Megan Janes worked at a toy store called 99 Monkeys until a fateful trip to Birmingham, Alabama, where a shop selling exclusively popsicles inspired her to start Seattle Pops. Because the name "popsicle" is trademarked, she can't use it, though the Brazilian device she uses to make them is called a popsicle machine. Her "pops" are modeled after Mexican paletas, their shapes more boxy than suggestive. She's currently adapting a traditional Mexican recipe, arroz con leche, a frozen mixture of spiced cream and rice.

Megan's sister Lindsey and dad Dave (a barista and a project manager at Reality Homes, respectively) helped to launch the business, making and tasting countless experimental pops. Dave had some experience in the mobile frozen desserts field, having spent a summer selling popsicles from a tricycle as a kid. Seattle Pops are made almost entirely with ingredients from the local farmers markets where the Janes family sells their wares. Grandma Janes mails Kona coffee from her home in Hawaii for their Kona coffee pops, which are basically impeccable frozen lattes on sticks. The chocolate banana pops, darker and richer than any gas station fudgesicle, will haunt my dreams. Seasonal flavors like beet and pumpkin are in the works. For summer: More than one customer recommends Zesty Lime pops in margaritas. recommended