Entrepreneurial mother-of-three Deanne Joubert has embarked on a new business venture inspired by a quest to provide healthy treats for her kids.
Disillusioned by the high sugar content and additives in commercially available snacks, Deanne, a qualified school teacher, began experimenting with handcrafted popsicles made from pure fruit juices and pulverised whole fruits several years ago. After getting the green tick of approval from her kids, Millie, 9, Ollie, 6 and James, 4, she has launched her own range of healthy, fruity delights at local venues, events and markets under the brand Northern Valleys Fruit Pops.
With an appetising array of flavours including the most popular Straight-up Stawberry, Raspberry Peach, Apricot Coconut and Strawberry Watermelon Kiwi as well as the more unusual Avocado Lime Date Honey and Cucumber Lime Mint, Northern Valleys Fruit Pops have become a hit with kids and parents alike. And the best news is they are 100% guilt free.
Originating from the Mexican ‘paleta’ which literally means blended fruit on a stick, the fruit popsicle frenzy has already hit the states where makers take an artisanal approach, playing with inventive combinations of flavours. Deanne hopes the idea will take off here too. “I’d love to see school canteens stocking them as a healthy alternative to sugar-laden commercially produced ice-creams and treats,” she says.
It’s actually no real surprise that Deanne, the daughter of Maureen and Barry Dobra, has unearthed an innovative product based on fresh produce – it was her and sister Simone who initially came up wth the idea for the family’s iconic Gingin business, the Loose Leaf Lettuce Company.
“Sim and I set up Loose Leaf Lettuce Company back when we were in our early twenties – Mum and Dad were growing lettuces and we came up with the concept of picking and selling it loose leaf.” The rest is history, and since Deanne and Simone have moved on the Loose Leaf Lettuce Company has grown into a Perth favourite producing up to 4000 kilograms of leaves for harvest each day.
Currently, Deanne hand-makes the popsicles in the commercial kitchen at Loose Leaf Lettuce Company, churning out up to 300 for market days such as the Taste of Chittering and Aggies Cottage pop-up shop in Dandaragan. She uses as much local produce as possible, and makes the most of beautifully tasty but not-pretty-enough-for-supermarkets seconds from Costas berry farm, Berry Sweet Strawberries, Taddei Orchards and Arthur and Dawn Delechantos orchards. She’s also growing her own watermelons and oranges on the family farm and has plans to import a state-of-the-art popsicle freezer to streamline production further down the track.
Northern Valleys Popsicles are available at the Gingin Aquatic Centre, local markets and special events. If you are interested in having Northern Valleys Fruit Pops at your next event please contact Deanne on 9575 2086.