Get to know Dream Pops' R&D Manager, Jorge!
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Volume 49- January 30th, 2022                                                                                                                      View in Your Browser


Happy Sunday from sunny LA. For all my East Coast readers, I hope you’re staying warm with a good book and a toasty hot chocolate (or a cocktail if that’s more your speed). And speaking of a good book, does anyone have any recommendations? If you've read something recently that you couldn’t put down, reply to this email and let me know. 
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Today's Special Guest

We’ve covered content creation and partnerships with Dream Pops employee, Josh Sawyer. We even got a peek behind the business side of things with Dream Pops’ Finance & Operations Lead, Natalie Quarberg. But you’re probably asking––who’s helping bring the product to life?  

It’s your lucky day. I’d love to introduce all my readers to Jorge Espana, Dream Pops’ Manager of Production and R&D/Culinary Innovation. 

Here’s an excerpt from our recent interview. 

How did you hear about Dream Pops? What led you to join the team? 

Funny enough, when I worked for Sunlife Organics (almost 3 years ago now,) my prep kitchen was across from the very first Dream Pops kitchen. After two successful consulting gigs focused on how to get their production flow up to speed, I found myself making pops and bites with Dream Pops full-time!  

What's your job title/brief explanation of what you do on a daily basis?

Currently, I'm in charge of the culinary R&D. It is super fun to work with new ingredients and come up with new flavors and products, always pushing the envelope a bit. In a startup, you have to wear different hats depending on the situation you’re in… so every day is a bit different.  I could be testing ingredients or prepping sample boxes for potential buyers, and the next thing you know, we’re visiting stores to check if our product is on the shelf, check out the merchandising, etc. 

What was the highlight of your experience with Dream Pops in 2021?

The consolidation of our team. People may think we are a big corporation but in reality, we’re a super slim team. I think that’s part of the secret in regards to our success. 

What are you most excited about in 2022? 

I’m most excited about launching new flavors. Plus, the jump and disruption we’ll have with our new shelf-stable products.  

What's the R&D process like? How long does it take to get an idea to a final product? 

The easy part is coming up with ideas––I have tons of them, but only about 1% end up being viable. The hard part is driving that idea all the way to the finish line (product on shelves). And then to complicate things, in between, you have to be 100% sure that everything you create follows strict standards (ingredients, certifications, manufacturing processes, labels, nutritional panels, distribution, etc). The R&D process can take anywhere from a few days (with tons of luck) to literal years. 

Outside of Dream Pops, what are some of your fav food/bev brands that are doing unique R&D work or have super innovative products? 

I’m not sure of their R&D process but some brands that have caught my attention lately are on the beverage side. I’m very intrigued by the new substitutes for alcohol using adaptogens and nootropics like HOP WTR


The Ice Cream Sundays team has launched its very own website where you can read all our newsletter sends in one place. Take a look here!



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Thanks for reading this week. As always, reach out with any feedback, questions, or themes you’d like me to tackle in an upcoming ICS newsletter. And, happy last weekend of Dry January. Cheers to making it through the month. 

- DG

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