Maui Tropsicles has been coming to Wailuku First Friday lately, but their cart’s usual hot spot is in Lahaina on the corner of Wainee and Lahainaluna. Owners and partners Jessica Stackpoole and Alexa Caskey thought this would be the perfect spot to launch their bespoke frozen treat business.
“As many Maui residents and visitors know, Lahaina is hot pretty much year-round,” says Caskey. “With the plethora of shave ice and gelato scattered across town, we thought to create a twist on the frozen treat. We want to supply a unique, health conscious and sustainable option for those seeking solace from the heat. Popsicles require no plastic bowl or spoon; ours has just a biodegradable stick made of pine and a corn-based plastic bag that decomposes in two weeks.”
Maui Tropsicles designed their treat to have a small carbon footprint. That philosophy extends to all facets of what they do.
“Our popsicles are made from whole fruit and use small amounts of Hawaii honey and/or organic cane sugar,” Caskey says. “Most of our menu is completely dairy- and gluten-free, with absolutely nothing artificial. We pride ourselves on being local, wild and organic.”
And by wild they mean they harvest in the jungle.
“The term ‘wild’ pertains to the fact that we actually go out into the jungle and forage many of the amazing fruits that give us the best inspirations for new flavors,” she says. “There are so many wild guava, lilikoi, starfruit and more just waiting to be blended into delicious Tropsicles! Wild also describes the nature of our flavors, as we go boldly into territories no popsicle has ever been before! Some of our favorite unique flavors are Molokai Purple Sweet Potato Pie, Guava Rosewater and Avocado Creme. And of course, many of us are learning that buying organic is not only the standard we should be setting for just about everything we consume, but also a way to appreciate what nature produces all by itself, with little need to be modified or enhanced by unnatural ingredients.”
The girls worked in the food industry for a few years before branching out on their own.
“Jessica and I have both been in the food industry in one way or another for years,” says Caskey. “I’ve worked in many health food cafes and Jessica has worked in both the food prep and customer service aspects of the food and beverage industry. We are also both artists and entrepreneurs in our own right. I’m a fine art painter and Jessica is a musician. We both share a love for culinary arts and health, and have been playing in the kitchen since we became friends in 2012. In an effort to combine our passions for sustainability, health and culinary arts, we got together and decided to introduce the world to Maui Tropsicles.”
Their gourmet popsicles are sold from an impressive and artfully painted bicycle powered cart. This cart makes it to Friday Town parties, fundraisers, community events, festivals, sporting events, private parties and anywhere a sweet handmade frozen treat is appreciated.
“At Maui Tropsicles, we make everything from scratch with the utmost intention to honor the bounty of Maui and all her tropical flavors,” says Caskey. “We believe in local first, and extending our resources outward only as necessary. With such an abundance of delicious fruits in close proximity, it seems only natural to take advantage of what’s in our backyard! And as we like to say, ‘most of our ingredients are so local, they’ve never even ridden in a car.’ Instead they get a ride in just our cute little tricycle powered by our legs. Our signature flavor, Lahaina Local Harvest, demonstrates best how tasty local can be, with banana, mango, papaya, pineapple and a touch of Hawaiian honey.”
Although nature designates their flavors, the menu includes Mango chili mint, Pineapple lilikoi, Strawberry guava and creme, Watermelon guava, Avocado creme, Strawberry mango colada, Strawberry goat cheese (using cheese from Surfing Goat Dairy) and their surprising chocolate chip cookie dough which is vegan, and gluten free.
“Our tricycle has a permanent location in Lahaina that is open every day from 11am-4pm, except Tuesdays,” says Caskey. “We are located on the corner of Wainee and Lahainaluna, at 193 Lahainaluna, across from Radio Shack. You can’t miss our colorful cart with umbrellas and a blue picnic table! Our menu rotates between over 30 flavors, from which we choose different combinations of six or seven each day. We post the daily menu on our Facebook and Instagram so our loyal followers can get ready for which flavor they’re going to enjoy that day. Many of our customers come specifically for a certain new flavor or a favorite that they must have again.”
193 Lahainaluna Rd.
All photos by Sean Hower