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Local popsicle business donates proceeds to Hawaii wildfire relief

Local popsicle business donates proceeds to Hawaii wildfire relief

Sav McKee

“All of us feel helpless in a situation like this,” sighed Steve, owner of J-Pops, a local pop-up that incorporates fresh, local ingredients into each homemade popsicle. He’s referring to the Maui wildfires, which have ravaged the islands of Hawaii, including Lahaina, the home of his best friend, Phoenix.

Steve took this feeling of helplessness and turned it into inspiration. Ironically, earlier this year, J-Pops introduced the flavor “Maui Fruit Stand,” which was inspired by Steve’s numerous trips to Maui, and all of the tropical, vibrant flavors that are on the island. The popsicle features limeade flavors with passion fruit, dragon fruit, pineapple and mango. “It’s the taste of the island,” Steve said.


He’s donating 100% of the proceeds of every purchase of this popsicle flavor, which he renamed “Lisa’s Maui Fruit Stand,” and giving the proceeds directly to Phoenix’s sister, Lisa, and her family, who lost their entire home, their school, and their community in the wildfires.

Photo via Steve from J-Pops

“Last week, Phoenix sent me the images of what’s happening in Maui, and it was overwhelming as far as what was happening, and how quickly everything happened. Luckily, Lisa and her family are unharmed physically, but the amount of devastation to not just her, but to everyone living in the area, is beyond what anybody could imagine.”

J-Pops is no stranger to crowdsourcing and fundraising. In 2011, Steve started J-Pops as a fundraiser after the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan. “It’s always been a mission of the company to help out whenever possible. That’s the coolest part about being a small business owner,” said Steve. 

Last week, they sold the popsicles at farmers markets throughout the city, and they were able to donate a substantial amount to Lisa’s GoFundMe page. “We decided to go ahead and continue this for another week. Every day, we just keep hearing more and more about what people are going through on the island,” said Steve. To raise more money for Lisa and her family, and the community they’re sharing the donations with, J-Pops will be selling their Lisa’s Maui Fruit Stand popsicles Tuesday, August 15th at the Hilliard Farmers Market, as well as Saturday, August 19th at Worthington and Clintonville Farmers Markets.

“Since we started this last week, it’s been very heartwarming to see people who have just stopped by and didn’t buy a pop, but just donated money instead. People are just handing me money to donate. In a time and need like this, it’s heartwarming to see how people respond,” emphasized Steve. 

For those who can’t stop by the farmers markets this week but still want to help, Lisa’s GoFundMe site can be found here. 

Want to read more? Check out our print publication, (614) Magazine. Learn where you can find a free copy of our new August issue here!


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