Written by: Kelly Jo Ross, as seen in the Breese Journal on August 4, 2022
What’s poppin’ at Fantastick Pops?’
The popular handmade artisan pops food truck is under new ownership.
The keys have officially been handed over to the new owners of Fantastick Pops, so now you will see a new face behind the wheel of the “pop”ular teal blue and orange gourmet popsicle food truck seen in Clinton County.
And who are the new owners that keep popping up?
Meet Kinsey and Kylie Stockmann of Breese.
They just recently bought the business from the original owners, Anna Venhaus of Germantown and her sister-in-law Allison Kaiser of St. Charles, Missouri.
The idea of Fantastick Pops has been a sweet and solid one. A few years ago, on a family summer vacation in Kentucky, Anna was told to try out a cute shop that sold gourmet popsicles.
“Let me just say, the kids were in heaven and so were the adults,” Anna said.
But these were so much more than what you would typically think of when you think of a frozen kid’s treat.
These were gourmet pops!
“They were fun and colorful, but all natural and handmade. Unlike anything we’d had before,” she said.
On the car ride back to their cabin, they were raving about the popsicles and started brainstorming about bringing the idea to the St. Louis and Southern Illinois area.
So, she just said to her sister-in-law Allison (known as the best cook and health fanatic in the family), “you know, we could totally do this. We could be a team. You could do what you love, which is working in the kitchen creating one-of-a-kind recipes and making people happy with food, and I could do the marketing and business side of this business from Illinois.”
In August of 2018, the duo drew up a business plan, finalized their paperwork and Fantastick Pops was born. re
“From the beginning, the one thing we knew right away was that we wanted our product to be locally sourced fruits and veggies, with ingredients that were all-natural. Nothing artificial,” said Anna.
Allison started developing recipes and the family became the taste testers. After countless hours of planning, researching, and hard work, they officially opened their business.
They bought an old Snap-On truck that was for sale and painted her up, even naming her Elsa, that is used for their food truck, and they opened for business in the spring of 2019.
Business was going great that first year. Then Anna and her husband were expecting a surprise baby — baby number four. And then, the COVID pandemic hit in 2020.
Events were booked and the two were busy. Anna and Allison were both trying to take it all in, between their regular jobs, home and family life, but both were feeling a little overwhelmed.
A couple of months ago, Anna, driving Elsa, parked the eye-popping vehicle at Turf in Breese and was on her way to eat lunch with a friend.
“People noticed the blue and orange vehicle and started coming outside to get ice pops,” Anna said.
Funnily enough, the vehicle was sitting between Turf and Hair 4 U hair salon in Breese, and people started coming out of Turf and the hair salon for ice cream, including women with hair salon smocks in the middle of getting their hair done.
While helping customers, Anna ran into her good friend, Michell Stockmann of Breese, who was waiting on her “Fantastick Pop” and Anna broke down to her how overwhelmed she had been feeling lately.
With having four children, Anna was starting to feel extremely overloaded, especially since her children were getting older and getting involved in more activities. She told Michell she was going to have to give something up, and regretfully, that was going to have to be Fantastick Pops.
Bells were going off in Michell’s head as she listened to her friend, and she saw an opportunity in the making. — that they were going to buy the business and have their daughters run it.
“Our parents literally just said (that day), ‘so we went out to lunch, and we bought a business,'” said youngest daughter Kylie, 19.
Yes, that was how it all started for the Stockmann sisters.
From the As, as in Anna and Allison, to the Ks, as in Kinsey and Kylie (Stockmann).
And Anna and Allison couldn’t have picked two better people.
“They really are like us — Kinsey is more on the business end (like myself) and Kylie is the baker (like Allison),” said Anna.
Anna and Allison are both excited to see the Stockmann’s take over the business.
“I can’t wait to see them flourish,” said Anna. “They really are hard working and come from a supportive family. It’s kind of like handing off your baby (in this case, a business) to someone else and letting them love it.”
For several months now, Kinsey and Kylie have been learning about the business, making the gourmet pops, and attending events.
They would have “family field trips” to Allison’s home in Missouri, where she would teach them how to make the artisan pops, which she then made out of her home. Now, the Stockmanns are using a commercial kitchen in Breese to make their gourmet pops.
Kinsey is 22 years old and works at Techknow Solutions in Breese, which also happens to be their mother’s company. She is also in the Army National Guard.
Kylie is a barista at Old City Cafe in Breese, and helps out at Turf, when she can. She attends Kaskaskia College and will receive her electrician apprenticeship in January of 2023.
What are their hopes for the future of the company?
“To make it a franchise,” said Kylie.
“Just to keep it (the business) afloat,” added Kinsey, jokingly. She said she may be on deployment so she won’t be able to help out as much as she thought she could in the next months.
The girls work hand in hand together and had been working behind the scenes prior to their Aug. 1 ownership.
“I like to make the pops,” said Kylie
“And I like to eat them,” added Kinsey.
The two girls said nothing changes within the business — everything remains the same, including the name, the vehicle, and the yummy deliciousness of the gourmet pops.
They offer a variety of flavors, including fruity flavors, such as strawberry, pineapple, mixed berry, strawberry lemonade and more, creamy flavors such as vanilla, fudge and cookies and cream, and offer specialty flavors, such as key lime pie, cheesecake and pumpkin.
They also offer sugar-free options and most of the pops are gluten-free. They use natural, fresh, locally sourced and organic ingredients whenever possible, with no preservatives, no artificial sugars, color dyes or fillers.
Their parents, Michell and Jason, said their daughters have an amazing opportunity on their hands and have already gained so much knowledge in the business already.
