&A with Maddie below…

Cory + Maddie.

Tell us about your business and the role you play in it.

We are Cory and Maddie, life partners and local franchise owners/operators of Frios Gourmet Pops of WNC. We sell gourmet, hand-poured popsicles in 18 Icy or Creamy flavors! We operate throughout Buncombe, Haywood, and some of Rutherford counties; although we are happy to serve at events outside of those areas too! Our slogan is “The Best Things in Life are Frios”. Our job is simple, to be bound and determined to leave people better than we found them, with a bigger smile on their faces and more joy in their hearts. This is done inclusively with a lot of smiles and a Frios in their hand.

Where did your vision begin? How has it grown?

Cory and I share educational and professional backgrounds in Hospitality & Tourism, Nutrition & Dietetics, and Public Health. In the 4 years we have been together we have both grown our professional careers in the WNC area, become familiar with many local organizations doing exceptional work in the community, and grown our network of friends and family, old and new. We both had an itch to step into a new endeavor together where we get out exactly what we put into the business, while thoroughly enjoying the job while we’re in it! We found Frios Gourmet Pops and felt a draw to bring the franchise to the WNC community and spread happiness to our colleagues/friends/family network. We took the leap of faith to become local franchise owners, and have had a blast since we launched in January!

Who are your key partners?

Frios Popsicles are sold wholesale to businesses and to consumers at community events. We can participate at events in a few different ways: our Sweet Ride Popsicle Van with a light show and nostalgic ice cream truck music, our Ice Tricycle “Carolina Blue” which is a full-size tricycle with a freezer built into the front, and our more traditional table and tent set up. With wholesale accounts, we provide a FREE brand-wrapped freezer for you to store popsicles, with your choice of quantity and flavors. When product gets low, simply call us and we will deliver the product to replenish your setup. Some key partners we would love to work with on wholesale include: local churches, parks and recreation centers, hotels, movie theaters, summer camps, after-school programs, and visitor centers!

What is a little-known fact about your organization?

A little-known fact about Frios Gourmet Pops is that Frios started in a tiny garage years ago, trying to escape the doldrums of life. We continue to try to escape the ordinary monotony by employing humans who try to live magically every day. We call ourselves “Happiness Hustlers.” Our flavors range from Cookies and Cream to Key Lime Pie to Pickle (don’t knock it till you try it) to Blackberry Ginger Lemonade! 

What does the word “community” mean to you?

Community means a group of people coming together because they have something in common. We want Frios Pops to be that common element that fosters our neighbors to congregate, share a happy memory and a laugh (like how the Banana Pudding Pop is better than Grandma’s recipe… but we won’t tell). So far we have loved seeing folks get excited when we roll up in the Frios Sweet Ride. We also have loved bringing moments of joy, happiness, and dignity to our guests. If our hand-poured popsicles can spark laughter and encourage folks to slow down and intentionally enjoy a sweet treat together, we’ve created community.

Do you have anything else you’d like to share?

Please visit our website at https://friospops.com/locations/wnc/ to fill out a contact request form or email us at wnc@friospops.com to start a conversation. Even if you just want a few free samples to see what the hype is about, we’d be happy to meet with you in person to connect and enjoy a pop together! 🙂