Throughout the year, we’ll be highlighting notable women in our community. We want to spotlight those who are shaping where we live and giving back to our neighborhood. Do you know someone you think we should feature? Let us know in the comments!
Ready for some summer fun? Us too! Luckily, we don’t have to go far. You can beat the heat and enjoy sweet treats thanks to this month’s Notable Woman Kia Lyons, the owner of Popbar Charlotte. We chatted with Kia about what goes into running her family-owned dessert shop from eye-catching marketing to favorite flavor combinations. Warning: May induce cravings!
Popbar isn’t your average dessert shop. What sets Popbar apart?
What set’s Popbar apart is the experience! Guest walk into our display full of all-natural gelato, sorbet, and yogurt pops. Once you make a selection you can kick it up a notch by having it dipped and topped any way you’d like. With pop flavors like birthday cake gelato and passion fruit sorbet, 5 chocolate dipping options, and toppings like cinnamon pretzels and caramel covered popcorn, the POP-abilities are endless!
What inspired you to bring Popbar to Charlotte?
Popbar is traditional and yet modern at the same time. It’s creative and unique just like the city of Charlotte and we felt it would be a perfect addition to the city, especially to NoDa. In 2016 NoDa had no frozen dessert options and the community was definitely looking for it.
What were you doing before you opened Popbar?
I did clinical research in Ophthalmology for 5 years prior to moving to Charlotte and starting Popbar.
What are the most popular treats at Popbar?
Our most Popbar gelato is Cookies and Cream. We ALWAYS sell out of it and our most popular sorbet is Strawberry. Our gelato shakes which come in 10 different flavors and our lemonades which come in 4 flavors are also very popular. We also have an amazing waffle on a stick that can be dipped and topped. Those are very popular too.
What are some of your personal favorite flavor and topping combinations?
My favorite changes all of the time, but lately it’s been toasted marshmallow gelato with white chocolate and cinnamon pretzels. It is delicious!
Our mouths are watering. How can we get our Popbar fix?
You can find our storefronts in the heart of NoDa and on The Mount at Camp North End. We also offer catering and delivery services. You can find us on Postmates, DoorDash, ezCatering, and TakeNow delivery platforms too.
What’s the best part of your job?
I love owning Popbar. The creativity of making pops is fun but I also enjoy building relationships with our customers. It brings me joy to see our regulars come in.
Your Instagram account is full of eye candy. How has Social Media helped shape your business?
Our product is so visually stimulating. Social media so essential to our business; it’s today’s word of mouth. With the visuals and positive feedback from happy customers, it definitely helps bring the customers in.
We are so excited about your Popbar expansion in Camp North End. Tell us a bit about that.
On July 7th, we opened a mini pop shop on The Mount at The Bunkhouse at Camp North End. There you will find 13 pre dipped and topped amazing combos and our yummy frozen lemonades. Our hours of operations there are Thur 2-8; Fri 12-2 & 5-10; and Sat 12-8.
As an entrepreneur, what is one piece of advice or lesson you have learned that you can share with other aspiring female leaders in our community?
Start. Even if you don’t think you have it all together. Keep putting one foot in front of the other and be sure to give your self credit for your big and small accomplishments. Entrepreneurship is hard, but worth it. Don’t beat yourself up too bad if something goes wrong, and never give up.