Tim Stewart '09
Co-owner, Pop Nation popsicle company
- By Megan Morley Thomas
What would you do if a local farmer called up offering seven hundred pounds of quite ripe apriums? Whatever those are? Just six months into their new business venture, Timothy Stewart ’09 and his business partners in Pop Nation took on the challenge, quickly creating a new and exotic flavor of the popsicles they’re becoming known for around the San Francisco Bay area. The hybrid fruit (75 percent apricot and 25 percent plum—the opposite ratio of the better known pluot) became a spicy aprium pop with organic citrus, unrefined organic cane sugar, fresh and dried chilies.
Though they only rolled out a little more than eighteen months ago, selling gourmet popsicles (all vegan and gluten-free) from food carts around the city, Stewart, along with his sister and two friends, have watched their vision expand wildly, hip grownup taste meeting nostalgia on a stick. Their fleet of carts has doubled, they’ve generated buzz in the San Francisco Chronicle and Huffington Post and, in March, successfully met a $50,000 Kickstarter goal to fund their own commercial kitchen, having already outgrown their current shared space.
As he steps outside to talk on a sunny day—Stewart has been prepping fruit for kiwi, lime, and ginger pops—he admits this would have been beyond his imagination as an anthropology major at UVM. “I had a ton of influential professors who were amazing and shaped my ideas and my views,” he says, “but I honestly had no idea what I would do with my degree.”
He was obsessed about working with food, however, a passion for which he credits his mother and the time he spent in the kitchen with her. Stewart describes his determination during his junior year to learn about cheesemaking at Willow Hill Farm.