When Augusta Puttkammer and her husband Ian opened Happy Pops on Hastings Street, Noosa, five years ago, little did the Sunshine Coast community know what a treat they were in for.
Five years later and with three more stores under their belts, this dynamic dessert duo are renowned across the region for producing those fabulous pops of happiness on a stick. We chat with Augusta to uncover the sweet secrets behind Happy Pops’ success!
What’s your background?
I’m a chef by trade, and I’ve spent several years in food product development. My husband has a business background.
So, when we set our sights on Noosa for that enviable lifestyle, like many others, we had a shared desire to start our own business. He had dreamt of doing something around ice cream for a long time, and I the same with desserts.
Our journey began with experimenting with flavour combinations and creating recipes, which is my passion. This gradually evolved into the unique concept of Happy Pops!
For those yet to experience a Happy Pop, what is it?
We offer all-natural handcrafted artisanal gelato and sorbet pops on a stick, which you build to your choosing. First, choose your naked pop flavour—such as vanilla, vegan hazelnut gelato & mango sorbet, strawberries & cream (flavours can vary from month to month). Then, you choose your chocolate sauce, which is drizzled over the top. And then choose your toppings!
If that’s too many decisions to make, we also offer premium pops that have been pre-decorated by our in-house pastry chef.
What’s the secret behind the popularity of Happy Pops?
Customers buy it the first time because they look beautiful. When you walk into the shop and see them all lined up in the cabinet, it’s just so striking. And the experience is so fun.
But then they come back for the flavour; you’ve got to follow through with the flavour and the experience—that’s what customers come back for.
When they bite into it, their face lights up, and they think, ‘This is amazing!’. That’s the magical moment.
The pops are not only delicious but all-natural too! Is that what drives your ingredient choices?
Yes, that’s what we are all about—the pops are handmade and all-natural colours and flavours. For example, our recent bubblegum limited edition was coloured bright blue using natural butterfly pea powder. We want to ensure that everything you give to your kids and family is as all-natural as possible.
And you now have four stores!
Yes, we have four shops now. Noosa was the first; we opened South Bank (Brisbane) a year later. Then we did Eumundi in early 2022 and Mooloolaba in November 2022.
You are also doing the super-human task of juggling a business and parenting! How do you do it?
Yes, we have an eight-year-old and a two-year-old. The baby is only in daycare for two days a week, so the juggling is intense but fun!
What’s next for you?
The first five years of Happy Pops have been incredible, and we primarily want to continue with what we are doing! We hope to open another store next year, but only if and when we are ready. We are a 100% family-run business, so we go at a pace we can manage without compromising our quality and service.