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Pop Culture CLE

Ohio Made

Pop Culture CLE

Kate Bresnan Messa

Pop Culture CLE produces gourmet artisan handcrafted ice pops. We interviewed owner Nicole Dauria to learn more about her delicious business in Chagrin Falls, OH.

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Tell us about your business.

Pop Culture CLE brings together my passion for food and art and created an opportunity to teach my children work ethic, responsibility and team work. The name Pop Culture CLE came about by playing on the name “popsicle.” Since “popsicle” is a trade name, we had to call our product an ice pop. When I heard the phrase, “ice pop” I instantly started thinking about a logo and the word “pop” stuck in my head. I kept visualizing a piece of art work by Roy Litchenstein with the word “pop.” I then began telling my 10-year old daughter she should become the art director for our family business. She is an incredible artist with a bright future! We talked about the Pop Art Era and I had one of those mommy teaching moments that didn’t come across as a text book teaching moment, rather can you make “radiant popsicle” because my favorite pop artist is Keith Haring and my favorite piece of work is “radiant baby.” Thus, the birth of our logo!

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What drew you to your craft?

I never thought I would have quit corporate America at the age of 50 to make ice pops, but the nostalgic treat brings back great childhood memories and had always put a smile on my face, so why not have a mission to put a smile on the face of everyone that tastes our food art.

All my friends and family know how much I love to entertain. One June Sunday 2018 I was hosting a brunch at our home and I wanted to think of something fun to serve. I made “poptails” we had strawberry basil prosecco frozen on a stick and then put that in a glass of prosecco. It was a hit! My daughter thought it was fun and asked if I could make her one without alcohol. I started using up all the leftover fruit from the brunch and came up with some incredible tasting frozen treats. I had that “ah ha” moment and said, “I bet I could sell these!”

After doing some research at the grocery store, I came to find out there are some tasty treats, but they truly are not artisanal as they are now produced in high volume for retailers. My go to market strategy as a local artisan is to bring a gourmet product with high quality ingredients that is dairy free and supports local producers as much as possible.

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What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

My favorite thing I ever made was my children! They are the center of my world and they have defined my purpose in life!

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What did you want to be when you grew up?

I grew up in Solon playing every sport I could fit in my schedule. I was All-State Ohio in basketball and played at the University of Central Florida (All 5’3” of me) When I graduated from college, I wanted to be a sports agent, but had this entrepreneurial bug and started my first business right out of school. Express Request was a corporate concierge service that catered to busy professionals.

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What is your creative process?

My creative process stems from having a vision and then carefully planning how to bring it to fruition.

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What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

I have always had this inner drive to make things happen. I have always lived my life by the mantra, dream big and obsess about your dream until it comes true!

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Why is it important to support local artists & makers?

I am a big believer in supporting local artists and producers as we give character to our community, we bring our community together as we are individuals that make the decisions not governed by a board that sits in meetings all day, and we are able to contribute to helping our neighbors realize their dreams.

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Why do you love doing what you do?

I love doing what I do because I make a difference in my family’s life and the lives of the people in my community.

What advice do you have for other people who want to start their own businesses?

If you are thinking about starting your own business, dream big…have clearly defined goals, otherwise you don’t know where you are going, and never stop reinventing yourself as you can only get better each day!

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What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?

Growing up in Ohio makes me proud to show off the vast culture and diversity of the region. I love to sail on the lake, hike in the parks, drink the wine from our vineyards, eat the foods grown by our farmers, shop at the festivals and local events that support our local artists, and attend the museums, concert venues and galleries that showcase history, musicians and artists of Ohio.

I am proud to be a Buckeye!