Joe Birkhead and his family are the local franchise owners of Frios Gourmet Pops.

A local family found a delicious answer to being able to work together after retiring from the military.

Joe Birkhead and his wife were married for 20 years when they retired from the military after serving together for 16 years. They decided to put down roots in a local community and wanted to find a way to work together to do that. Enter Frios Gourmet Pops.

“Deployments proved to be difficult, leaving us to uproot our family to the next city followed by the next city,” said Joe. “When we retired, we wanted to transition into a career that wouldn’t consume our lives, taking away important time from our children. In the past, we had missed big moments due to moving and deployment. I don’t want to miss another birthday, another first day of school and other pivotal moments in their lives. But it’s not only the big moments, we wanted to be there for the little ones too. The brand was one of the few to embody a core value of family—not only saying it, but showing it.”

Frios, which started in a garage in Gadsden, Alabama, has grown over the last four years to include more than 40 franchises around the county. Using only the freshest ingredients with creamy, fruity, no-sugar-added, gluten-free, dye-free and vegan flavors, there is a pop for everyone.

“At first, we thought the brand seemed to be too simple of a concept,” said Joe. “Could a mobile Popsicle brand really be the answer? We were pleasantly surprised by the answer.”

Frios Gourmet Pops works for the Birkheads for many reasons, but there was one driving factor: it has allowed them work together as a family.

Owning their own franchise has been an enjoyable experience for the whole Birkhead family.

“We get to spend more time with our kids and see them flourish,” Joe said. “Frios has uniquely brought out professional skills in our children at a young age. It’s incredible to see them hone their interpersonal skills, whether they are explaining a product or completing a transaction. I feel confident that with the help of Frios, our kids will have no problem making a name for themselves.”

To learn more about Frios Gourmet Pops and invite it to your next events, follow its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/friosapollobeach.

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Libby is a writer for The Osprey Observer/The Christian Voice. She started as an intern in 2009 and upon finishing her internship, she was asked to stay on as a permanent writer for both papers. Libby lives in Brandon with her two rescue dogs, Olive and Bogey.