Coping With COVID Update: Curly Girl Pops

Back in May, we spoke with Arealles Ortiz, owner of Curly Girl Pops, about how her business has had to pivot during the COVID-19 crisis. We caught up with Arealles to get an update on how Curly Girl Pops has been doing during the pandemic.

Kristin: A lot has changed since we first spoke back in May. What was your season like and did the way you thought you’d operate change at all?

Arrealles: Our season was definitely not as expected. We started out the season making local deliveries. It quickly became unsustainable as I took on all responsibilities of the biz amidst a very fresh pandemic. Luckily, we were able to pivot to wholesaling & worked with some awesome local businesses and food distributors.

Kristin: What precautions did you take to keep customers, staff and the community safe?

Arealles: To keep our customers and community safe, our operation moved from previously, my parents kitchen in Marshfield, to my home kitchen in Montpelier. I wore gloves and masks during production and even resulted in packaging our goodies to be completely sealed in popsicle baggies for wholesale orders. 

Kristin: Do you have any fears moving into the season for next year?

Arealles: Wholesaling was a perfect pivot, yet also more demanding. I know next year we will be increasing our shelf presence at local markets & coops. I often think about how I will be able to juggle this new pace of producing more as a solopreneur with a limited budget to hire an employee. 

Kristin: How can people support Curly Girl Pops right now? 

Arealles: Although we are off season until spring, it would be important for folks in the community to continue to share their positive experiences tasting our pops by word of mouth, following us on social media & liking our photos. On our website there is a ‘make a contribution’ tab where folks who want to continue to support our business can make a contribution & support this growing Latina Owned Business.

Kristin: Any exciting updates about Curly Girl Pops you’d like to share?

Arealles: During this turbulent year, we have been awarded a couple of local grants that will go toward our next venture.  Curly Girl is working toward building a mobile creation space not only for pop making & birthing new products, but our hope is to open up the space to local plant based makers that can call it home as well. Another great reason to make a contribution via our website today!

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