Frios Gourmet Pops to Bring Fresh, Frozen, Fun to Downtown Huntsville This Fall!

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When Andy Harp quit his full time job in the tech industry to sell his homemade popsicles out of a small portable stand on the sidewalk in Downtown Gadsden AL, he had more than a few skeptics.

Three years later, with over 20 storefront locations in over 4 different states, his company, Frios Gourmet Pops, has grown into one of the best frozen dessert companies in the country. And now, Ericka and Bart Hopkins are bringing his creative take on fresh, frozen treats to Downtown Huntsville.

“We’re from Gadsden, so our family lives there and they just kept talking about it,” said Ericka Hopkins when we sat down to talk about their new Frios store which will be joining the other shops at the Garage at Clinton Row in Downtown Huntsville this fall.

“Then it literally was like, one summer day we tried one of their popsicles and fell in love with it,” she said.

The parents of two young sons, William (8) and Casen (2), Ericka and Bart loved the fresh and healthy approach that the company took to making their popsicles.

12028772_994233717293511_9038797151232943281_o“I like the fact that the ingredients are simple,” explained Ericka. “Our fruities are pretty much just the fruit, organic cane sugar (we don’t use any kind of refined sugars) and then citrus juice. So that’s it. It’s just those three ingredients, there isn’t any artificial flavors or dyes.”

But that’s not what sold Ericka and Bart on becoming a part of the Frios family she said, “When we met with the owner, he was so down to earth and he was so passionate about local business and local farms and he really stood behind his product, that’s what sold me.”

In fact, every popsicle the company produces utilizes only the freshest ingredients sourced from local Alabama farms such as: Talley’s Fruit Farm in Crossville AL, Working Cows Dairy in Slocomb, AL and Isom’s Orchard in Athens, AL just to name a few. “If it doesn’t grow in Alabama, we still make sure it passes through an Alabama farm before it gets to us,” Ericka explained.

Still handmade in Gadsden by their specially trained “Fruit Ninjas,” the company has over 80 different unique seasonal flavors including a wide variety of gluten free, dairy free and all natural selections and even employs their very own “Chef Diva” whose sole job it is to dream up new pops.

Seasonally based, their fruity pops include flavors such as, Avocado-Lime, Blueberry Lemonade, Muscadine and Strawberry Mango. The company also sells milk based “Creamies” featuring flavors such as Key Lime Pie, Banana Puddin’, and Cookies & Milk.

Ericka said, that she hasn’t met a flavor she didn’t like yet, but her two favorites are the Avocado Lime and Banana Puddin’.

13516340_1072155852863371_8766010873643673455_n“When you look at the Banana Puddin’ pop you can see the actual slices of banana and the whole vanilla wafers, it’s such a rich Banana Pudding flavor. The first time I had one I expected something that tasted more like an imitation of banana pudding, but it’s not, it’s full blown banana pudding on stick.”

And the Avocado Lime? Ericka admits that the green pop may look like the ugly duckling of the popsicle world, but for those willing to give it a try, she said she hasn’t had anyone not like it yet. “It’s more like a fresh green grape flavor, it’s creamy but there’s no dairy in it, it’s just avocados, lime juice and cane sugar.”

In addition to opening their store-front at The Garage At Clinton Row in Downtown Huntsville, Ericka and her husband Bart have also developed a program for local schools called “Frios Fridays” as a way to give back to their community. Each Friday, the pair drops off coolers of popsicles at local schools for them to sell. Then Ericka & Bart donate back .50 cents to the school for every popsicle sold. “Having two little boys, getting into schools was very important for us,” Ericka said.

And for those now wishing they could get their hands on one of Frios’ tasty treats sooner than when Ericka & Bart’s storefront opens up in Downtown Huntsville this fall, you’re in luck! The team currently has a kiosk set up in Parkway Place Mall! They also have a variety of portable cordless outdoor carts available for corporate, school, church events or weddings!

With all the new restaurants, shopping and retail coming to Downtown Huntsville at developments like The Garage At Clinton Row, The Avenue, 225 Holmes and City Centre, Frios is sure to become the perfect place to stop and grab a sweet treat.

To get connected with Frios in Huntsville you can follow them on Facbook HERE and on instagram HERE. For information about renting a Frio cart for your next event, contact ericka@friospops.com!

