Popcycle, a dessert delivery business based in Edgartown, is rolling out its sophomore season, and business is booming.
Popcycle was founded by Noah Goldberg, a 17-year-old entering her senior year of high school in New York City. A self-described “foodie and social media fanatic,” Goldberg has been coming to the Island with her family since she was 3, and started Popcycle when she was 15 as a way to get her favorite gourmet desserts from New York to the Island in the summer.
Goldberg got a loan to start the company, and began to build her business. She is renting a house which functions as her base of operations, and where she stores all her orders. She designed her own website, Instagram, Facebook, and smartphone app.
To get her frosty products from New York, Goldberg said she flies down with her father, rents a freezer truck, picks up the treats to make sure each product is perfect and kept at the correct temperature, and drives the five hours back up to the Island.
Getting her desserts to the Island was one thing, but getting them into people’s hands was another. Goldberg wanted her customers to have a convenient way to order their desserts.
When she started her business, she was only 15 and didn’t have a driver’s license, so she chose electric bicycles (ebikes) as her way to get to her customers. With her ebikes she can deliver ice cream and treats in seven minutes on average. “I knew when we were creating the business I wanted to deliver in a fast, modern, environmentally friendly way,” she said.
Not satisfied with just any ebike, Goldberg set her sights on Butchers and Bicycles, a Danish ebike company that specializes in cargo bikes. The customized bike features a large cargo holder for the ice cream, headlights, and is emblazoned with the Popcycle logo. Goldberg wanted to create something one-of-a-kind that people would instantly recognize as part of Popcycle.
The selection of desserts — hand-picked by Goldberg — include New York dessert boutiques Mochidoki, Cookie Dō, Stuffed Ice Cream, La NewYorkina, Chloe’s Fruit Co., and Melt Bakery.
Cookie Dō has seen the highest demand, but Goldberg’s personal favorite is the “Lovelet,” a red velvet ice cream sandwich made by Melt Bakery.
Aside from selling delicious treats and being open 11 am to 11 pm, Popcycle delivers to customers in Edgartown wherever they are. Whether that’s South Beach, State Beach, or downtown, Popcycle comes to the customer.
“Being 17 and living in New York, I was always fascinated by food. I always preferred going to the best place for food, not necessarily the most expensive, but I would rather put things in my body that were made with the best ingredients, the freshest ingredients, cool designs, well done, innovative. That naturally developed into dessert, because I have a real sweet tooth.”
Even though she is still a teenager, Goldberg says her age helps because she knows what desserts are popular and how people want to order their food.
“I want to do something with a mission, I want to work toward something, create something that’s mine, have some sense of ownership. I was lucky to create something that accompanied things I was good at and things I was passionate about, and that’s what really drives the business. I’m super-passionate about each delivery we make, each product we buy, because it’s super-personal.”
Last year, Popcycle opened in mid-July after facing some difficulties with equipment and simply being a new business. “I didn’t really understand how to market a business. I didn’t have any experience, any help, but in the six weeks that we did do business, people loved us.” By the time she started growing a customer base, however, the summer was over.
But being passionate about her product has paid off. This year, after enlisting the help of her two sisters and three Island employees, Goldberg got her permitting in May, organized her inventory, and made sure she would be open before mid-July. In the one week they have been open so far, Popcycle has passed its total sales from all of last year.
“We’re doing very well, but we can always do better,” she said.
Being so successful, Goldberg tries to spread her knowledge and experience to other young women like herself. “I’m founder and co-president of the women in business club at my school. I really push for equality and gender equality in business, and I’m doing that firsthand.”
Looking ahead, Goldberg said, she wants to expand Popcycle to other vacation towns. Next year, she wants to expand to Oak Bluffs, Vineyard Haven, and maybe Nantucket. In five years, she wants to franchise the business, and have Popcycle in the top vacation spots in the country. “Each person in their own town, like I started, would have some sense of ownership, have some sense of financial backing, so they’re not on their own.”
For now, Goldberg will continue to deliver treats in Edgartown and grow her business. “This was missing, this aspect from life on the Vineyard. I thought it was something that would do well here, and I thought it was something I could do well,” she said.