If you went to Eldorado before 2017 or lived in the Northeast Heights, chances are you got to try Pop-Pop’s Italian ice in the El Dorado Square Shopping Center.
This one-of-a-kind establishment had been next to EHS since 1997 before closing its doors around five years ago, when it sold to new owners to take over with a different kind of business model. Since closing, Pop-Pop’s has taken over the food truck industry with five different trucks that go out to different locations throughout the city daily. Whether it’s a scheduled city park visit, private party or delivering special orders, Pop-Pop’s has thrived by going mobile. Now, the company has come full circle, finding its new location in the Far North Shopping Center at San Mateo and Academy.
Co-owner Dominic Maestas said they do not have a set date for opening the new location but hope to get it up and running by mid-August.
“‘I had been going there since I was a kid. My family would always take me there. And it was just a company and brand that I always loved. I loved the product. We just saw the opportunity with changing it to food trucks. And when the opportunity came to buy the business, it’s kind of matched up perfectly with the chance to have Italian Ice food trucks out there,” he said.
Maestas explained the company has had a steady growth over the last few years, especially during the hot summer months, and it was a natural transition to get back to a having a physical location where people can pick up a tasty treat again.
The new spot is currently getting a major makeover, as Maestas explained it used to be an old Radio Shack and still needs some work to get it up to par.
A mix between sorbet and snow-cones, this dairy-free treat is popular during the hot days for its smoothness, which is attributed to the ratio of sugar and fruit, or flavoring, and ice.
Maestas explained the best part of this transition has been the support they’ve gotten from the community.
“I think that’s huge for us and helped tremendously with our growth and getting our name out. It’s kind of a small, big city. So I think that’s got pluses and minuses to it, of course, but for us, the community support has been amazing,” he said.
With 22 flavors available via their site, folks can now get their Italian ice delivered, check out one of the weekly scheduled events, get booked for a private party like birthdays, weddings or school events, and people will be able to check out their new location in mid-August.
Until then, here is Pop-Pop’s schedule for this weekend:
Friday, July 22: North Domingo Baca Park, 5-9 p.m.
Saturday, July 23: Vista Del Norte Park, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
North Domingo Baca Park, 8-8:45 p.m.
Ventana Ranch Park, 3:30-5:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 24: Mariposa Basin Park, times TBD
North Domingo Baca Park, times TBD
To order directly for free delivery, click here.