“They have this great opportunity and they can run with it, roll with it, and ‘pop’ out for others to enjoy,” said Michell.
For more information, check out their website, myfantastickpops.com. You will find all sorts of information on the website, including a calendar of events where they will be, booking the truck, a pop stand, even a do-it-yourself pop stand.
You can also check them out on Facebook at Fantastick Pops.
Our story started on a family summer vacation in Bowling Green, KY when we were told by our Air BnB host to try out this cute shop selling gourmet popsicles. After a fun filled day, we stopped at The Pop Works to try it out. Let me just say, the kids were in heaven and so were the adults! But these were so much more than what we typically think of when we think of a frozen kid’s treat. These were a gourmet pops! They were fun and colorful, but all natural and handmade! Unlike anything we’d had before.
The car ride back to the cabin was filled with, “OMG this is so good!”, “What a genius idea!”, “Who would have thought a popsicle could taste so good?”, “We need something like this where we live.”
So, that’s where it began… sitting on a little red sofa in a small cabin while the kids watched a movie. Anna’s mind was racing thinking about how to bring this sweet idea to the St. Louis and Southern Illinois area. So, she just said to her sister-in-law Allison (known as the best cook and health fanatic in the family), “You know, we could totally do this. We could be a team. You could do what you love, which is working in the kitchen creating one-of-a-kind recipes and making people happy with food, and I could do the marketing and business side of this business from IL.”
In August of 2018 we finalized our paperwork and Fantastick Pops was born. From the beginning, the one thing we knew right away was that we wanted our product to be locally sourced fruits and veggies, with ingredients that were all-natural. Nothing artificial! Allison started developing recipes and the family became the taste testers. Now, after countless hours of planning, researching, and hard work, we will officially open our business and food truck doors in the Spring of 2019. We are ecstatic to bring something new to the St. Louis and Southern IL area- Fresh, handcrafted, all-natural artisan popsicles!
Since we are a food truck, you will be able to find us out and about at many local events and festivals. Be sure to follow our social media pages to find out where we will be next!
You can also book us for your own catered event or party.
We will always carry staple and popular pops throughout the year, but we find it’s fun to have seasonal options available through the year as well. We also work with local farmers and use locally sourced ingredients as often as possible, so when a particular crop is in season we will use it at it’s freshest time.
We do not currently offer this as a option, but it is our goal to find an affordable way to offer this in the future.
Our main goal when starting was to offer locally-sourced and natural ingredients with no preservatives or other nasty things. We do offer some fully organic options when available and we also offer vegan and non-dairy options as well.
None of our pops have food dyes, artificial flavors or sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup.
You’re in luck! Anna’s mom is diabetic, so we made sure to create options with no sugar added. Remember, fruit is a natural sugar itself, but just ask us and we are happy to help you find a pop for your dietary restrictions.
Gatherings of any kind:
If you have an idea we would love to help bring something fun to the menu. We can set up a table with a cooler of pops or we can bring our truck and really turn your event into something memorable! Custom branded sticks for your party is also an available option. Just ask!
All of our pops are made in the same facility. In an effort to prevent cross-contamination we take extra precautions to deep clean all of our equipment and surfaces before the next pop flavor is made. The pops listed below may be found on our menu throughout the year and contain nuts or tree nuts:
Please let our servers know if you have a nut allergy so we can take extra precaution in helping suggest flavors that are best for your dietary needs.
Our dipping station contains nuts and pops containing nuts are dipped in our chocolate dips. There is a risk of cross-contamination when dipping your pops.
The drizzles and dustings that are used in our dipping station are not at risk for cross-contamination and are nut-free.
Most of our pops are typically gluten free!
NOTE: Adding toppings to the pop, like cookie or gramcracker toppings will affect this. The GF options will always be noted on our menu for our customers who avoid gluten.
Yes! For orders of 25 pops or more, we’ll pack up your pops and have them ready to go for you. We will need a 2 weeks notice for larger orders. If you are past the 2 week mark, please reach out to us and we can tell you want we have available with our in-stock flavors.
We do not offer delivery options at the time. However, we can arrange pick up options in both the St. Charles, MO and Germantown, IL area.
Keeping pops frozen involves a lot of factors. Many of our customers like to enjoy our pops at home, at work, and at events like weddings and birthdays. With that in mind we’ve put together some tips to help you take your pops on the road!
The Flip Box Cooler
We think our Flip Box Cooler is a great deal! If you are ordering a large number of pops (50 or more) and want to carry them out of our store, this is the way to do it. Made of expanded polypropylene this cooler is very light weight and easy to handle. It will keep your large pop orders cold for up to 2 hours with NO ICE! We can add dry ice to your order and your pops won’t melt for up to 10 hours. Best of all, this cooler is reusable! It keeps cold things cold and hot things hot so you can use it for more than transporting your pops. It breaks down to store flat and is dishwasher safe.
Travel Your Way
Want to use your own cooler to travel with your pops? No problem! Bring in your cooler from home and we’ll fill it up. Here are a few tips to make sure your pops travel well:
Using Dry Ice
Dry ice is great if you plan to travel a long distance or if you aren’t able to store your pops in a freezer once you arrive at your destination. Here are some things to keep in mind if you are considering using dry ice to transport your pops:
Serving your pops is very similar to how you might serve traditional ice cream. It’s best to keep them in the freezer until you are ready to serve them. Unless the pops are packed on dry ice they are often a tad soft (especially our creamy pops). Build in some freezer time for your pops before you serve them so they’ll be at their best.
We recommend contacting us as soon as possible. We do have limited availability and our truck books quickly, particularly in the warmer months.