Eyeing an expansion, Dos Ositos Paletas of Greenport launches Kickstarter campaign

Greenport’s Dos Ositos Paletas’ refrigerated ice pop cart wants to hit the road.

On Feb. 12, the local, family-run business launched a Kickstarter campaign to purchase a minivan and outfit it with freezers and battery packs, according to the campaign. 

Paletas are Mexican-style ice pops made with fresh fruit. Dos Ositos’ colorful treats are made of “nothing but fruit, organic cane sugar and love,” the Kickstarter post said.

“We were going to parties and were taking our car and having to put the cart in there,” said co-founder Kristian Iglesias, who helped his children — Osa, 18, and Brae, 15 — launch the company in 2020. “It’s not efficient [for] delivering hundreds of popsicles to different clients.”

The minivan would help the owners gain more visibility for the business and expand into other local markets, like IGA grocery stores and areas on the South Fork, according to Mr. Iglesias. 

“We’d put our logo on [the minivan] and make deliveries,” Mr. Iglesias said. “It would allow us to deliver more pops to more wholesale accounts and also do parties at the same time.”

The family estimates that the van would cost anywhere from $6,500 to $8,500. They are also hoping to purchase two freezers for the van at $650 each, a portable power unit to run the freezers, which will cost about $1,400, and solar panels to help power the portable unit.

Another $1,200 would be spent on vinyl car decals. The rest of the money would go to Kickstarter for processing fees, Mr. Iglesias said. 

The campaign, which will be open until March 14, has a goal of $12,500 and has reached more than $11,400 as of Tuesday.

If they surpass their goal, the family plans to outfit the interior of the van with features such as larger freezers, cedar boards and lighting. They would also use the extra money on freezers to store more inventory in the kitchen of their store.

The family is aiming to purchase a small minivan to grow deliveries and parties and increase distribution. (Credit: Kickstarter)

Since its founding, the company has grown exponentially. The business now operates out of a shared kitchen space in Peconic. The family also purchased a commercial ice pop maker with molds, which increased their production capacity to about 120 ice pops an hour.

The name, which means “little bears” in Spanish, comes from the two founder’s names — Osa and Brae. Osa means bear in Spanish and Brae is an anagram for bear. “Hence, two bears in Spanish is Dos Ositos,” Mr. Iglesias told Northforker in 2021. “Brae conceptualized the logo and Osa drew it.”

Mr. Iglesias said they source most of the fruit for their pops locally, through Treiber Farms in Peconic and Share the Harvest Farm in East Hampton, and they’re always on the lookout for “ugly fruit”.

“If they have ugly fruit, which is typically super overripe, which is perfect for pop making, we source that,” he said.

The community’s support has been crucial to the success of the business, Brae said.

“It’s not just us working ourselves,” he said. “We’re also working through them, and we want the community to be involved, we want to bring everyone together.” 

Anyone interested in supporting the family’s efforts can visit their Kickstarter campaign online here.