Outside the Austin City Limits Music Festival grounds in the pouring rain, Daniel Goetz was determined to sell at least four popsicles. Goetz only had a tent and a few packages of popsicles when he launched his company, GoodPop, at ACL in 2009. He said he had no money and scrambled to keep the pops frozen. Three years later, Goetz and his GoodPop team would finally enter the gates of ACL, selling as official festival food vendors.
“ACL has a really special place in our hearts and in the history of the company,” Goetz said.
Goetz, a UT advertising alumnus, did not know what he wanted to do after graduation. During his junior and senior years, he traveled to Mexico and discovered Mexican-style paletas naturales, or Mexico’s version of frozen fruit bars. When he returned to Austin, he decided to make a version of his own.
“[In Mexico], these popsicle carts are part of the culture,” Goetz said. “I never thought I would go into the pops business, but, being in the advertising program, I thought making pops would be something fun to create a brand around.”
Goetz liked the natural food scene in Austin and thought it would be an ideal location to start his business.
“Austin made perfect sense [to sell pops] because the natural food scene is so great,” Goetz said. “Whole Foods is here, and the local business scene is awesome. I was also looking for an excuse to stay in Austin.”
For the past two years, GoodPop has partnered with different brands. The company has free pops and ACL ticket giveaways. Goetz said it is his way of giving back to the Austin community.
Taylor Scheps, the operations manger at GoodPop, has known Goetz since high school and has been part of GoodPop’s ACL booth for the past two years. After Scheps’s first experiment making champagne-flavored pops, Goetz offered him a job as a production manager. One of Scheps’s biggest jobs is helping to oversee the numerous GoodPop packages that are sent to ACL.
“We are a small company, but, when it comes to Austin, we go all out because it’s our home base,” Scheps said. “We want to keep our people happy.”
Goetz said the most exciting thing about the festival is seeing celebrities that buy GoodPops. Adrian Grenier from HBO’s “Entourage” raved about GoodPops, and one of the company’s biggest fans is indie rock band Two Door Cinema Club.
“[Two Door Cinema Club] was going crazy eating pops,” Goetz said. “We got good feedback from them, and it’s great because they were getting a taste of a local Austin product.”
As GoodPop continues to grow at ACL, Goetz hopes the company will remain part of the Austin culture.
“At this point, it’s fun people are getting excited about ACL and that GoodPop is becoming part of the experience,” Goetz said. “Some people are associating the festival with having pops. It’s one of the most rewarding things because that was one of the goals from the start. We wanted to make it part of the Austin experience.”