Rime Time Peddling Gourmet Ice Pops

Rime Time Curiously Crafted Pops is peddling popsicles in every sense of the world. Armed with a bicycle cart, Founder Cody Miller is bringing ‘farm-to-pop’ frozen treats to festivals and events across the city.

Growing up in Wooster, OH farm-to-table wasn’t just a restaurant buzzword for Miller, it was the everyday of life. And, it started a life-long appreciation of the quality, farm-fresh produce that currently makes its way to Rime Time Pops.

Miller’s  pops aren’t just a frozen treat, but actually represent a lot of things – a combination of his interests and passions, a chance to give props to other local businesses, and even a chance for artistic expression. Rime Time seeks out local businesses and people that are also creating exclusive products and aims to make an ice pop using their product or talent.

Rime Time is wrapping up their first summer on the market, feeling like it’s been a pretty successful run. The Metropreneur recently spoke with Miller about the budding frozen pop business, talking inspiration and the interesting meaning behind the name.

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[M] Tell me about your background and how it led to Rime Time Pops.

After graduating from The Ohio State University in 2014 with a degree in Human Nutrition and Dietetics, I began to really develop a passion for unique food pairings, fruit seasonality trends and molecular gastronomy. During this time, I was working a couple jobs trying to figure out how I could incorporate my interests and passions into a job, which is when I saw a photograph of a gourmet ice pop from a food blog. The flavor combination was something I’d never heard of and the ice pop itself was a mini visual art piece. It occurred to me that ice pops could be the perfect platform to incorporate fresh, local ingredients and unique flavor combinations while being miniature art pieces on a stick. Hence, Rime Time Curiously Crafted Pops was born.

[M] Rime Time is an interesting name. What does it mean?

I’d worked with many different names for the ice pop stand, but the one thing I kept revolving around was frost. Not only were ice pops fresh and unique, but when super cold on a hot summer day, a layer of frost developed on the outside of the ice pop. The technical definition of rime is “frost formed on cold objects by the rapid freezing of water vapor in cloud or fog.”

Time plays off of the seasonality and availability of produce here in Ohio, the physical life of an ice pop (melting), as well as the nostalgia of ice pops in general. After putting the two together, I felt that this really encompassed the idea behind the ice pops while helping to tell a little story behind the stand.

[M] Tell me more about your ice pop flavors. Where do you draw inspiration?

Every person has a memory of eating a popsicle or has a story about a certain snack or dessert they had growing up. Personally, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were my go-to snack. Also, I remember the first time my grandparents introduced watermelon with sprinkle of salt. Watermelon has never been the same. Both of these snacks were some of the first original ice pops I developed.

When I brainstorm popsicle flavors I look at all sorts of desserts, candies, drinks, meals…everything. Ice pops, similarly as ice cream, can have a multitude of different interesting flavors. I write down different flavors, some really natural and some really ambitious, place them in a different “season,” and then just mess around in my kitchen on a small scale. If I make a pop that tastes good, I upscale it a bit and share them with friends before taking it to the kitchen for production.

[M] Are you utilizing any local resources or commercial kitchen space to help you get started?

Growing up in country I was surrounded by quality produce that was not only fresher, but naturally sweeter than a lot of store-bought produce. Sourcing local ingredients for me isn’t just about claiming “farm-to-pop,” but allows me to use a lot less sweetener and sugar in my pops. I don’t claim to have healthy ice pops, but they are definitely a better option than big-brand ice pops.

But local doesn’t just stop with produce. Columbus is filled with local creatives and other small food gems that I want to showcase. For example, the peanut butter and jelly pop is made with Krema Nut Company’s natural peanut butter, the cocoa cocoa pop is made from Ohiyo Chocolate’s handmade single origin chocolates, and all of the spices in the pops are from North Market Spices. By doing this, we are fully utilizing our local resources creating a variety of pops that aren’t limited to seasonal produce.

As for my kitchen, I work directly out of The Commissary in Grandview. Kate [Djupe] and her team have been extremely helpful in Rime Time’s progression and growth development during it’s short existence.

[M] Where can we find Rime Time Pops?

For now, Rime Time’s pops are sold directly out of the bicycle cart during local events and festivals. There are some catering options as well as options for bulk individual pops. Efforts are being made to increase the availability through the winter and to potentially get into local outlets.

[M] Popsicles seem like more of a seasonal business in Ohio. What’s your plan for the winter?

At this time ice pops are a seasonal business, we knew that going in and have been planning for that. The plan from the start was to store the cart in the winter time and continue to design the product and build the brand. The winter is a valuable time to develop flavors that don’t rely on seasonal produce, to continue building local relationships with other small companies and brands, as well as continue our research on ways to grow our product.

For more information, visit rimetimepops.com.