Post originally published by Edible Rhody
PVD Pops Arrives on the Mobile Food Scene with Locally Sourced Frozen Treats
“It came to me in a vision,” jokes Val Khislavsky, owner of the new bicycle cart PVD Pudding Pops. It’s Tuesday morning and I’m in an industrial bakery in Providence, watching as Khislavsky, 27, pours a giant tub of pudding mixture into row after row of plastic pop molds. The flavor she’s making this morning is Rhode Island Coffee Milk, an espresso-tinged block of creamy goodness. Like all of her pudding flavors, the main ingredients include Rhody Fresh milk and cream.
“I was visiting family down South, and at 2 am I suddenly sat straight up in bed and went to the computer,” she tells me while continuing to pour the pudding, barely spilling a drop. I am amazed by her precision. “Ideas were pouring out, and I just sat there and typed for hours,” she recalls. “It was like, ‘this is what you must do.’”
A year and many potluck test-runs later, the Brown graduate found a used bicycle cart with an attached frozen cooler that met her needs perfectly. The cart can hold up to 600 pops, usually 150 of each of the week’s various flavors. After that came a license, a logo, the kitchen space and a healthy dose of social media.
In the kitchen, phrases like “the melting action on this rules” and “I can feel when the sticks are too flimsy” pepper our rambling conversation about pudding, bikes, food trucks and Keith Richards. Khislavsky’s bubbly personality infuses each pop with a little laughter and glee.
Along with the Rhody Fresh dairy products, many of her pudding varieties include locally sourced ingredients: the mint in Mint Chip comes from Vella Gardens, the strawberries and blueberries in Berries & Cream fromSchartner Farms, and the coffee in Rhode Island Coffee Milk from New Harvest. Val adds that she is “very open to other collaborations.”
Although the schedule often varies, you can find Val and the cart at her weekly farmer’s market mainstays: the Armory from 4–7 pm Thursdays; Kennedy Plaza from 11 am–2 pm on Fridays; and Hope St. from 9 am–1 pm on Saturdays. She’s also normally at In Downcity’s Movies On The Block on Thursday nights, the WBRU concert series on Friday nights, and various times on Thayer St.
Val posts her locations on her website, Twitter and Facebook. “Nothing would happen without social media,” she admits.
When I ask about how she feels about her 12 to 16 hour, seven day a week workload, she responds with a story about working at the Summer Solstice celebration at Kennedy Plaza. “I saw some regulars, and then I met a few new people at the cart who just hit my funny bone. I was laughing so hard my face hurt, and that was such a good feeling—that somehow this weird little business I’ve created is helping to generate that. It doesn’t fill an identifiable need, I’m not a doctor mending your arm, but I guess I am making you laugh and feeding you pudding.”