Most frozen pops are little more than sugar water, flavorings—either natural or artificial—and a few drops of food coloring. Having tasted the available options, Sarah and Damien Thompson decided they could do better. Beginning with blended fruit, adding little to no additional sugar, and even occasionally sneaking in a green or two, the couple began Honey Child with the aim of making a treat they could feel good about.
The business began with just one cart at Findlay Market. Along with classic flavors like strawberry and mango, Honey Child crafts artisan blends like strawberry basil and grapefruit rosemary, along with “power pops,” which are more substantial smoothie-style treats infused with plant-based protein. Before the pops ever make it to a customer, though, they have to face the toughest critics imaginable: the couple’s own two daughters. Kids, as Damien points out, will tell you the truth—and they aren’t going to finish something if they don’t like it.
Before long, Honey Child drew interest not just from visitors to the market, but from heavy hitters like Kroger and Whole Foods. Then, just as Sarah and Damien were looking to expand their business, the pandemic hit. Events at stores were canceled. Supply chain difficulties made it hard, for a while, to find ingredients. Sarah admits that there was a period when they “weren’t sure how to proceed.”
But like most other businesses, Honey Child persevered, changing its website to be direct to consumer, visiting farmers’ markets around the city, and reaching people wherever they could find them. After introducing a line of alcohol-infused “party poptails,” for instance, Honey Child began doing catering and private events. And by August of 2020, the pops—still made by hand in Findlay Kitchen—made it into four local Whole Foods.
A box of Honey Child’s Supergreens is a prime example of what makes the brand special: The pops are vegan and entirely free of the usual allergens and sweeteners, but still delicious with flavors of fresh pear and banana, plus an intriguing undertone of ginger. And with some low-key spinach and kale blended in, they are that rarest of things: a virtuous treat.