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Hidden Gems: Pete’s Pops going beyond popsicles by hiring from the neighborhood

Posted at 6:03 AM, Oct 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-04 20:02:33-04

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Popsicles...really? Yes! Though it started as a side hustle, Pete’s Pops is building an empire one Popsicle at a time. Now, that’s me saying this, Pete Cooney is far too modest. Still, Pete has made his Pops known throughout the city with three pop-shops and numerous Popsicle carts covering the city, bringing pops n’ positivity everywhere they are.

I met with Pete and his crew at his Vliet Street location, a location in the Near West Side neighborhood chosen with the hopes of being a part of the revitalization of that community. Pete purposely hires kids from the neighborhood, teaching financial aptitude by encouraging them to open bank accounts.

“They work really hard, seldom missing a day," said Pete.

Pete’s handmade pops come in a variety of flavors, which rotate depending on the season as their ingredients are always fresh. With 70 flavors and counting, the possibilities are as endless as Pete’s potential to realize Popsicle domination (My words, not his).

Check out Pete’s Pops on their website here and on Facebook here.

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