Business

Evans teachers’ new business pops

A local couple has brought a new meaning to the phrase, “pop art”, with a cool business for summer and beyond.

Courtney and Nico Bernal have co-owned the Augusta Pop Company for five months, and their palette of frozen treats for the palate includes such natural colors as strawberry red, watermelon pink and mango yellowish orange.

What makes those colors so natural are the ingredients used in every frozen treat Augusta Pop Company serves.

Courtney and Nico Bernal. Courtesy photo

“Fruit is the number one ingredient, and you can really tell as you eat them,” said Courtney Bernal, the Martinez native, who has several degrees including a Master’s degree and specialist from Augusta University. She and her husband are teachers at Evans High School.

Not only does natural fruit make the colors pop, but the flavor stand out as well.

“(They) taste just like the fruit itself rather than artificial flavoring. Each pop has six ingredients or less and is under 100 calories — something that’s hard to find in your average grocery store,” she said.

Augusta Pop Company currently sources their “pops” with a partnership with a company based out of St. Augustine, Fla. that hand-makes them.

“We’ve had an amazing response, and our goal in the next two years is to start handcrafting our own pops right here in the CSRA,” said Nico Bernal, a native of Miami and former wildland firefighter in Burke County.

People will have a chance to sample their wares when they combine forces with the Morris Museum of Art this week.

“Our event at the Morris Museum on Thursday, June 29 is going to be a partnership with the museum craft night and the SLURP Vintage Pop-up. We will be set up on the Riverwalk just outside of the museum from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m., serving people as they enter for the pop-up and the craft night,” Nico said.

This isn’t the first time they’ve partnered with The Morris. They catered popsicles for both of its recent teen mural camps.

The Augusta Pop Company has several options when partnering with others for an event from a pop-up cart to catering.

“The manned kiosk has us bringing our signature cart filled with pre-purchased pops to hand out at the event for a set amount of time. Whereas the catering cooler involves us delivering an Augusta Pop Company branded cooler also filled with pops,” said Nico Bernal. ‘Whenever you’re done with the cooler we swing by and pick it back up for no charge. Prices can fluctuate, and the best way to know how much an event costs would be to contact us and discuss from there; we do offer a discount for any orders of 50 pops or more.”

They are currently working with several businesses in the CSRA to get their frozen treats into stores.

Right now, the pop business is a side gig.

“With enough support, we would love to take this business full-time and build it into something that can be a part of the community,” he said.

Find them on Instagram @augustapopcompany and or on Facebook.

Correspondent Ron Baxley Jr. is a veteran journalist who has worked with multiple news organizations in his career. Have headlines delivered to your inbox by subscribing to the Augusta Good News’ newsletter here.

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