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KADIE PANGBURN
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON Commercial Real EState Group
KADIE@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM
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N Season Brings Fresh Local Inspired Pizza To South Huntsville

13502533_206510736410091_6558944335517415966_oIf you’re looking for the best pizza available in Huntsville, maybe even in the South, G. Todd Daniel, owner of The Wine Rack, believes his new pizza venture, N Season Gourmet Pizzas will fit the bill.

Quite literally a dream come true, G. Todd explained that “the idea for N Season originally came about in 1992. I came up with the marketing plan for the restaurant and named it N Season. However at the last moment, our funding fell through.” So the project was placed onto the back burner.

But now, after 35 years in the food and beverage industry, having worked as a professional caterer, the Food and Beverage Director of The Ledges, the General Manager of Ruth’s Chris Steak House, and having owned and operated his own local wine shop, The Wine Rack, G. Todd has finally found the opportunity to open his first restaurant. “Food and beverage has been in my blood my whole life. It’s all I’ve ever done. Even though I got my degree in computer information systems!” he laughed.

The name, N Season Gourmet Pizzas, is derived from G. Todd’s passion for using the best local produce available. Having cultivated connections with local farmers through his wife’s work at the local food bank, he feels that N Season’s focus on using the best local and fresh ingredients available is what will set his pizza apart. “I have the best flour, mozzarella, sauce, and meats available on the market. People really notice the difference. When you get the pizza in your mouth, you actually want to eat the crust. I’ve gotten so many compliments from people saying this is the best pizza they have ever had. When you use the right ingredients it’s just so different,” he said.

And for those looking to sit back and relax while eating their pizza, N Season’s sister store, The Wine Rack (located just a few steps down from N Season), is inviting customers to bring their pizza over and dine in their wine tasting room. A relaxing atmosphere that welcomes customers to sip wine and draught beer along with their pizza. “I like to pair our Trip to NY City Pizza with my Super Tuscan wine,” said G.Todd. “We’ve got a NY great pizza that really showcases what NY is all about on their pizza, and I’ve got a great super Tuscan, it pairs great with pizza.”

With a large selection of creative specialty pizzas, N Season plans to have a rotating pizza of the month and a pizza of the week. “The pizza of the month right now is a reuben pizza,” G Todd explained. “We make the crust out of rye dough and then top it with corned beef, swiss cheese, sauerkraut, Russian dressing, and a bit of caraway seed.” And if that isn’t bold enough for you, the store has plans to feature wilder pizzas as well, such as their shrimp and tequila pizza and their duck and polenta pizza.

Now open from 5pm – 9pm, Monday through Saturday, N Season will soon expand it’s menu and hours in July to 11am – 9pm Monday through Saturday and introduce sandwiches and salads to their offerings as well.  Located at 11700 Memorial Pkwy #H Huntsville, AL, N Season is available for pick-up or delivery all the way up to Airport Road and all the way down to the river.

You can find more information and view their complete menu by visiting nseasongourmetpizzas.com. You can also follow them on Facebook for updates on their monthly and weekly specials, as well as any special events, such as wine pairings.

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LINDSEY POPPE
MARKETING ASSISTANT
CRUNKLETON & ASSOCIATES
INFO@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM

 

A Downtown Transformation Creates Retail Synergy In An Unlikely Location

Our company is passionate about Downtown Huntsville.

Which is why we couldn’t be more excited to announce a brand new adaptive-reuse development for Downtown Huntsville: The Garage At Clinton Row.

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Over the years, we’ve had the personal pleasure of living and working in the Downtown Huntsville area, partnering with organizations such as Downtown Huntsville Inc. to help sponsor and promote the revitalization of Downtown Huntsville and spearheading the leasing for many major Downtown developments, such as The Avenue, Twickenham Square and the UG White building. This project allows us to take yet another step towards our dream of creating a vibrant and thriving downtown community.

Here’s all the details you need to know about the project:

What Exactly Is The Garage At Clinton Row?

The Garage At Clinton Row is an adaptive reuse development, which will transform a small section of the first floor of the existing Clinton Row parking garage structure into 5-6 retail bays. With UG White and The Clinton Row Project across the street and The Avenue around the corner, it is our vision to create a destination shopping location filled with local and regional boutique retailers, that not only are a good fit for this project, but also for Downtown Huntsville.

