Even though his family has been making and selling ice cream in Cambodia for a decade, La Pops ice-cream shop founder La “Edison” Ty never thought he would end up in the industry.
The 28-year-old studied commerce and got a job at a large international company, but said he now sees more opportunity in popsicles and will leave his office job at the end of the month.
Just over a year ago, Edison was visiting Cairns in Australia’s tropical north, and saw how much not just the children but also the young people and adults were enjoying popsicles. He was inspired to start selling hand-crafted ice cream on a stick back home.
“Everyone knows popsicles, but don’t know they can be the premium kind,” he said, seated at one of a pair of white tables outside the 4 square metres he rents near a doughnut shop in BKK1.
“My family makes ice-cream at a factory for wholesale,” he explained. “Those motorbikes with the fridge on the side, they go every morning to get the ice cream to sell at schools.”
“So the idea was to do ice cream for adults, students and kids. Everyone loves ice cream.”
After experiencing the ice-cream cultures of France and Italy last year as a tourist, Edison committed to the idea, and began his business in March, selling popsicles from a pair of tuk-tuks that prowl the streets enticing customers looking for a cool snack.
Edison’s shop opened two weeks ago and boasts 18 different flavours, at $1.50 a stick or $2 for specialty “popping” confections, such as coffee in a chocolate coating.
Some of the fruit flavours – many are milk-free sorbets – are seasonal, Edison said, adding that he tried to source the fruit locally as much as possible and only uses fresh fruit, although the base ingredients for the ice cream are imported from Italy.
In season now are the refreshing semi-sweet soursop fruit and durian, he said, adding “everyone knows Kampot durian is the best.”
“Expats like the sorbet flavours like mango, passion fruit and locals like the foreign flavours like chocolate,” he added. “It’s illogical!”
La Pops is located at #217 Street 302. Tel: 069 302 308. Email: [email protected].