What You Need To Know:

As the temperature heats up, Alicia Thomas is hard at work keeping her customers cool. Through her Atlanta-based mobile company, Lush Pops, Thomas offers a unique twist on frozen treats.

The idea behind Lush Pops began on a hot summer day in 2015, when Thomas and her friends attended a local festival. To cool off, the group stopped at a popsicle shop. While eating a frozen treat, the 32-year-old Jacksonville, Florida native had an epiphany, thinking how delicious the popsicle would be with a splash of alcohol. As the unofficial mixologist at her friends’ and family’s gatherings, she shared the idea with her circle. It was a hit, but it wasn’t until January 2019, when Thomas was laid off from her government-funded job, that she decided to take the plunge.

Lush Pops made its official debut at the Atlanta Caribbean Festival on Memorial Day 2019 and took off from there. Thomas was a staple on the Atlanta festival scene, serving up popsicles infused with fresh juices, refreshing fruits and premium wines and liquors to adult attendees. Then the pandemic shut down all gatherings in the city. Despite the setback, Thomas pushed through. She continued making treats in a community kitchen and delivered cold popsicles in batches to customers in need of the spirited concoctions that she calls “a refreshing cocktail on a stick.”

As a certified woman-owned business, Thomas says her goals include opening the doors of a brick-and-mortar shop, investing in a food truck to get back on the festival grind and shipping treats nationwide. She would also like to pay it forward by helping other aspiring entrepreneurs launch their dreams.

What advice does she give to other business owners? “Don’t give up,” Thomas told What You Need to Know. “Owning a business is not easy, but you have to have the commitment to move forward. All no’s are not forever, so don’t give up.”

Alicia Thomas is a graduate of the University of Alabama-Birmingham. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and the Urban League Young Professionals. For more information about Lush Pops, go to lushpopsatl.com.