9 min 4 sec

Nonprofit Employee Sells 25,000 Gourmet Ice Pops

A Texas couple’s bucket list challenge turns into a full-time hustle making and selling ice pops throughout the state.
Food Product Service Unique Ideas

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What It's About

Gourmet ice pops put this woman's bucket list woes on ice.

Business Model
Skills Required
Pop Making & Resourcefulness
Profit Potential

Words of Wisdom

When Carolyn was looking for ideas, she created some boozy pops for a party, and naturally, her boozy pops were a juicy success! That was when it occurred to her that this might be the side hustle she was looking for. Not only could she make them using whatever seasonal ingredients were available to her at the time—they were also wildly popular across multiple demographics.

While I always say that you should try and find a niche market, this in-person gourmet pop market was relatively underserved in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Always be on the lookout for trends that haven't quite caught on in your neck of the woods!

Fun Fact

At one point Carolyn ordered equipment from Brazil and had her home address as the delivery location. She got a call from the company, confirming that there was a loading dock for the 18-wheeler that would be delivering it. After making some frantic calls she was able to get permission from a company down the street from her to deliver the equipment there and then an employee kindly drove the equipment down the street on their fork lift.

Notes from Chris

Episode 341
Carolyn Phillips’s side hustle journey started back in 2014 after she and her husband created a list of 30 things they wanted to do before they turned 30. There were a lot of incredibly ambitious items on those lists including starting a side hustle of their very own, and they framed them and put stickers next to the ones they completed. But as the stickers started to add up, one item remained completely sticker free—their side hustle.

Around this time, Carolyn threw a party at her house, and in a fit of inspiration, she decided to create boozy pops using some liquor she had in her liquor cabinet and some items that she had picked up from the farmer’s market. Living in Fort Worth, TX, anything that can be used to beat the heat was going to go over pretty well with people, and gourmet pops were essentially the gourmet cupcakes of the sweltering southwest. Naturally her boozy pops were a juicy success, and it occurred to her that this might be the side hustle she was looking for.

Not only could she make them using whatever seasonal ingredients were available to her at the time—they were also wildly popular across multiple demographics. And despite the apparent success that this foodie item was having in other major Texas cities, it was relatively non-existent in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. So she started experimenting from her kitchen with different flavor profiles and combinations, and everything kind of snowballed from there!

This year alone, Alchemy Pops have sold around 25,000 pops and have brought it roughly $80,000 in gross profit with about $1,350-3,000 each month as pure profit! Once she had all those numbers in front of her, it was actually a pretty easy decision for her to quit her job and build this into something even bigger. Based on the success she's seen so far, she doesn't expect this side hustle to melt anytime soon!


  • Alchemy Pops: Pop on over to Carolyn's website to learn more about her gourmet ice pops!
  • SquareSpace: The website building platform that Carolyn used to create Alchemy Pops
  • Texas Christian University: One of Carolyn's largest catering contracts—and her alma mater!
  • Kickstarter | Alchemy Pops: The Kickstarter campaign that helped Carolyn get carts that she could use to sell to people in person
  • PayPal: The online payment platform that Carolyn used to accept payments

Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,


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Quote of the Day
"Don't try to be perfect, be personable and people will help you. Don't pretend to know it all, embrace that you don't. If you can embrace it as an adventure and don't focus on your fears, you can do anything you want. Pick one person to ask. Pick one thing to try. And before you know, you'll know your next step, and then the one after that."
—Carolyn Phillips #SideHustleSchool

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Chris Guillebeau