Entrepreneur brothers bring Brazil to Dallas one popsicle at a time

Entrepreneur brothers bring Brazil to Dallas one popsicle at a time

Entrepreneur brothers bring Brazil to Dallas one popsicle at a time
September 06
20:17 2017

Picolé Pops wants you to think creamy and soft instead of an icy reminder to call your dentist.

The new Bishop Arts popsicle shop, owned by brothers and UNT alumni Adrian, Andrés and Jorge Lara, is set to open with a Brazilian flair to its menu. To them, that means smoother, milk-based popsicles with unique flavor combinations.

“You take a bite out of that popsicle, and it is a texture that is very hard to bite,” Adrian said. “In Brazil, [the consistency] is very soft. It’s not a popsicle that’s going to crystallize.”

Its first location will open in Bishop Arts this month, and another shop will open in Deep Ellum later this year.

Customers can choose from 30 flavor varieties, including water-based fruity popsicles and infused popsicles with tasty fillings like Nutella. Those in Deep Ellum can enjoy alcohol-infused pops for an extra kick.

“[Deep Ellum] is more of a young hipster crowd, so we want to lead the alcohol-infused [popsicle] in Deep Ellum whereas Bishop is more family friendly,” Adrian said. “In Bishop, there will be the essence of alcohol but not actual alcohol.”

Picolé comes from the Portuguese word for “popsicle.”  As the shop’s name implies, the Lara brothers wanted Brazilian culture to be the essence of their establishment.

Picolé Pops is still in its early stages, but the brothers’ story goes way back—specifically to their grandparents’ own popsicle shop in Mexico.

“It was called Manhattan,” Adrian said. “It’s a weird name, but this was back in the ’60s. We were going through a lot back in Mexico and it was growing financially as well. Anything that sounded like or resembled English was popular.”

It wasn’t until the brothers traveled to Rio for the 2014 World Cup that they began to follow in their grandparents’ footsteps. Everywhere they looked, popsicles had creative and different flavors that were very different than what they grew up with.

They returned to their office jobs after the trip, but the idea kept popping up.

“We all had our careers, but we just kept going back to that time saying, ‘Hey, you remember that time when we went to Brazil?’” Adrian said.

The rest was history.

They combined their previous work experience in the financial sector and learned their grandparents’ recipes, which explains the Mexican flavors hinted throughout their menu.

“The possibility of innovating is always exciting,” Andrés said. “There is nothing wrong with traditional popsicles, but we want to redefine popsicles.”

But with running a small business also came the reality of running a real business.

“In developing Picolé, we ran into several headaches with city planning, developing and permitting,” Andrés said. “Financing is always tough for any startup, and going to a bank is challenging if you don’t have at least two years worth of financial statements. Banks nowadays opt for a zero risk policy as they have become too conservative with lending to small businesses, which makes it extra difficult.”

Inside the shop, there is a wall nicknamed the “The Selfie Wall.” It’s multicolored and vivid, meant to resemble “favelas.” Favelas are synonymous with run down neighborhoods in Brazil that have grown in popularity with tourists due to their colorful appearance.

“In order to not seem so awful to people who were wealthy, the government started painting all those neighborhoods so they wouldn’t have something horrible to look at,” Adrian said. “So a lot of them were very colorful, and it actually catches your attention.”

Color has been a big way for the brothers to connect the shop to their cultural identity through the exterior, inside and even the logo itself.

“I used yellow, blue and green for all of the identity, with different combinations with those colors,” graphic designer David M. Parres said. “The idea was to have a really bright, happy and colorful brand and bring some Brazilian culture to Dallas.”

Despite the newness of the everything, the Lara brothers say they have faith in each other to shake up the industry.

“[My favorite part is] being part of a business that doesn’t always have all the answers or know where we are heading,” Andrés said. “What we do know is that we a have great group of people that are not afraid to speak out, take chances or be wrong because we all know that when things are done with passion, great things can happen.”

Featured Image: Picolé Pops is set to open soon in Deep Ellum. Owned by three brothers and UNT alumni, the shop features Brazilian-inspired popsicles and decor. Courtesy | Facebook

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Amy Roh

Amy Roh

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