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V.22 No.10 | March 7 - 13, 2013

Annual Report 2013


Weekly Business Profile


Pop Fizz
Type of business:
Ice Cream

Owners:
Carlos, Lorenzo and Rafael Alvarez

Ages:
28, 27 and 60 respectively

Hometown:
El Paso

Business Address:

844-B Bridge Blvd SW
Albuquerque NM 87105
(505) 508-1082

Business Email:
info@pop-fizz.net

Business Website:
www.pop-fizz.net


How did you get started in this business?
We come from a family of entrepreneurs. Lorenzo and Carlos had been living in Albuquerque for 10 years, and when our father finally moved here, we decided it was time to start a business.
Why did you choose this business?
We spent a lot of time in Mexico as children and loved the Mexican-style ice cream and popsicle shops (Paleterias), but we wanted to use all-natural ingredients. Many, if not most ice cream places use tons of artificial ingredients. We wanted to be different in that respect.
What is your business philosophy?
Work hard.
What is your educational background?
Carlos: UNM, Anderson School of Business, Concentration in Finance

Lorenzo: UNM, School of Engineering

Rafael: NMSU, Biology, Masters of Education
What is your strongest business trait?
We are quick to adapt to changes.
Why did you choose to do business in Albuquerque?
We had been living in Albuquerque and really grew to like it. There is a lot of focus on keeping things local here and a strong sense of community that we really enjoy. We love El Paso, but compared to Albuquerque it seems like a much sleepier town.
What motivates you to succeed besides the desire to make money?
The smiles on our customers’ faces on a hot summer day.
How is operating your own business different than you expected?
Many of our family members have businesses or side businesses that we have been involved with from a young age. But when you run your own business, you need to be a jack-of all-trades; you need to manage all aspects of your business down to the smallest detail.
What significant changes have you implemented recently?
We not only make fresh fruit and cream popsicles, but we are now making Ice Cream Tacos. It’s like the Choco Taco you remember, except much more substantial. A sweet and crispy waffle cone, shaped like a taco, filled with ice cream and topped with a chocolate shell. It’s a delicious, portable treat on a hot summer’s day or anytime.
What successes in the past year are you most proud of accomplishing?
The overall support we have received from the community and the residents of the South Valley has been amazing. We love to serve the people of the South Valley, and we are proud to do so.
What do you offer that the competition doesn't?
We make all natural fruit popsicles with no added colors, flavors or sweeteners. Not many ice cream shops use all-natural ingredients. We also make Ice Cream Tacos!
How do you maintain your competitive edge?
We are constantly pushing boundaries with our flavors, and we are always on the move promoting our business, whether selling at a local farmers market or driving our ice cream truck around in other neighborhoods.
What was your best business decision?
Operating at our city’s farmers markets has been great.
What contributions to the community (charitable or otherwise) are you most proud of?
We try to support local everything as much as we can, whether it’s teaming up with a local business or buying local produce. However, we think our best contribution is our "Jr. Fizzacist program," which encourages elementary school kids to get good grades (B+ or A) in Science and Math in exchange for an all-natural fruit popsicle or an ice cream. Our father is a teacher at Armijo Elementary in the Valley, and it really encourages his kids to do better.
How has the Internet affected your business and how do you think it might affect your business in the future?
The internet is awesome. I one day hope to win it. In my opinion, the internet is the great equalizer for businesses that cannot afford exposure any other way. It has been very useful for us here at Pop Fizz. It’s also great for the consumer, with sites like Yelp and Urbanspoon that arm consumers with reviews and insights on a business before they step foot inside. Reviews should also help the business owners figure out what the customer wants and doesn’t want.
In what area of your business do you invest the most energy?
The product—popsicles and ice cream. Without a great product you really have nothing.
What words of wisdom would you offer to someone starting their own business?
Have a feasible plan on how to get there. Work in the industry you want to get into—volunteer if you have to—and save money. Execute all the steps of that plan; when it’s time to take the final step and open your business, don't be afraid.
If you had a chance to live anyone else's life, whose life would it be?
I'm happy with mine. :)
If there is one thing about Albuquerque or New Mexico that you could change, what would it be?
We need more community-based events, less chain restaurants and more entrepreneurs who are willing to go up against the big named business.
What do you look for in prospective employees?
Great energy, great customer service, an overall willingness to learn and the ability to think quickly.
Three passions outside of work?
Music, family, art and education.

Anything else you would like to add?
Pop Fizz now has an ice cream truck in addition to it's brick and mortar location (844 Bridge Blvd) and its push cart. We can do large and small events (birthday parties, corporate events, etc.) Call or email us to schedule your event.

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