Skipping into Savannah Square Pops’ new location at 344 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd on Tues., September 13, I found SSP owner Judd Wiggins chilling with Habitat for Humanity’s Zerik Samples. With a portion of tonight’s proceeds going to Habitat, I tell Zerik to sit tight so I can get the scoop on Judd.
The Alabama native tells me “I was sick of being an attorney so I hung up my shingle and decided to open up a gourmet popsicle shop six years ago. With zero popsicle experience but a serious love of Savannah and ice cream on a stick, my husband and business partner Mark Taylor and I decided to name our store and 22 popsicles after the historic squares of Savannah.”
Sipping on some champagne, Judd tells me about his latest taste sensation. “Collaborating with Service Brewery, they created a sour beer called Poolside Chills to go with our blueberry basil popsicle.” Showing me the beer can where he and his husband Mark Taylor are cartoon characters on the beer can, I giggle when I realize their faces are superimposed over the top of two popsicles that are melting into a pool of beer!
Walking up is Kaitlin Sells, a St. Vincent Academy grad and photographer who looks slightly relieved when she sees that tonight’s event isn’t like the first two events where there were over 600 people. Glancing around, Kaitlin exclaims, “I get to taste test gourmet popsicles and beef brisket burnt end sliders from Roy’s Nutz & Buttz. Best job ever!”
Handing me a brisket sample is Mandy Chambliss. Starting out in Bloomingdale in 2015 with a food truck and a take out window, Roy and Mandy moved into their brick and mortar restaurant four years ago. Proud to learn that the mastermind behind all the meats is a US Air Force veteran, I promise Mandy that I will make it out to their 48-seat BBQ joint.
Mandy then tells me the story behind their business name. “I have a MBA in Business and the first thing you learn in marketing is how marketable are you? It has to be a name you can remember! Because Roy had built so many relationships in his 21 years at Gulfstream, a lot of people knew about his Boston butts and jumbo green peanuts. The rest is history!”
After learning that Mandy has been friends with Judd since the day they met six years ago, I trot over to say “hey” to tonight’s hostesses, Courtney Ganem and Macey Fordham of Ganem Realty. “After finding this historic space for Judd, we thought the perfect gift would be a welcome party for his ribbon cutting. Today, he celebrates six years in business with a new location and grand opening and we couldn’t be more proud,” shares the real estate broker.
Arriving next is a tribe of Ardsley Station peeps! With so many here I ask who is left to work?! After a fun pic and video of my favorite restaurant family, I head over to talk with “long last seen” Tersh and Julie Blissett. While Tersh, a US Air Force Air Control Party veteran, has been busy with his Small Business Podcast and their A/C company, Julie is still active as a US Air Force Captain.
Snapping a happy pic of the military couple, I hit warp speed and pose Crystal and Stella Brooks with “Forrest Gump” (aka Josh Evans of Get Gumped), hug Agenda Latina queen Rosa Phelps and her husband Dwayne, then pause Justin Rotto with the wicked fun Tanya Milton. I think Tanya is stalking me because she is popping up everywhere I am this week!
Sneaking behind the counter, I attempt to grab my favorite Milk-n-Honey popsicle but get distracted when I see a Salted Caramel and Chocolate creation tempting me to try it. With a popsicle in one hand and camera in the other, I march over to get the down-low on what’s new with Habitat for Humanity.
With an invitation for Hops for Habitat at Moodright Bar on 2424 Abercorn Street on September 27, Zerik tells me how excited he is for their inaugural Home for the Holidays Gala. “It’s a black tie event that will feature live music, a silent auction, interactive fun with the audience, and a holiday-themed live wreath sale to raise funds for Habitat at the Marriott Riverfront on Wednesday, December 7.”
With money raised tonight to help Zerik and his mission to build communities through homeownership for individuals who may have difficulty acquiring a place of their own, I hope this community continues to support Zerik in his quest to provide safe and affordable shelter for our neighbors.