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What's Pop'n aims to satisfy Airdrie's sweet tooth

What’s Pop’n pop shop opened on Airdrie’s main street on July 17, offering everything from deluxe, syrupy sodas to popcorn, milkshakes, soft serve ice cream and more.

What’s Pop’n pop shop opened on Airdrie’s main street on July 17, offering everything from deluxe syrupy sodas to popcorn, milkshakes, soft serve ice cream and more.

The cherry on top of the new business’s offerings is that all the sweet treats are available for individuals with specific health complications, such as diabetes, as well as dietary preferences like veganism.

“We just thought there’s so many different people with different health issues. We really wanted to make sure that we could hit everybody,” said shop manager Barb Stanford.

“Everybody deserves to have a [treat].”

The new Airdrie location is a partner shop to a window-front version of the business in Cardston, Alta., owned by Rylan and Dana Schaffer, who are friends of Stanford.

Stanford said the concept was inspired by the Schaffer children’s love for soda shops they developed while travelling in the United States. After visiting the Cardston window and having a chat with an old friend, Stanford and her husband Kent, approached Rylan about partnering up to bring a larger storefront to the city of Airdrie.

What’s Pop’n has a variety of treats to satisfy your sweet tooth, with everything made in house. The trademark soda concoctions listed on the menu have been fan favourites thus far, according to Stanford, and a lot of trial and error went into developing the perfect flavours.

“Dr. Pepper and peach flavouring is so gross,” she laughed.

Not only are there sugar-free syrup options to go along with diet sodas, but the shop also offers dairy-free and vegan ice cream in various flavours to accommodate patrons’ allergies or dietary choices.

Stanford recalled a recent time when a family came into the shop with their daughter, who has diabetes. She said all three individuals were able to order whatever they wanted from the menu, with the peace of mind their daughter could have a sweet treat safely.

The shop owner said that while she has no personal experience with medical dietary restrictions, offering those options in her store has opened her eyes to their prevalence.

“I had no idea how big of an issue it was for some people, she said, “We’re just really glad we jumped on it.”   

Ahead of the official grand opening on July 17, Stanford said she was excited to have more of the community come and check out her business, noting she recognizes the hesitance that comes with trying something new.

However, Stanford said the response to the shop’s opening in Airdrie has been remarkable thus far, especially in regard to the sugar-free and dairy-free options.

“We appreciate how kind and good everybody’s been so far,” she said.