The Art of Ice Cream

Interview with Sindy Posso
Photography courtesy of Cielito Artisan Pops

Sindy Posso, cofounder of South Florida’s Cielito Artisan Pops, explains how she blends generational family recipes and fresh ingredients to make her business’s popular, innovative treats.

Tell us a little about yourself and your business:
I am from Colombia, but I have been living in Miami for eighteen years. My husband, Ivan, and I have three kids. When I became a mom, I stopped working as an architect and started living a healthier lifestyle, which is why I came up with the idea of a healthy frozen-treat business.

My grandmother used to make ice cream back in Colombia, so I had all these old recipes to work from. I put my own twist on all-natural pops by making them very pretty and unique. We only use the best ingredients, such as fresh fruits and hormone-free dairy, so you’re eating real food and getting the most delicious flavors. The greenery and flair within our three shops also reflect who I am and the food we make.

Starting a business can be challenging. Was it for you?
Oh my God, yes! We opened our first store in the Wynwood neighborhood in 2017, and Hurricane Irma hit a few days later. We went four days without electricity, so our first-ever production line completely melted. We had to come back and clean up the mess using our cell phones’ flashlights. It was horrible. At first, I thought, “This is it; we’re done.” But when something like that happens, you actually get stronger. We just started over and kept going.

In July 2020, we opened our second location, in Boca Raton—right in the middle of the COVID outbreak. It was crazy because, once again, we didn’t know what was going to happen to our business. But as it turned out, people wanted to get out of the house and have some fun, so they came to buy pops. We opened our third location in 2021 in Aventura Mall.

What’s the meaning behind your business’s name?
It actually has two meanings. In Spanish, cielito translates to “small heaven” or “small sky,” but it also means “sweetheart,” “my love,” or “darling”: something I would call my husband. So our take on it is more than just “little heaven”—but our pops are heavenly. [Laughs]

How do you go about making your pops?
There’s a kitchen in our Wynwood shop, where we handcraft everything. Each day, our crew cuts the fruits and makes the base and the toppings. Since the original recipes were for ice cream, we needed to get creative to turn them into pops. Making them is an intense process, but it’s worth it.

How many flavors do you have? How do you come up with such unique ones?
We always have around forty flavors in stock, and we rotate in four to six different ones every month. For those, Ivan and I always try to think outside the box; we get inspiration for new pop flavors from eating desserts when we travel and making ice-cream versions. For example, last summer, we went to Morocco and came back with ideas like caramelized olives and pistachios.

What are your most popular flavors? What is your favorite?
I have a couple. I love tart flavors, so our Tamarind and Key Lime Pie pops are two of my favorites. For the key lime one, we don’t use any frozen or pasteurized juice; we zest and squeeze the limes daily for the freshest, most authentic flavor. As far as customer favorites, there is a traditional meringue-based dessert called pavlova, and our pop version of it is one of our bestsellers. It’s made with custard and even has fresh-made meringue.

Besides dairy, nondairy, and vegan offerings, you also have dog-friendly ones. Tell us about them:
I’m a dog lover. I always told Ivan that if we did this business, we needed to welcome dogs and incorporate dog-friendly treats, which led to our PUPsicles. They’re made without sugar; we use real fruit and honey instead for sweetness. Dogs love them. They actually recognize the black-and-white building stripes of our Wynwood shop and start going crazy in their cars when they get close. They’re as excited as the customers are!

What does your Miami community mean to you?
I see this area as our forever home. We support locals as much as we can, especiallyfamily businesses, because we know how hard it is to come up with an idea and make it happen. For example, when we opened the Wynwood shop, we asked local artists to help create a wall display of pops and sold their art in the shop. We also use local farmers’ produce as much as we can.

How has it been working with your husband on this venture?
He’s been very supportive since the beginning. When I had this idea, he told me to just go for it. A key to our success is the trust he has in me—it makes me feel secure and allows me to dream up all these wild flavors. He’s a quiet, easygoing guy, and I’m a little bit crazy, so we work well together.

How would your grandmother feel about how many people are enjoying her recipes?
Her sister is still alive; she just turned ninety-four. In their business, she made the cakes and my grandmother the ice cream. So I’ve always talked to her about Cielito and shared our take on the recipes with her. She’s impressed, so I’m sure my grandmother would be too.

For more info, visit cielitoartisanpops.com


Related Articles

Back to top button