Ashley Adamczyk of Beach Town Pops: “Most people create a product and then try to sell it”

Most people create a product and then try to sell it. You should sell it and then create the product. As a part of our series called “5 Things You Need To Create a Successful Food Line or Specialty Food”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Ashley Adamczyk who is a self-made businesswoman. She seized an […]

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Most people create a product and then try to sell it. You should sell it and then create the product.

As a part of our series called “5 Things You Need To Create a Successful Food Line or Specialty Food”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Ashley Adamczyk who is a self-made businesswoman.

She seized an opportunity in a niche market, (Popsicles! Ice cream! Who knew?!) and reinvented her business, Beach Town Pops ( during the pandemic with a little help from Google Analytics.

There is a science to reinventing your business, and Ashley has been in the laboratory.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a bit about your “childhood backstory”?

My entrepreneur journey starts in the South Side of Chicago where I grew up. I always knew I wanted to be my own boss, but I didn’t know what that meant. I just imagined myself wearing a 1980’s women’s power suit with briefcase… Pointing at things… And telling others what to do.

I jumped on opportunities to make sales and win contests.

I won my schools walk-a-thon numerous times.

When I got opportunities to sell magazine subscriptions door to door I would pound on every door in the neighborhood.

This was obviously from the encouragement of my parents.

My mom encouraged me by saying, “Just knock on as many doors as you can. It’s a numbers game.”

I moved to Los Angeles 10 years ago and carry that advice with me to this day.

Can you share with us the story of the “ah ha” moment that led to the creation of the food brand you are leading?

One of my first jobs out of school was working in the entertainment industry on the TV show, “Survivor.”

I was working as crew and living on a remote island. One day, I went to the grocery store to get popsicles and they didn’t have any, so I decided to make my own out of little ice cube trays.

It was a lot of fun! I started experimenting with flavors and when I went home I made them for my family.

My sister suggested I start my own business.

“Yes, I want to own my own business!” I thought to myself.

And at that moment, I realized I identified with myself as being an entrepreneur, but strangely I wasn’t doing anything about it.

Mostly because at that time I wasn’t really passionate about anything.

I was waiting for lightening to strike and suddenly this was my opportunity!

I quickly researched the market and validated the business opportunity.

“Yes, this can work!” I told myself.

I quickly formed my business Beach Town Pops.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I was rolling the popsicle cart into an event in Downtown LA. I was walking it across the plaza when it caught on a crack in the concrete. It fell over taking me down and spilling half of the pops.

If I moved… more pops would fall out onto the dusty ground.

Is this an appropriate time to say it??

“Heeelp?” I questioned loudly, someone meek in tone.

No one was rushing over as I expected.


Finally, a group of businessmen who were walking past came over.

A group of 10 or so they were scrambling to collect popsicles off the ground as quickly as if it were dollar bills laying on the street.

What are the most common mistakes you have seen people make when they start a food line? What can be done to avoid those errors?

Most people create a product and then try to sell it. You should sell it and then create the product.

It’s all about validating your offer and then selling it.

When I decided to expand into ice cream, I didn’t know if I would get any ice cream business.

So I advertised that I make ice cream and the day I got my first order is when I ordered the equipment.

Let’s imagine that someone reading this interview has an idea for a product that they would like to produce. What are the first few steps that you would recommend that they take?

I would do competitor research to see what you are up against. Then I would get super specific on who your audience is by creating a customer avatar.

If your product is for everyone, it’s actually for no one.

Lastly, I would make sure my product fell into a niche industry.

Many people have good ideas all the time. But some people seem to struggle in taking a good idea and translating it into an actual business. How would you encourage someone to overcome this hurdle?

A lot of people have good ideas. There are probably a lot of people with your same idea. By actually doing something about your idea… doing something, doing anything…

Your chances of success are actually really good.

Because you are no longer competing against people with good ideas. You are now competing against people who did something about their ideas, and that pool is much smaller.

There are many invention development consultants. Would you recommend that a person with a new idea hire such a consultant, or should they try to strike out on their own?

I would 100% hire a consultant. I did not and I regret it. I wasted a lot of time and profit trying to figure things out on my own.

What are your thoughts about bootstrapping vs looking for venture capital? What is the best way to decide if you should do either one?

I don’t think it’s either one or the other. You’ll have to front the money yourself in the beginning anyways. No venture capitalist will take you seriously if you haven’t figured out how to front the money by yourself.

Can you share thoughts from your experience about how to file a patent, how to source good raw ingredients, how to source a good manufacturer, and how to find a retailer or distributor?

I started with local ingredients and a local manufacturer. I like working with local family owned businesses so that way if I’m in a jam I have their personal cell number and I know I can call them anytime.

Here is the main question of our discussion. What are your “5 Things You Need To Create a Successful Food Line or Specialty Food” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)

  1. Do competitor research — is great.
  2. Create an avatar
  3. Create your Brand Identity
  4. Sell your business before creating it
  5. Make your customers your biggest fans.

Can you share your ideas about how to create a product that people really love and are ‘crazy about’?

Always use the best highest quality ingredients. Make it an experience and go above and beyond. For example, when we leave the event, we give the host or whoever hired us a custom freezer bag with their name embroidered on it.

Additionally we will surprise our guests by bringing fun popsicle props and a cardboard frame for them to take pictures with.

You are an inspiration to a great many people. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

I would like to create a program for junior high students that would encourage female entrepreneurship.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.

Timothy Ferriss author of “The 4 Hour Work Week.” I read his book and it changed my life. I used his principal such as “sell it then create it” to launch the ice cream part of my business. Tim, if you are reading this, I will gladly ship you some gourmet popsicles at no cost!!

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.

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