King of Pops celebrates warm weather with popsicles

King of Pops, one of the latest additions to Asheville’s small but growing food cart scene, opened for its first day of business today, March 12, in celebration of the warm, spring-like weather. The popsicle pushcart, operated by Gabriella Oviedo, is located at 35 Battery Park Dr. in downtown Asheville, across the street from Grove Arcade businesses Chorizo and True Confections. 

— photo by Mackensy Lunsford

Oviedo’s frozen inventory includes flavors like chocolate-sea salt, mango-habeñero, raspberry-ginger and coconut-lemongrass. This weekend is the last day to enjoy the treats for about a week; Oviedo will travel to the South by Southwest music festival to vend her pops next week. King of Pops will reopen Sunday, March 20. The pushcart will be outside nearly every warm and sunny day for the rest of the season, from 11:30 a.m. until the sun goes down, says Oviedo.

Almost all of the fruit used in each King of Pops pop is organic and, whenever dairy is used, it’s always hormone-free and non-homogenized, says Oviedo. The pops are also sweetened with only organic cane sugar and agave nectar. For now, the pops are made in Atlanta, where the parent company is owned and operated by 27-year-old Steven Carse. “I have a sick stepfather nearby, so I go back to visit him and pick up pops on my way back,” says Oviedo. King of Pops, under Carse’s operation, was featured as one of the top five food carts in the South by Southern Living. Oviedo is one of only two other licensed operators for the company.

— photo by Mackensy Lunsford

The popsicles sold in Asheville utilize local fruits and berries, and Oviedo is on the lookout for more seasonal enhancements for her frozen desserts. “I talked to some people that are working on getting me in touch with berry and herb farms,” she says. “As things come in season, we’ll be using more local products, and I’d like to find a local dairy as well.”

Oviedo is saving up money to start an Asheville-based King of Pops kitchen so that she can start making the pops herself. “If this season goes well and I sell a lot of pops, that’s my plan,” she says.

Oviedo says that she’s always looking for flavor suggestions for the popsicles. “All recommendations are welcome and will always be considered,” she says. “It’s really important to have the community telling me what they want flavor-wise, especially if it’s in season. If we can get it, we’ll make it.”

— photo by Dustin Spagnola


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