Established in Laguna Beach!
Even an old grocery cart with a rusty metal frame looks chic when Julie Podolec steps into the scene, loads it with bright boxes of Modern Pop frozen bars and pushes it down a Laguna Beach parking lot for a photo shoot.
Podolec and her husband launched their frozen bar business in 2015 when they couldn’t find anything in the frozen aisles they felt good about giving their teething son.
“When we couldn’t find what we needed, we created it”, says Podolec. “We were truly shocked that something so simple like a fruit bar was loaded with over 20 grams of sugar. We knew this old classic was due for a makeover!”
In only three years, Modern Pop has proven to be a successful endeavor for Podolec who started out by blending simple whole fruits, lemon, lime and water in her kitchen. To sweeten the pops, she added a few drops of agave.
“They were simple, real, and exactly what I was searching for. It was something anyone could make at home, but I knew we could save people the time and the hassle,” she explains.
The pops are now available in six different flavors and sold at more than 3,000 locations nationwide, including major grocery chains like Ralph’s, Sprouts, Whole Foods, and Albertsons/Safeway
A lot can be attributed to the success of Modern Pop— the bars are tasty, they’re fat-free, made with only a handful of ingredients and only 45-60 calories per bar. But perhaps what stands out the most is Podolec’s remarkable marketing and branding strategy. The product packaging is delightfully inviting, publicizing Laguna Beach as the birthplace of the brand. And the company’s promotional materials including the website and social media posts often feature the petite and energetic mom of two.
Podolec is Modern Pop.
She has used her charisma and love of bright 1950’s-era fashion to serve as the face of the brand. She promotes Modern Pop with bright red lipstick, colorful outfits, a multi-colored selection of sunglasses and plenty of pizazz, usually posing in front of classic cars, SoCal landmarks and vibrant backdrops.
“We don’t view ourselves as another fruit pop. Modern Pop is a California inspired Fruit brand that prides itself on simplicity of ingredients and always ‘putting fruit first,’” explains Podolec. “We believe in putting ‘pops’ of color and life into otherwise stale categories.”
A Jersey girl turned L.A. Mompreneur
Podolec was born in Tewksbury Township, New Jersey. A popular girl growing up, she was crowned homecoming queen in high school and eventually attended college in Ohio where she studied fine arts and marketing.
She and her husband were living in New York city when a job relocation brought them to Orange County. They settled in Laguna Beach.
In 2013, she started experimenting with homemade frozen bars to give her infant son and by 2015, her brand was commercialized into retail locations.
Podolec is fortunate to show her two kids, Brooks, 6 and Vivian, 4 that with hard work they can build things that never existed before, she says.
“I love the thought of giving them that sense of excitement and imagination to explore the world.”
As far as how she manages to run a business and raise two kids, Podolec says it’s simply about responding to situations as they present themselves.
“In life, you just have to be accepting that there isn’t always balance,” she says.
Still, she’s raising happy, healthy children and making many new friends along the way as Modern Pop’s chief ambassador.
“We are just getting started!,” assures Podolec. “It’s not only about selling pops and cheerleading on social media. This is a company that is strategic and our goal is to become accessible to as many people as we possibly can.”
A Tip for moms who want
to start a business:
“If you truly believe in whatever it is you want to do, don’t wait. There is no time to devise a plan, no promised tomorrows…You must begin. And then, once you start moving forward, don’t ever stop moving.”
–Julie Podolec, Co-Founder, Modern Pop
Connect with Julie!
Mommy In Los Angeles® Magazine spent time with Julie Podolec in her hometown of Laguna Beach getting to know her and learning about her brand. We’re proud of Julie for working so diligently to market and promote Modern Pop and we look forward to watching Julie and her husband’s continued success. Congrats, Julie! #LAMomsRock. Every Mom Has a Story.