Kapi‘olani Community College alumnus Justin Udom is the creator and owner of Pop Culture Artisan Pops. Pop Culture Artisan Pops’ goal is to redefine the traditional ice pop, bring food innovation to Hawai‘i, all while supporting local farms and businesses.
A graduate of Kapi‘olani CC’s culinary program, Justin drew on several jobs and experiences in creating Pop Culture Artisan Pops. Read on to learn more about his entrepreneurial journey, what he loves most about his work and how UH prepared him for his career.
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur? Was entrepreneurship always something you were interested in?
I’ve had several different jobs in different industries though out my life. I want to bring all those experiences and put them together to build something that I could be proud of. Food is a way I can express myself, creating new memories and experiences for others. I didn’t always know I was interested in entrepreneurship but my parents were small business owners, so I believe that seeing them do it first-hand really helped when I decided to make the leap.
What’s something about your work that really excites you?
Building something from the ground up, meeting and working with amazing people, and the joy that the pops bring to people’s (especially kid’s) faces. At Pop Culture Artisan Pops our goal is the redefine the traditional ice pop, bring food innovation to Hawai‘i, all while supporting local farms and businesses.
What’s one of the most challenging aspects of your work?
Having to juggling all the different duties and responsibilities at the same time.
How did UH prepare you for your career?
The Kapi‘olani Community College culinary program was a great launching point into the culinary scene in Hawai‘i. It showed me the work ethic that would be required if I really wanted to make it in the industry.
What’s your fondest UH memory?
Going to class literally before the sun is up and not ending till after nightfall while working with amazing classmates.
What is your favorite item on the Pop Culture menu and why?
All the items on the Pop Culture Artisan Pops menu are my favorite! Honestly it would depend on my mood, the weather, and my location. It would be impossible to pick just one because they all have taken weeks if not months of work.
Meet Justin at the UH Alumni Makers’ Market on August 10!
Don’t miss our inaugural UH Alumni Makers’ Market event featuring UH alumni chefs, purveyors, and entrepreneurs. Try a Pop Culture Artisan Pops as well as a wide variety of other food items, drinks and products!
To learn more, visit https://uhalumni.org/events/makers-market-2022