Spotlight on Black Women Owned Businesses in CLT: Popbar
In honor of the first black Batwoman, we shine the bat-signal on black women owned businesses in the Queen City
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A powerful black woman is taking Gotham by storm. But in Charlotte, powerful black women have always been essential in shaping the city. To celebrate the first black Batwoman played by Javicia Leslie Sundays on Charlotte’s CW, we are shining the bat-signal on businesses run by black women in Charlotte.
For those with a sweet tooth and a case of indecisiveness, Popbar in NoDa is the answer. “If you want to put everything on it we’ll figure out how to do it for you,” says Kia Lyons, owner of the popular purple artisanal popsicle shop.
Busy drizzling caramel behind the counter of the colorful, balloon-adorned shop, Lyons was not always in the sweets biz. “I actually did clinical research in ophthalmology for about 10 years,” Lyons says with a laugh. A popsicle shop may not seem like the obvious next career step, but when Lyons moved to Charlotte from Alabama, she wanted to build a legacy for her daughter. “A lot of things I do as a business owner, I do for my daughter.”
Including adapting to keep afloat during the pandemic. Accustomed to catering large corporate events and parties, Lyons had to evolve. The answer came on 2 wheels. “We have ventured out taking our ‘popcycle’ to different neighborhoods.” And more wheels are on the way. A grant from the city will allow Lyons to launch a Popbar food truck in the next few months allowing more people safe and socially distanced access to the frozen goodness.
“I’m really thankful to be in year 4 even though we’re in the middle of a pandemic,” Lyons says. She considers continuing to stay in business her biggest accomplishment and stresses the importance of representation as a black, female entrepreneur. “I consider it a part of my mission as a business owner to set an example. That is one of the reasons why what I do means so much to me – I know that I’m inspiring the next generation to do even bigger and better things.”
And the popsicle pro always has her mind on keeping it cool. “If I could be a superhero I would probably be Storm,” says Lyons. “We have an issue with Global Warming and I think she could probably fix that.”
Pre-order their special Valentine’s Day boxes featuring hot chocolate bombs and chocolate covered strawberries. And look for Popbar’s partnership with other black-owned businesses during Black History month including balloon art and a florist.