Interview by Lauren Ash
When I was last in New York City, I was able to attend my friend Fola's Open Space rooftop party. While there, I noticed two women selling iced treats! When I got closer, my eyes got bigger as I realized the treats were made from real fruit and were homemade! I'm a sucker for sweets, but am very sensitive to sugar so I was overjoyed at the option. I was so pleased to meet Lena Inglis and Joanne, two sisters with St. Lucian roots and an amazing spin on a popular summer indulgence. I hope that you enjoy learning more about Waterworks Road, and stay tuned for how you may support these entrepreneurial women in their upcoming crowdfunding campaign. Follow them on Instagram (@waterworksroad), like them on Facebook, and say hello on their Twitter (@waterworks_road).
LA: Share more about Waterworks Road.
LI: The Waterworks Road team consists of two sisters bringing together their exotic vibe of the Caribbean with the sophisticated taste of New York to create premium products and experiences. They hope to share the tastes of peanut punch, sorrel, mauby, soursop, ginger-beer, mango, pineapple and other authentically caribbean flavors to the world. Their popsicles are a healthy alternative to the overly sweetened and excessively processed frozen treats that can be found at your local supermarket. Each of their handmade pops are cared for individually and packaged by hand in Brooklyn, NY.
LA: Why popsicles?
Why not?! We chose popsicles because it’s a food that instantly brings me back to my childhood and those sweltering summer afternoons. The nostalgic feeling is like comfort food, but cooler
LA: You seem to be passionate about healthy, mindful eating. How does this play a role in your work with Waterworks Road?
LI: Having a family history of diabetes keeps me aware of my personal sugar intake. Now that I craft frozen treats for a living, keeping the same standard for others is paramount. I do this by including as much fresh ingredients as possible while limiting added sugars. At the moment, being made-to-order is awesome because I have the liberty of not using any preservatives in my popsicles unlike other brands.
LA: What has been one of your favorite memories since creating Waterworks Road and introducing your popsicles to new people?
LI: Earlier this year, Waterworks Road was asked to participate in the YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day event. One of our favorite memories was seeing the YMCA kid’s faces light up when they tasted our all natural Strawberry Lemonade popsicles. The parents were picking up three and four at a time, nearly running out of fingers to grip our popsicles in between. The adults were equally as giddy as their children and you must admit, there are very few treats that can make grown-ups react this way.
LA: How do your St. Lucian backgrounds connect with your passion for, and practice of, making refreshing and healthy treats?
LI: In 2015, I shared my new found hobby with my parents and to my surprise, I learned that in 1977, one of the ways my family (mother, father, older brother and older sister) were able to make enough money to start a new life in America was through their icicle factory in St. Lucia. Waterworks Road derives its name from the street which my parents’ factory was located, in Castries, St. Lucia. Our hope is to keep this tradition going through the next generation of our family.
LA: We’re in the last leg of summer—can you share with us a refreshing Waterworks recipe that we might be able to try at home and share with our friends?
Sure! Our quick and easy mango popsicles. Here's the recipe (makes 8-10 popsicles)
2 fresh mangoes (or 1 lb frozen diced mangos)
1 cup Greek yogurt
1⁄4-1⁄2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup water
Peel mangoes, remove pit, and dice. Add 1 cup of Greek yogurt into the blender. I like to scoop the mango straight into the blender as I go.
Taste a piece of the mango, and add sugar as needed. Some mangos are very sweet and won't need any sugar added, some are a little bitter and will need the full 1/2 cup. Add the lemon juice (to prevent browning) and blend until you have a homogenous puree.
Divide puree among popsicle molds, and freeze until solid, about 6 hours. If you are using cups, freeze for 2 hours, then insert sticks, and freeze until solid, about 4 hours more.
LA: What’s your creative practice like? How do you dream up new recipes?
LI: Many of our flavors are directly from our childhood, the caribbean and craftsmanship. We are constantly searching for ways to pair the flavor palettes of the islands with local organically sourced ingredients. Infusing fresh herbs like mint or basil and fragrant flowers like lavender to create subtle and sometimes unexpected tastes.
What is your vision for Waterworks Road one year from now, five years from now, and beyond?
LI: Next year, we will expand into a pop up location for the entire summer season. When it is successful (speak it into existence), we will expand to more permanent locations such as Miami and Las Vegas. Five years from now, we’d love to see our popsicles on the freezers of Whole Foods, Fairway and many other gourmet grocery stores. Beyond popsicles, we’d love to bottle and share our shandys, ginger-beers and soft drinks with the world.
LA: Do you have any words of wisdom for women who want to start creating, but who are afraid of not “being successful”?
LI: Don’t be afraid of putting yourself out there. You can offer something unique that no one else can, and trust me - someone will need it. Success stories are not one size fits all. Success comes in many forms, and sometimes we need to take steps and fail a little in order to succeed on our highest potential.
Lena Inglis is a freelance multimedia journalist and entrepreneur, who is born, raised and currently living in Brooklyn, NY. She received a BA in Business Journalism from Baruch College. Her love of frozen treats is almost embedded in her DNA as she follows the footsteps of a her family’s tradition of crafting artisanal frozen treats. When she’s not making popsicles, she can be found volunteering at East New York Farms, gaining inspiration through her travels and speaking to at risk youth about living their best life & creating their own opportunities to better themselves and their community.