Watch for Coffee Pops for sale at events around Salt Lake City.

Coffee Pops: A Life-Long Love Affair

A life-long love affair with cold brew coffee started for Darby Bailey McDonough when she moved to Los Angeles to work in the film and music industries in her early twenties. Fast forward to her working with three of her brothers’ successful coffee businesses in Salt Lake City and she continued to choose cold brew as her go-to coffee drink.

When McDonough started studying business at the University of Utah, where she is pursuing a graduate certificate in information systems, she saw a need in the market for single-serving cold brew coffee products.

That’s when the idea of Coffee Pops was born.

“I love coffee and have ever since I ate my first Nibs candy from my Grandma when I was a kid,” McDonough said. “I wanted to create a business that utilizes my family’s love of coffee since there are so many of us in the coffee industry. I also want to create a company that promotes happiness, fun and a little youthful irreverence because of my rock music background. I have a goal down the road to help other women start businesses of their own through a for-profit social entrepreneurship model. But the first goal is to get Coffee Pops off the ground.”

After researching the coffee market, McDonough couldn’t find a dessert line dedicated solely to coffee. Nor could she find a retailer that specialized in cold brew coffee beans and equipment.  With the help of John Faulkner, an industry veteran in the confectionary industry, Coffee Pops has created a line of gourmet coffee popsicles that are built around classic coffee shop drinks.

Darby Bailey McDonough, founder of Coffee Pops.

Darby Bailey McDonough, founder of Coffee Pops.

Having both lived in California, and having met at a Songwriter’s Open Mic in 2013 that McDonough organized, Faulkner and McDonough’s mutual love of music, summertime beach culture, coffee and desserts make them a natural fit to work together.

They have similar views on the benefits of cold brew coffee as well. “Hot coffee is just not as good as cold brew,” Faulkner said. And McDonough added, “Cold brew has less acid, a smoother flavor profile and maintains beneficial enzymes that hot coffee doesn’t retain. It’s a healthier choice than hot brew methods. Put all that in popsicle form and it’s the best of cold brew.”

Along with popsicles, Coffee Pops offers hand-roasted coffee bean subscriptions that have been roasted and chosen for optimal cold brew coffee. They are also in development of cold brew equipment kits and bite-sized popsicle nuggets that can be used in coffee based cocktail recipes.

As part of the summer 2017 Rush to Revenue Program at Lassonde Institute at the University of Utah, Coffee Pops has begun serving coffee popsicles at London Market in Salt Lake City and on select dates and locations through their popsicle cart. A Kickstarter campaign, online store and more retail locations are in development.

“Short-range goals include in-store distribution to select retail stores in the Salt Lake City area, an online store with a coffee bean subscriber base that will sustain us through our next phase of growth, and healthy pop-up cart and catering sales channels,” McDonough said. “Last but not least, we want to create a strong brand that includes working with outside artists to collaborate on our merchandise and advertising.”

Coffee Pops received a grant from the Lassonde Institute’s Get Seeded program at the University of Utah in the Spring of 2017 for prototyping their cold brew methods.

Learn more about Coffee Pops at Or connect with them on social media at:

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