FALL RIVER — Need a pick-me-up? There’s a new shop that just popped up in downtown Fall River that is sure to sweeten your day.
From creatively designed cake pops to custom cookies to loaded pretzels and various chocolate confections, you’re sure to find a few of your favorite things at Pop Culture, which moved into 10 Purchase St., Suite 100, in early March.
For owner Lisa Petrizzi-Geller, greeting her first curious customers at the retail pop-up space, located next door to Thyme Blossom, felt surreal.
“I’m getting a lot of good feedback, people walking in and saying ‘Wow, that is so cute, this is so awesome,'” she said of Pop Culture’s March 10 opening. “It went really well. I was really surprised .”
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While her specialty is cake pops — which she describes as “YUM on a stick” — this dessert stop on the rise is a sweet spot for a number of delectable offerings.
And it all started when Petrizzi-Geller, a Berkley resident, decided to turn a hobby and passion into a business.
“If you asked me 10 years ago if I would be designing cakes and cookies I’d say ‘no, I could barely draw a straight line’… but here I am,” she said.
According to Petrizzi-Geller, her love for cake pops started in 2013 as a positive outlet to help get through some trying times.
The single mother of three had been re-diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012 after being in remission for 10 years, and was undergoing treatments while awaiting her double mastectomy.
“It was a sort of therapy for me,” she said. “It was something for me to do, something to get my focus off just having cancer and treatments and maneuvering all that.”
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Previously a real estate agent, Petrizzi-Geller wasn’t working at the time and started dabbling in cake pop recipes she came across online. After posting her creations on Facebook, she started getting requests from friends and family to make them for their upcoming events .
“From there it started to snowball,” she said, and after surgery that following year in 2014 Petrizzi-Geller decided to dive in.
She began selling her treats at various local vendor and craft shows, and slowly built her business through social media, shows and word of mouth, eventually broadening her horizons by adding custom cakes, cookies and other sweets to her repertoire.
Petrizzi-Geller has run the business out of her home kitchen under Massachusetts’ cottage food laws since 2014, before recently expanding operations into its own retail space.
After searching on and off for years, she came across the Fall River building — 10 Purchase St., Suite 100 — that was all built out and ready to go.
She said the owner of Thyme Blossom had been holding Italian deli-type pop-ups there, before renting out the space to Pop Culture because “it seemed like we were a good fit for each other.”
Petrizzi-Geller signed her lease in mid-February, and held her first pop-up on March 10, from 10 am to 3 pm, which drew a decent crowd of locals, many from the business community. Her regular customers have also followed her to her new Fall River home.
“I was touched by the people that came out and the people that followed me over there… it was really, really nice,” she said.
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So what sort of treats await those looking to satisfy their sweet tooth at Pop Culture?
Cake pops, of course, with an array of uniquely designed vanilla and chocolate pops to pick from. Other delights sprinkled throughout her shop include chocolate-covered Oreos, Double Stuffed Oreo gift sets, jumbo marshmallows dipped in chocolate, chocolate-covered Rice Krispies Treats , Devil Dogs and Twinkies, loaded pretzels coated in chocolate, chopped-up Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, Butter Finger or Snickers bars, edible cookie dough and hot cocoa bombs.
Petrizzi-Geller said her Oreos and cake pops are top sellers, but the biggest hit opening week was chocolate-covered Twinkies.
Spring is here and so are her spring-themed cake pops, so place your Easter order now.
For the time being, Petrizzi-Geller will hold pop-ups at Pop Culture two or three days a week, likely Thursdays and Fridays, before hopefully setting regular hours. Customers can also stop in by appointment for pickup orders.
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“I am a one-woman show and I need to be able to get most of my work done and prep for weekend orders at the beginning of the week,” she said.
Having garnered a following over the years at her Berkley home base, Petrizzi-Geller said the bulk of her business comes from custom orders. If you can dream it up, she can make it.
“People really do like that specialty item for their events,” said Petrizzi-Geller, who fields requests for everything from birthday parties to first communions to company gatherings.
She is still in the midst of getting acclimated and shifting operations from her Berkley house to her Fall River shop, so Pop Culture is in a period of adjustment. But Petrizzi-Geller is excited to embark on this new journey.
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“I don’t feel like I’m overwhelmed by opening the shop, it feels like it was meant to be,” she said. “I’ve been calm about it, which is kind of surprising to me. … it just feels right.”
The separation of work life and home life, Petrizzi-Geller said, is definitely an added bonus of Pop Culture’s latest move.
“Little by little my house is not looking like Willy Wonka gone wrong,” she joked.
Petrizzi-Geller said she would eventually like to hire an extra set of hands to help with daily tasks so she can focus more on the creative side. “When you’re doing everything, something gets left behind,” she said.
For now, you can catch her there most days taking and prepping orders, and greeting pop-up customers looking for a sweet ending to their work week.
She is also planning a grand opening for Friday and Saturday, April 1 and 2.
Those interested in dropping by the shop should check her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/lisaspopculture/ to see when the pop-up will be open for the week.
To inquire about special orders, Petrizzi-Geller suggests sending her a message through her website at https://www.popculturecakepops.com/ or Facebook.