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Pete's Pops will open a storefront on the west side

Monday, February 12, 2018   (0 Comments)
Journal Sentinel

Carol Deptolla

 

 

Pete's Pops, carts selling frozen pops around Milwaukee since 2014, will open a storefront and production kitchen on the west side in the coming months.

Pete Cooney said he'll open Pete's Pops in a building being redeveloped at 3801 W. Vliet St., with the storefront's grand opening expected in June. The store, which now has a banner announcing the business, will be at the west end of the site.

"The banner's cool, but a lot of work still needs to be done," Cooney said.

The seasonal store will have a walk-up window for customers to buy paletas, fruit-based frozen pops. Inside, the store will have a couple of counters where customers will be able to stand or sit to eat their pops. 

Cooney expects to place colorful benches outside the store for customers, as well. 

"We want people to hang out a little bit," he said.

Counters will be at front garage-style window and at interior windows that overlook the production area.  

The store likely will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at first. Having a store means the business will be able to produce pops later in the season and fulfill special orders later in the year, Cooney said. "We get requests all the time," he added.

The location will give him a chance to launch other products, as well, said Cooney, who declined to specify them.

The site is owned by Tom Straub, who plans to move his construction company from the Mayville area to the building — actually a series of buildings, with one at the corner built in 1913. The building housing Pete's Pops was built in the 1940s.

Straub also will renovate apartments over the retail areas and hopes to find a restaurateur who'll add a deli or cafe to the building.

Pete's Pops is a side business for Cooney, who works as the Pabst Theater Group's controller. 

"I like my job a lot," Cooney said, "so that’s why I hired my best friend," Edson Juarez, to run the Pete's Pops business.

Cooney hopes the production area will be operational in April or May, in time to ramp up the making of pops for festival and market season. Pete's Pops carts still will be at outdoor events around metro Milwaukee in the warm weather once the store opens, Cooney said.

The Pete's Pops store is in the Martin Drive neighborhood, across the street from the Washington Park neighborhood, about a mile from the Washington Heights neighborhood and a couple of miles from Wauwatosa.

Cooney noted he has a strong following in Wauwatosa, where a Pete's Pops cart can be found at the farmers market in summer.

"We’re going to be doing tons of (events) in Washington Park," Cooney said, adding he's hopeful longtime customers from Wauwatosa will "drive over to Vliet to hang out and then go to Washington Park. There’s a lot of great stuff there."


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