Frozen treats business serves up nostalgia in Fredericton

·2 min read
Natasha Ashfield and Jaclyn Corby launched The POPcycle on Sunday. (Mrinali Anchan/CBC - image credit)
Natasha Ashfield and Jaclyn Corby launched The POPcycle on Sunday. (Mrinali Anchan/CBC - image credit)

With summer around the corner, Natasha Ashfield and Jaclyn Corby founded a new business that they hope will bring back sweet memories for people on the streets of Fredericton.

They launched POPCycle this weekend. They sell ice cream products and other frozen treats using a tricycle with an attached freezer.

They were inspired to start the business after seeing a Twitter post about the Dickie Dee ice cream sellers of decades past.

"It brought back a ton of memories of our childhood and hearing the bells and seeing the Dickie Dee bike come by," Ashfield said.

Dickie Dee was a Winnipeg-based company that was all the rage during the 1980s and 1990s.

When the company was sold in 1992, there were around 1,500 Dickie Dee tricycles still riding around residential streets and parks in about 300 cities, selling ice-cold treats.

"Once we started traveling down the trail, it was mainly adults, people over 35 who were stopping or cyclists saying, 'Oh my goodness, I'm so glad you brought back the bike.'" said Ashfield.

"It's nostalgic in that way ... who doesn't remember loving ice cream as a kid and ... you hear the chimes and then you think, 'Oh, there's an opportunity to get some ice cream.'"

The POPcycle/Facebook
The POPcycle/Facebook

The POPcycle bike was custom-made by a U.S. company and has a few modern advantages over the Dickie Dee vendors of the past.

"We wanted to keep some of the old features of what the bike was like, but also add some new modern elements like, we offer debit ... which was not available then," Ashfield and Corby said, laughing.

They can also post their planned locations ahead of time on Facebook, so they can reach customers out of earshot of the bike's tinkling bells.

Erin Crossland is a Fredericton resident who brought her two kids to Odell Park specifically to pick a treat from the bike's freezer.

Mrinali Anchan/CBC
Mrinali Anchan/CBC

"I didn't grow up in the Maritimes. So when people refer to the Dickie Dee bike, we didn't have that where I grew up, but we had similar ice cream trucks and hearing the bells and ringing, definitely got me excited."

The business is operating using one bike and has hired a summer student to ride around popular spots in Fredericton.

Ashfield said they hope to someday expand beyond Fredericton.

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