ugary big-brand soda pop — what can one mix with it to make it more interesting other than alcohol? Bryce Meehan and Stephanie Schofield have banked their business, The Pop
, on an unexpected answer. They’re using add-ins like sports drinks and Monin syrups, somewhat akin to fast-food chain Sonic. We try The Springs ($2.89/24-ounce), a concoction of Mello Yello with strawberry and mango purées. The fruit takes the edge off the soda’s aggressive sweetness, adding some complexity. Sadly, the purée mostly sits at the bottom of the cup, but it’s an improvement all the same. We also try a Pooh Bear Latté ($4.50/16-ounce), with vanilla, cinnamon and honey. We get it blended with ice for a cold mercy on a scorching summer day, noting that it’s not overly sweet, though it’s certainly dairy- and spice-forward. Still, it plays nice with a peanut butter cookie ($1.89). The huge cookies are baked daily and chewy, with enough salt for complexity and a peanut butter flavor that doesn’t overwhelm.