How a Natural Disaster Half a World Away

Kick-Started a Columbus Handcrafted Ice Pop Business


Steven White didn’t dream of being in the ice pops business. Nine years ago, the Columbus native and Ohio State graduate was in Atlanta, working in the television production field, when he started experimenting with frozen treats. It started out as a fun hobby, combining fresh fruits and herbs to produce hand-crafted pops with unique flavor combinations. His friends and co-workers loved the new creations. But it was March 2011’s earthquake and tsunami in Japan that took Steven’s pops to a whole other level.


Steven had spent two years teaching English in Japan and fell in love with the people and the culture. So when the disaster left 28,000 people dead, he was struggling with a way to help the friends and loved ones he left behind. Going floor to floor in his office building, he sold what he now called J-POPS (the brand is inspired by the name for pop music in Japan) to raise money for Red Cross disaster relief. The treats were so well- received, he knew he was on to something.


Fast forward to 2020, there are now more than 50 flavors of pops sold throughout Columbus.  J-POPS was selected as one of the Top 10 Local Products in Columbus for  2016 & 2017.   J-POPS was judged Best Dessert at the 2017 Taste of Bexley  and was voted Best Sweet Treat of 2016 at the Best Bites event. J-POPS was also spotlighted in  Ohio Magazine's "Best of Ohio 2015" issue and also featured in Martha Stewart Weddings, The Columbus Dispatch, Columbus Monthly, CRAVE , 614 , Columbus Alive, Columbus Underground, Stock & Barrell, QFM96, Sunny 95 and seen on  Good Day Columbus, WSYX ABC 6 news and NBC4 Today. 


J-POPS are…

  • all-natural, no additives, no preservatives, gluten free, no coloring ice pops. The average pop has only 4 ingredients

  • made with whole fruits and other natural ingredients, including local produce whenever possible