St. Olaf college seniors take frozen path to success - KMSP-TV

St. Olaf college seniors take frozen path to success

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LAKEVILLE, Minn. (KMSP) -

These are not your normal fruit pops, and definitely not your average entrepreneurs.

"You hear about a lot of college startup tech companies. We decided that was too easy," co-founder Andrew Sather said.

Four friends and fellow economics majors at St. Olaf hatched the idea for JonnyPops, an all-natural, locally made, frozen fruit and cream snack on a stick.

"Everything from sitting to prototyping and creating the first samples to handing them out to our friends happened in a dorm room kitchen happened at school," co-founder Connor Wray said.

"I think our econ professors would like for us to study a little more," Andrew said.

They spent last summer hand making tens of thousands of orders in a small theater basement.

"We made it work; it's a college startup, so we do what we can do to be successful," Andrew said.

Over the winter, the owners expanded and built their own production facility in Lakeville, Minn. and sales have gone from 50 locations to 110 across the Midwest including the Minnesota Zoo, Holiday Gas Stations and dozens of locally-owned places like the Tin Fish in Uptown.

"This kid came to the window and said, ‘I make a Popsicle I think is pretty good, I think you might like to sell it.' I said I'm sure you like your Popsicle -- bring us a sample," a Tin Fish spokesman said. "He gave us a half dozen to try and as soon as we tasted them we knew it was something special."

Now with four flavors, the founders of JonnyPops believe the product is just as important as their message: A Better Pop for a Better World. They donate a portion of every sale to help those suffering from drug addiction a way to remember their 5th founder Jonathan Jeffrey.

"It's in his honor we created this company and it's for him we donate to the Hazelden Foundation," Connor said.

Customers are eating it up, and these college seniors couldn't be prouder.

"We are just doing what we feel like our potential is. It's just fun. For us it's just a good job that we have. And keep working on it," Andrew said.

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