When The Hyppo first opened in St. Augustine in 2010, Laura and I weren’t far behind. We were staying at a local bed and breakfast in the historic section of St. Augustine and the owners highly recommended the newest shop in town: a popsicle shop. The store was fairly Spartan, with little in the way of decoration (they’ve changed that up a fair bit since then!) It basically forced you to either stare at the wooden floors or the popsicles. We found ourselves enthralled by all the unusual flavors: pineapple cilantro (Laura’s second favorite, right behind the Granny Smith apple pie, which is also my favorite,) the strawberry datil (datil being a local hot pepper,) prickly pear, and Mexican hot chocolate, among many others. The flavors were as odd and enticing as the names, each one egging us on to try another. You’d expect flavored pops or pops with fruit juices in them, but these were done in the Mexican paletas style, with real chunks of fruit, spices, and freshly minced herbs in them. It made eating a popsicle a wondrous thing again! In the two days we visited The Hyppo, I believe we tried four flavors each and only the vanishing weekend could have stopped us. (In later visits, we wound up having them ship entire coolers of them to us to share with our friends!)
Fast forward years later and The Hyppo has expanded to Gainesville and St. Petersburg, has landed in several specialty shops, and even a few grocery stores. The Ybor City/Downtown Tampa location will be opening shortly. Their flavors have likewise expanded to roughly four hundred and fifty, with seasonal rotation based on ingredients. They use no preservatives, no artificial colors, no GMOs. Evaporated cane sugar gives them a natural, sweet flavor that is healthier than many alternatives.
The St. Petersburg location is much like the original, with a large open window allowing in natural light, lots of open floor space, and coolers full of bizarre combinations that pique your curiosity, such as watermelon hibiscus, blueberry lavender lemonade, mango habanero, starfruit, and honey honeydew. I chose a chocolate sea salt popsicle. Sweet and salty go together as beautifully as any other flavor combo I’ve encountered and this pop made good use of it. The chocolate was rich, luxurious, and mildly sweet. They used the salt sparingly, keeping it to more of a hint so it didn’t overwhelm the chocolate. Like every other flavor I’d tried over the last 7 years, it was delicious and left me wanting another!
Laura was feeling a bit more adventurous, and went with a maple mamey. Mamey is a fruit many from Cuba, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Central America will recognize (it can also be found across South Florida.) It has a flavor akin to a sweet potato, and is incredibly healthy and just bursting with nutrients. When matched with the mild maple syrup flavor, it creates a sweet, delectable experience you’d never think to find frozen in a popsicle!
The Hyppo is an ingenious creation, full of vibrancy and exuberance. People enter and look at the coolers with the wonder of children, excitement dancing in their eyes and grins playing across their faces. When you go to visit The Hyppo, go with friends and share in the fun as everyone tries a strange yet mouth watering taste they simply must brag about. And you may want to bring a cooler with some ice packs. It’s hard to leave empty handed.
627 Central Ave
Saint Petersburg, Fl 33701