HipPOPs handcrafted gelato bars, a U.S.-based premium mobile dessert company that serves gelato, sorbet and frozen yogurt on a stick, recently launched its first truck in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in association with The Food Truck Dubai.
It is the first American mobile food service company to sign a deal in the UAE.
“While it was never my intention to have the first HipPOPs franchise deal so far away from our corporate headquarters, I was so impressed with the vision, mission and values of The Food Truck Dubai that I had to move forward with the opportunity.” Anthony Fellows, chief POP officer and founder of HipPOPs, told the Gulf News Journal.
After closing the franchise deal in the UAE last December, HipPOPs assisted in developing The Food Truck Dubai’s 5,000-square-feet micro-creamery in Dubai and oversaw the manufacturing of its first truck, which was created in Miami. The truck was shipped to Dubai in November and made its debut Dec. 3-5 at the Emirates Airline Rugby Sevens.
This was the first of 10 to 20 trucks HipPOPs intends to launch throughout the UAE over the next five years.
HipPOPs, which was named among the "Top 10 retail frozen dessert concepts of 2015" by Dessert Professional magazine in June, follows the Old World tradition of Italian gelaterias with offerings of handcrafted artisan dessert treats, including gelato, sorbet and frozen yogurt.
“The beauty of gelato is that it is made with low-fat/skim milk and just a little cream," Fellows said. "Our gelato is 93 percent fat free, and has no additives or preservatives, and most bars are naturally gluten-free. We are vegan-friendly with dairy-free options as well. All our sorbet bars are loaded with real fruit that is sourced locally whenever possible. I knew that I wanted to bring a really high-quality product that tasted great and could be customized to the customer’s liking, so someone could be as healthy as they wanted with our signature Belgian chocolate dips and toppings.”
HipPOPs has received franchise requests from many countries, such as Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia since its agreement with The Food Truck Dubai. Fellows, however, says that the company is searching for the right franchise partners in the region to collaborate with — groups that are similar to its UAE franchise partner.
“I feel confident about our brand and the GCC region," he said. "I have witnessed many frozen dessert concepts in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and they all seem to have been received well."