Sophie Bolich

Pete’s Pops Reopens All Locations April 15

Popsicle business returns for 10th season with limited spring hours.

By - Apr 11th, 2023 03:04 pm
Pete's Pops at 3809 W. Vliet St. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Pete’s Pops at 3809 W. Vliet St. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Pete’s Pops is gearing up for another summer of slinging popsicles at farmers markets, festivals and its four brick-and-mortar locations — all of which are set to reopen this Saturday, April 15.

Now entering its 10th season, the popsicle cart turned brick-and-mortar business operates two Milwaukee shops — one at 916 E. Russell Ave. in Bay View and another at 3809 W. Vliet St., as well as locations in Whitefish Bay and West Allis.

The Vliet Street location, which remains open year-round, switched over to its extended spring hours earlier this week, stocking its freezers with more than 40 flavor options including horchata, lemon poppyseed and a vibrant pineapple jalapeño pop.

The other locations will soon follow. Spring hours are Saturday and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m. at the Bay View, West Allis and Whitefish Bay shops, and noon to 7 p.m. on Vliet Street.

Owner Pete Cooney previously told Urban Milwaukee that he chose the locations in part because of their proximity to neighborhoods, with the intent to participate in community events and hire local kids to work the shops. Ahead of the upcoming season, the business has expanded its team with several new members.

Cooney launched Pete’s in 2014 as a pop-up operation, frequenting farmers markets and the streets of Bay View. In 2018, he opened the first brick-and-mortar for the business on Vliet Street. The location now serves as a production center as well as a permanent pop shop.

Pete’s Pops specializes in popsicles made from fresh fruits and vegetables. To date, there have been over 80 flavors including out-of-the-box offerings like rhubarb buttermilk, cantaloupe lemongrass and avocado — the flavor that started Cooney on his pop-making journey more than a decade ago.

While most of the popsicles are made with a base of cream, milk, sugar and egg, Pete’s offers a variety of vegan pops made with coconut milk instead.

Pete’s closed out its 2022 season last October with its annual Golden Pop promotion. Before winding down operations for the winter, the business planted four gilded pops inside of its end-of-year mystery boxes — Willy Wonka-style. The promotion yielded four lucky customers who will receive free Pete’s Pops for the entire 2023 season.

Throughout the past several months, Pete’s made the most of Wisconsin winter by using the great outdoors as a freezer during its weekly scavenger hunts. The business dropped a box of pops in an undisclosed location, free to the first person to find it.

In addition to its pop shops, Pete’s will make appearances at local farmers markets throughout the summer. The business also offers catering services for private events. Catering inquiries can be submitted online.

In other popsicle news, new owners recently took over operations at Chillwaukee, with plans to expand the business’s menu and footprint throughout the upcoming season.

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