JonnyPops Will Move its Growing Operation to Elk River

JonnyPops Will Move its Growing Operation to Elk River

The frozen treats brand started by St. Olaf College students has outgrown its St. Louis Park production center.

Jonny Pops, the frozen treats brand started in St. Olaf college dorm room 10 years ago, is moving to an 80,000-square-foot production facility in Elk River after maxing out on space in St. Louis Park.

“When we realized our existing location could not support expansion, our first priority was to stay in Minnesota. It is our home, it’s where our talented team is based, and we feel a tremendous sense of gratitude to our Minnesota fans who helped us get our start and who continue to support our brand,” said CEO Erik Brust, who co-founded the company in 2012 with Connor Wray, now CFO. The two sold their first frozen pops at Twin Cities farmers’ markets and cafes. They’re now sold through more than 15,000 retailers nationwide. The founders were featured on Forbes 30 under 30 list in 2018. (Brust shared his founder’s story on By All Means podcast in 2020.)

JonnyPops purchased a former food manufacturing facility at 13512 Business Center Drive N.W. in Elk River, which is about 30 miles northwest of Minneapolis.  The privately held company paid $6.5 million for the building, according to public records. Renovations begin this month. Brust said the new plant will “dramatically expand mixing, freezing, packaging, and storage capacity for all JonnyPops product lines.” He expects production to be up and running in Elk River later this year.

From its fruit bars to more decadent treats like Chocolate-Dipped Cherries and Milk Chocolate Dip, JonnyPops prides itself on using simple ingredients and nothing artificial. JonnyPops will remain peanut-free at its new facility, and continue offering organic, non-GM and dairy free alternatives. “Coming from a family with a peanut allergy,” Brust said, “we’ve always been committed to providing delicious frozen snacks with wholesome ingredients that people can feel great about eating.”

JonnyPops employs 80 and expects to hire this year.

Listen: Brust shares the JonnyPop’s founding story on By All Means podcast.