Joy Stick

By Spike Gillespie 
Photography by Randy Allbritton

Katherine Lott emerges from her shiny bubble: the refurbished 1968 Silver Streak known as the Silver Spoon Trailer, where she peddles her famous goat’s milk popsicles. It’s a gray and chilly day, but Lott’s shirt—sky blue dotted with puffy white clouds—along with her warm, sunny smile provide a pleasant contrast to Mother Nature’s meteorological offerings.

The trailer, bejeweled with countless shiny spoons, is parked outside the Yoga Center Spa on the outskirts of Fredericksburg. And though the demand for goat’s milk popsicles on this particular day is pretty slim, given the chill and remote location, Lott remains undeterred—not a hint of worry on her face. The cheerful entrepreneur is the living definition of patience, with a belief system firmly rooted in the idea that things happen when they’re supposed to.

Lott grew up in Lubbock, had two kids when she was very young, and set herself to the task of raising them joyfully—mostly on her own. She also cared for her grandmother and mother when they fell ill. But once the kids were off to college and after her mother and grandmother had passed on, Lott was ready to reinvent herself.

She hit the road to pursue the nomadic lifestyle of living and working on ranches, doing time as a contractor, cook, ranch manager and masseuse. The original plan was to spend two years wandering, but her daughter became engaged and requested Lott’s return to Texas to help with wedding plans.

“I came back, but I knew I didn’t want to stay in Lubbock,” Lott remembers. The newly empty nest and unfulfilled wanderlust made her depressed.

To cheer herself up for the duration of her reluctant Lubbock homecoming, she started making popsicles and giving them away. But these were no ordinary frozen confections. A friend owned a goat dairy and was producing, among other products, ultra-rich triple goat’s cream and shipping it to none other than Wolfgang Puck. Lott was the lucky recipient of the surplus delicacy, and it became her unique, though not totally secret, ingredient.

Experimenting with natural colors and flavors, Lott came up with a full spectrum of pleasantly kooky offerings—carrot-ginger, prickly pear, avocado and “grass” (not really made from grass, but rather greens)—in addition to more traditional fruit and cream flavors. A friend dubbed the concoctions “Whimsicles,” a name that stuck as her hobby began to draw more attention and some serious fans.

“Everyone liked them,” Lott says. “The goat’s milk made them so delicious. And when you eat a popsicle, you’re back to being a child. You can’t worry about the economy— you focus on the popsicle.”

The treats became so popular that friends and family encouraged Lott to take the next step and turn the endeavor into an actual business. She took her time and decided exactly what she did and didn’t want in her business model.

“I didn’t want partners,” she says. “I’d been surviving on my wiles a long time. If I need something, it comes to me. Better not to go too fast—trust the process and let it evolve.”

What she did want was a funky trailer to house her dream. And while driving home one day from working an event outside of Lubbock, she spotted it.

“I took a shortcut between a junkyard and a cattle-feed yard and caught a glimmer,” Lott recalls. “There she was, sitting in a field.”

Lott was able to track down the trailer’s owner and take it off his hands for a cool $1,500. She gutted it—which, she says, broke her heart, but it was the only way she could meet the code requirements to sell concessions—and chose Fredericksburg as her new home.

She was invited to park the Silver Spoon outside the Yoga Center, where her Whimsicles soon caught the eye of Fredericksburg Farmers Market co-president, David Clements. He invited Lott to participate in the markets, and connected her with local growers like Marburger Orchard and Foodie Farms to enhance her popsicles with fresh local peaches, blackberries, strawberries, kale and other greens.

These days, Lott serves up Whimsicles (now made with pasteurized goat’s cream and agave) and a few other savory goodies from the Silver Spoon on Thursdays at the market, and three days a week at the Yoga Center. It’s easiest to catch up with her in Fredericksburg, but Lott takes to the road, too—relishing every opportunity to offer her comfort show to the world.

“What I’m after is joy. I want people to say, ‘That’s the best popsicle…,’ I want them to feel transformed, lose their fear. The quickest way to that, besides reflexology, is a popsicle in summer.”