The Story of Popbar – Food Franchise Review

Introduction to the Popbar Franchise Opportunity

Back in 2009, we were looking for a decadent twist on a classic dessert. We discussed ice cream, popsicles, and other frozen treats.  Being from Italy, I thought about the possibility of serving gelato in a new way – on a stick! After a lot of research and development, we perfected our recipes, the visual aspects of our store, and added a make-it-your-own element, offering the option to customize with premium dippings and toppings.  From there, Popbar was born.

Table of Contents:

  1. Startup Costs / Fees
  2. Popbar Menu
  3. Franchisee Information
  4. Learn More

Popbar Franchise Business Snapshot: Startup Costs and Fees

  • Name: Popbar – Handcrafted Gelato on a Stick
  • Founded:  2010
  • Founder: Reuben BenJehuda
  • Franchising Since: 2013
  • Number of Existing Locations: 23
  • Total Initial Investment (Can be a Range): $ 250,000 and up
  • Initial Franchise Fee: $35,000
  • Ongoing Royalty Fee: 6%
  • Ad Royalty Fee: 2%
  • Net Worth Minimum: $300,000
  • Agreement Length: 10 years

Corporate Mission:

To offer an all natural, made in house treat, that not only tastes amazing but looks good as well.

Core Products:

All of our popGelatos – you can customize them to your liking with 8 toppings and 5 dippings – the sky is the limit! Our customer base has a wide range, as no one can say no to Gelato.

Learn more about the Popbar franchise.

Tell Us About the Popbar Menu.

For starters, taste is our number one focus and in this sense, we are still a mom and pop shop.  We make all of our pops in-house daily with all natural, kosher ingredients and there is truly something for everyone, even those looking for gluten, dairy free, vegan options.  

We present 3 different categories of pops: Gelato (Dairy based), Sorbetto (Fruit based) and Yogurt (Yogurt based), in a variety of flavors. We currently offer over 50 recipes, and on any given day, customers can choose from 20-25 flavors, and customize with 5 chocolate dippings and 7 crunchy toppings!  Where else can you get a freshly made strawberry gelato pop dipped in dark chocolate with crushed coconut and waffle cone?!

If you add the customization side of it, the options are endless…

On top of that, we introduced GelatoShakes (our Popbar version of a MilkShake), Hot Chocolate on a Stick, and other delicious treats.

An example of what you’ll find on the Popbar menu.

What Makes Popbar Unique?

We offer a very visual experience.  In an era where people are accustomed to ordering from text-based menus, we stand out because our eye-catching display case is our menu – customers order right from the display!  Also, because our pops are so visual, customers often share photos of their creations on social media, which has certainly helped spread the word.

What’s the Future Look Like?

It looks bright – we offer a product that blends authenticity (in our recipes, flavors, and being on a stick) with innovation (our eye-catching display, dippings and toppings, etc.) so I like to believe we are future-proof.

What is a Typical Day for a Franchisee?

It starts in their own popLab – in the back of their store – choosing what flavors to bring out in any given day. So if you haven’t made Passion Fruit in a while, or if you are close to Halloween and you want to make Pumpkin Pie gelato, you certainly can do so.

The rest of the day is spent greeting customers and putting a smile on their faces!

Strawberry Yogurt Pops from Popbar.

How Much Revenue Can You Realistically Expect to Make?

We are a franchise system so we cannot share revenues or even give a hint at specific figures. I will just say that for a some of our franchisees, Popbar changed their lives.

What Training Programs are in Place to Help Franchisees?

We usually have a training session in New York – where we are based- about a month or two before opening the store. We spend some time with the franchisees both in our corporate offices and our original West Village location, prepping them for what’s about to come.

When we get close to opening, the Popbar team travels to their location and helps them with the set up and training of the whole team. We also organize a Friends & Family event and a Press event. From then, we keep in touch on a monthly basis (or as needed) and try to organize visits at least once per quarter.

You get training and support with Popbar.

What are the Characteristics of a Successful Franchisee with Popbar?

They all share common traits: they are passionate about what they are doing, they are good communicators and have a great sense of managerial skills.

Final Thoughts

I will share one of my favorite combinations: Gianduia pop. Gelato dipped in dark chocolate with crushed hazelnut topping!  Gianduia is a chocolate-hazelnut blend, and oh so yummy. Customizing the classic Italian flavor with more chocolate and actual hazelnuts makes it just perfect.

A dessert that needs to be shared.

Where Can You Learn More?


About Support Staff

Brett Lindenberg is the founder of Food Truck Empire and Food Empire Pro. Brett's mission is help to entrepreneurs start and grow profitable food businesses. Since 2014, Brett has interviewed over 100 entrepreneurs on the Food Empire Pro podcast and written hundreds of blog posts on all aspects of food business. Brett has been quoted in media outlets like Entrepreneur Magazine, CNBC, and The Washington Post.