Where Will The Garage At Clinton Row Be Located?

The project will utilize the current Clinton Row city parking deck located on Clinton Ave E between Washington St SE and Jefferson St S. Through adaptive reuse, the project will transform the front section of the parking deck on the first floor.

When Will The Garage At Clinton Row Be Completed?

Construction is planned to start early this spring with the hope of opening the shops in the fall of this year.

What Sort Of Impact Will This Project Have On Parking In Downtown Huntsville?

While the project is transforming a section of the first floor of the Clinton Row parking deck into retail bays, the entire project will only remove a total of 15 parking spaces out of the 497 available spaces in the garage, which leaves 482 spaces left for parking.  We have also diligently studied the garage along with city leaders over the last several months and discovered that there are, on average, approximately 200 empty space in the garage on a daily basis, so the removal of 15 spaces should not negatively affect parking in the Downtown area in any way.

What Does This Project Mean For Downtown Huntsville?

To answer this question we spoke with the lead project developer, Wesley Crunkleton, who had this to say about what he believes the project means for the Downtown Huntsville Area:

“Downtown is on a roll right now and it is absolutely critical that we keep that momentum going.

But retail can be complicated, especially in a downtown environment. However, one fact that seems to stand the test of time is that successful retail requires synergy. We cannot just spot place individual retailers throughout downtown and hope that they succeed on their own. If you want to get people out of their cars and on their feet, you have to create an experience for them.

And while we are certainly not the first to bring retail to downtown Huntsville, (retailers and developers such as UG White, The Avenue and The Hudson Family have invested a tremendous amount of time, money and effort in an attempt to create a retail atmosphere in the downtown core) we realized that we needed to create “the glue” that will help these projects stick. Fortunately, the City of Huntsville also believes in this recipe.

It is our belief that, with the addition of The Garage at Clinton Row, we have helped create the synergy needed to allow retail to succeed in downtown Huntsville.”  -Wesley Crunkleton

Who Is Behind The Project?

Clinton Row Partners, LLC is led by Wesley Crunkleton along with two local business men, Mark Harbarger and Graham Burgess, all three of whom have a passion for the Downtown Huntsville area, and helping to empower creative ways to encourage downtown’s continued growth and development.

The City of Huntsville’s partnership on this development was also absolutely integral to bringing such a creative idea to reality. We also have to thank Chad Emerson and the entire DHI team for their assistance in helping bring this project to fruition.

Where Can I Get More Information On Leasing Space In The Development For My Local/Regional Business?

While we are already in negotiations with several local and regional retailers, there are still a few spots open in the development. Potential tenants are welcome to visit the development’s website: www.shopclintonrow.com to get more information and to fill out a tenant application.  Or you can give us a call at 256-536-8809 and speak with our lead leasing agent for the development:  Anusha Alapati.

So Huntsville, what regional and local retailers would you love to see join The Garage at Clinton Row in Downtown Huntsville!? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll do our best to get in contact with them!

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KADIE PANGBURN
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON & ASSOCIATES
KADIE@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM

Huntsville Speaks: Regional Boutiques

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Earlier this year we started a new feature on our blog called “Huntsville Speaks,” and we’re back again for more community feedback!

We believe our city should be shaped by the people who live in it, that’s why we want to hear what you have to say.  You speak, we listen, and then we go out and try to make it happen!

Right now we are working on an exciting new project which will feature small local and regional boutiques from all around the southeast and we want to know:

“What local and regional boutiques would YOU love to see come to Huntsville!?”

Do you have that one small local shop that you’ll drive 100 miles to visit because it’s just THAT GOOD!? We want to hear about it!

And just to get the ball rolling we’ll share a couple of our favorites to start, then it’s your turn! Leave us a comment and let us hear which regional boutiques YOU want to see come to Huntsville!

Jondie
Franklin, TN

Hanover Blue & Alice Blue
Chattanooga, TN

Behind The Glass
Auburn, AL

Hey Rooster – General Store
Nashville, TN

Now it’s your turn! What regional boutiques do you want to see come to Huntsville!?

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404220_10150473102152791_1516819070_nKadie_Sig
KADIE PANGBURN
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON & ASSOCIATES
KADIE@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM