By Dan Donahue, CNN Newsroom Writer
The first thing you notice about Steven Carse is that he's a pretty chilled-out guy. That may have come in handy at his last job, as an analyst for insurance giant AIG, but it's a literal necessity in his new role as the King Of Pops. When the 26-year-old Atlanta resident lost his job with the company that was "too big to fail," he put all his energy into a venture that's the antithesis of everything AIG's known for these days. No boss, no spreadsheets, no talk of derivatives. Carse and his brother bought a rolling cart and decided to sell handmade, gourmet popsicles at a busy corner in Atlanta. Only fresh ingredients from local farmers' markets go into Carse's creations. You won't find his flavors in your grocer's freezer–combinations like chocolate sea-salt, pineapple-habenero, and one of Carse's favorites, grapefruit-mint.
Word-of-mouth is spreading, and Carse has an eye towards expansion. He admits the benefits aren't as good as AIG's–he describes his insurance plan as "try not to get sick." And if anything, Carse is working longer hours than he ever did with the insurance giant. But getting canned was the best thing that could've happened to him. You can tell by the laidback smile on his face, and by the reactions of his customers when they try out-there flavors like strawberry-basil and discover, almost to their surprise, that they love it.