Pops Art

August 2019
By Will Grunewald
Photograph by Derek Bissonnette

Abby Freethy started making meltingly attractive popsicles as a side side hustle, selling them from her Greenville-based food truck. Then, she retired the truck and doubled down on the popsicles. It’s still an ancillary gig to her long-running Northwoods Gourmet Girl line of jams and condiments, but now, Tradewinds convenience stores, Boothbay’s Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, and a few other retailers carry six flavors of Freethy’s Wicked Maine Pops, including wild blueberry, Key-lime pie, and banana cream. Freethy sources many ingredients from around Maine and gets her birch popsicle sticks from Hardwood Products, in Guilford. A slew of additional varieties — lemon creamsicle, strawberry lemonade, and chocolate caramel sea salt, to name a few — show up at her roving carts, one of which is in downtown Belfast much of the summer. In Greenville, Freethy opened a popsicle emporium (17 Moosehead Lake Rd.) where customers can have their Wicked Maine Pops dipped in chocolate and nuts. Bartenders at nearby Trailside Restaurant & Lounge (33 Leisure Life Rd.) will even drop a pop into a cocktail like a big, flavorful ice cube. Freethy loves the range of popsicle possibilities. “They’re nostalgic, and they’re sophisticated,” she says. “Also, they’re pretty delicious.”

Wicked Maine Pops
One of these things is not like the others: Most of Abby Freethy’s Wicked Maine Pops are made with fresh fruit. Her s’mores-style Upta Camp pop is studded with ’mallows and baked bits of chocolate-and-graham-cracker crust.

Will Grunewald

Will Grunewald is a senior editor at Down East magazine.