Making Life Pop
There’s a lot that Paul Cassimus loves about his job as the owner of Richmond’s King of Pops. He sells those delicious popsicles that are homemade from locally sourced ingredients. He’s one of a handful of business owners who work as part of the King of Pops team, which has locations in several cities along the Eastern seaboard.
The thing Cassimus loves the most, however, is the people, the ones he works with and the ones he meets in Richmond’s thriving business community. “It’s a great venue for meeting other business people,” he says. One of those businesspeople is Christina Dick, who works with Thrive, a program of the Greater Richmond SBDC.
Thrive offers free consultations to local entrepreneurs who are starting and growing their businesses. Cassimus consulted them about several aspects of his business, including finances and social media. Although some entrepreneurs need more traditional ongoing business counseling, Cassimus wanted help putting together a communications calendar and a job description for a new communications position. Cassimus was able to work with Christina to meet his needs. “I got exactly what I needed, which was a more informal but specific approach to the coaching about particular issues that emerged.” The consultations were useful because Cassimus’ team is small, and he found it helpful to connect with others and discuss a strategy for growth.
That strategy has paid off, as King of Pops saw approximately 38% growth in revenue from 2015 to 2016. Cassimus has also added another full-time person to his team. He now has one employee who sells popsicles to grocery stores and restaurants and one who makes the popsicles and handles production. Cassimus himself manages the business and focuses on catering sales.
The three make a great team, and they enjoy experimenting with different flavors for pops. A recent favorite was a non-alcoholic blackberry mojito. They’ve also made pops that use local flavors, such as Sugar Shack Donuts.
Cassimus’ connections within the Richmond community mean that he is always offering new flavors, making life pop wherever he goes.