King of Pops Lays off 50 Percent of Workforce, Is Launching ‘Virtual Bodega’ Rainbow Provisions

Popular popsicle purveyor is also going to stream its weekly 'financial huddles' for all of Atlanta to watch.
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Ahead of hitting 10 years in business and $10 million in annual revenue, King of Pops has laid off 5o percent off its workforce, Co-Owner Steven Carse in an email Monday told What Now Atlanta.

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“I started this popsicle business, King of Pops, 10 years ago after being laid off from the AIG as we were in the midst of the Great Recession,” Carse said.

“I was planning to send you a very different email next week as we celebrate our 10th birthday, the year we’d hit $10M in revenue. Instead, I let go of over half the company a few days ago.”

King of Pops is one of many Atlanta-born businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As a popsicle business, we rely on the spring events, corporate caterings, and sports openings that come with warm weather, and all have been cancelled,” Carse said.

“We’re coming out of our low cash flow winter season, and this hit at the worst possible time.”

Starting Thursday, March 26, Carse is turning King of Pops, a privately-held company, into a “100 percent open book” including access to the popsicle purveyor’s weekly financial huddle.

The company is also going to be working on a blog and podcast to “discuss trying to survive financially as we go through this.”

“We will be going over our normal business operations and the three new ploys that we are hoping can move the needle in this brand new world,” Carse said.

The three ploys are:

  • Creating an option for people to apply to become a ”KoP Neighborhood Partner”, which would allow individuals to purchase pops (and other exclusive seasonal items) at wholesale prices and sell them in their neighborhood.
  • Offering free delivery on our online store, and quickly developing a more robust stand-alone food delivery store. We started a distribution company five years ago called P10 Foods that has been distributing the best food products the South has to offer. In the coming days, we will be rolling out Rainbow Provisions with many of these same items which will be a “virtual bodega” highlighting the makers that we’ve gotten to know over the last 10 years and delivering them to people’s door for free.
  • We set up a GoFundMe hoping to raise $25k for the donation of 10k pops to hospital and emergency-response workers. Our purpose is to create UMOHs (Unexpected Moments of Happiness), and we had plans to do this in a big way for our 10th birthday – April 1st. Instead we need your help to reach our goal, and bring a smile to the faces of these heroes that are risking so much. (so far we’re at $4k – if this gets legs it can grow far beyond 10,000 pops)

[Editor’s note: The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is rapidly evolving as is its effect on Atlanta, and the City’s businesses and its residents. Click here for What Now Atlanta’s ongoing coverage of the crisis. For guidance and updates on the pandemic, please visit the C.D.C. website.]

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