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Welcome to summer! While we’re sweating our brains out, we might as well find refreshing, locally made treats that benefit children, right?
Enter Ooh De Lolli. If you haven’t heard of this delicious popsicle (and more!) business, you can get up to speed with this FresYes article about the business and its founder, Donna Mott. Donna makes fruit pops in Fresno as well as delicious baked treats for fun events and pop-up bakeries. I follow her on Instagram and she’s going through a bread- and pasta-making phase that is guaranteed to give you cravings.
Parkway Pops send kids to River Camp
The ingredients in Donna’s ice pops are locally sourced and seasonal. But this isn’t just about our taste buds. Ooh De Lolli has started producing Parkway Pops, which you can get at the San Joaquin River Center on weekends. The proceeds of your tasty treat will help local kids go to River Camp. This week-long camp connects children to the San Joaquin River through fun and engaging activities such as swimming, canoeing, exploring wildlife, and more.
Recently, I spoke with Donna about the inspiration behind Parkway Pops.
FresYes: What inspired you to make popsicles that help kids go to River Camp?
Donna Mott: Several years ago I was a regular volunteer as Docent and Trustee with the San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation. A little part of my soul is with that organization. I particularly loved River Camp and even sent my grandson.
I met [Director of Business Development] Finn Telles one Saturday when I visited the River Center and struck up a conversation with him. We had mutual friends and mutual interests. He and I incubated the idea of Parkway Pops to support River Camp, as that is a program that he manages. Finn contacted a graphic artist to donate and create the Parkway Pop Logo; Clayton Mott of Taylor Communications donated the printing of 1,000 labels.
FY: What sort of flavors can you expect from Parkway Pops?
DM: The initial idea was to use citrus and produce that was grown there on the grounds of the River Center, however squirrels sometimes get to them before I can, so we sought out alternative sources.
Every year, I have citrus trees offered to me to pick from. Those include grapefruit and Meyer lemon. I pick and juice early in the season and freeze the juice until I use it. The grapefruits I use are a Chinese variety and are infused with rosemary. The Meyer lemon can be mixed with blueberry juice from Kingsburg blueberries that I make in-house, or I mix with watermelon or strawberries. I have a great supply of Meyer lemon juice and it is particularly refreshing in the summertime.
I also use hibiscus to make a tea. It is a wonderfully refreshing beverage and pretty, as well.
Where to find the San Joaquin River Center
If you’re not craving a Parkway Pop right now, I don’t even know what’s wrong with you. So make plans to pick one (or seven) up at the River Center. Not only will you give your taste buds a nice treat, you’ll be helping a local kid go to camp. Win, win!
The River Center
11605 Old Friend Road
Fresno, CA 93730
Grounds open daily from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. but you can get popsicles from the store, which is open Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Entry is free, donations are welcome.
While you’re at the River Center, check out the Hidden Homes Trail. My kids and I love it!