Civil Pops: Fresh Fruit, Fresh Idea

Sunday, Jack London Square.
Gram Gardner was the first to arrive. As one of the co-founders of Civil Labs, he had to set everything up before the interns came. An advertising board was put up, and the fridge was ready for its first customer.
Civil Pops Co-founder: Gram and Isaac (credit: Yiqing)
It’s been a year since Gram and Isaac(Gram’s classmate when they were both taking MBA courses in California College of Art) started the business of selling popsicles and offering high-school students with internship opportunities. The program was called Civil Pops. It has been selling popsicles at Uptown Juice Company, events, and festivals. The Farmer’s Market is the newest selling box for their fruit popsicles.
Sundays at Jack London Square are always time of joy and peace (credit: Yiqing)
Timeline of Civil Labs (credit: Kexin)

In the interview, Isaac tells us about why he chose to start the business of selling fruit pops.

“We think that foods are materials, and we’re designers. It was more about what brings people together no matter what context you are in.”

The beginning of the day’s work is always busy for Gram (credit: Yiqing)
Jabari and Jordan was making popsicles with the devices of the factory (credit: Ashansitha)
Jabari and Jordan had been participated in the program for several days. They are not the first group of interns. East Oakland Youth Development Center, a non-profit organization, assists Civil Labs in recruiting teenagers, giving them practice in real-life business, and developing their life skills. Jabari says that one of the most challenging things during his internship was when the team has to come up with new flavors for their fruit popsicles. They had to come up with new ideas, make samples of popsicles, give them to the customers, and gain feedback from customers.
“It wasn’t just like give a sample out. You have to find the way to present the sample to the customer, and get them interested.” Said Jabari.
During the internship, Jabari and Jordan have access to get involved in all the procedures of selling popsicles, from the production of popsicles to selling them to customers. Most of the popsicles are made by Jabari and his peers by hand. These popsicles they made will be packed in recycled plastic bag, transported to the Farmer Market, and facing the customers.
A Poster for Civil Pops (credit: Yiqing)
The popsicles are all produced with local ingredients, which also helps the local farming business (credit: Yiqing)
In talking about the future prospect for Civil Pops, Civil Labs types in their official website that their goal is to make their business all around the bay area, and to create more business opportunities for teenager interns. While this is the prospect of the company, Gram worries whether maintaining Civil Pops function as an educational resource and a profitable business available. But now, Civil Pops is still in its development, with creative co-founders and enthusiastic high school student interns.
Local residents would like to be in Jack London Farmer’s Market during Sundays, for some music and fresh air (credit: Yiqing)
(credit: Yiqing)
Crew: Video Shooting — Ashansitha, Yiqing, Kexin, Xiaocheng; Photo Shooting — Anshansitha, Yiqing, Kexin, Xiaocheng; Video Editing — Kexin; Photo Editing —Yiqing; Text Editing — Xiaocheng; Multimedia Editing — Yiqing, Kexin; Captions Edting — Xiaocheng; Project offered by Anshansitha.
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