When you finally sit down to watch a movie at the end of a long day, do you ever get frustrated because pieces of popcorn become stuck in your teeth?
Popcorn is a delicious snack, but it sure makes it difficult to enjoy it. A lot of antioxidants and fiber can be found in it. And because it’s so filling and reasonably priced, it’s a popular choice among those trying to watch their calorie intake.
The folks who started Pipcorn were just like you before they discovered heirloom popcorn kernels that had all the crunch with none of the ouches.
Where Did Pipcorn Come From?
The history of Pipcorn unfolded very unintentionally, like the origins of many great concepts. In 2012, Jeff and Jen, brother and sister, were helping Jen settle into her new digs. Fortunately, Teresa, Jeff’s wife, was there to lend a hand.
They had spent the day carrying heavy suitcases, boxes, and furniture, and by the time it was evening they were hungry and fatigued. A common mistake made by movers is forgetting to pack food.
Jen uncovered a couple of bags of heirloom popcorn that she had purchased from her employment at a health shop at the back of a cabinet. They microwaved them, and out came the most delicious popcorn anyone had ever tasted.
Crispy, delicious, and largely free of bits that might get lodged in your teeth.I mean, how the heck did this happen?! It all came down to the variety of maize kernels utilized.
In contrast to the maize kernels often used in ordinary popcorn, those used in heirloom popcorn have never been genetically engineered. Despite being somewhat diminutive than regular corn, it tasted just like the actual thing.
Having a smaller footprint meant there was less room for slack hulls. The three friends ultimately set out on a mission to rediscover their favorite traditional childhood snacks with an eye toward creating healthier, more environmentally friendly versions of those treats.
Then Came Shark Tank
There were Oprah’s Favorite Things before there was Shark Tank. Moreover, the Smorgasburg Brooklyn Farmers Market existed long before Oprah did. Their business adventure began when they located the farmer who had supplied the kernels for the first bag of traveling popcorn.
After researching heritage varieties of corn, they made Pipcorn in their mother’s old spaghetti cooker.
The first Pipcorn batches were sold to the lucky people of Brooklyn, New York, in hand-stamped brown paper bags with a whole lot of ambition. One day while they were working their table, someone from Oprah’s Favorite Things crew came by.
In case you haven’t seen it, that particular segment of Oprah’s show is a pretty big deal. Oprah chooses a group of her favorite things, foods, and clothing items each year and shares them with her audience.
If your business is featured on the show, expect a significant increase in revenue. A total of four times Pipcorn was chosen. And there was an unprecedented surge in their fan base.
Because of this, they were able to distribute their products to all of the Whole Foods stores in the United States.
That’s where the show Shark Tank comes in. Popcorn had reached a tipping point where it needed additional manpower to continue growing.
After being contacted by one of the show’s producers, they made an appearance on the sixth season in 2014.
They proposed a deal with the sharks that would give them $200,000 in exchange for 10% of the company, and Barbara Corcoran accepted. According to Jeff’s interview with Food Business News, “we went in wanting to work with Barbara and got a deal, and it’s been a great relationship since.”
What is Pipcorn’s Net Worth Today?
Pipcorn’s sales went from $200,000 to $1,150,000 in a matter of months after their participation in Shark Tank, thanks in large part to Barbara. Pipcorn has a current estimated net worth of $1.4 million.
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A remarkable rise from the humble beginnings of a business run out of their kitchen. Packaging manufacturing is now outsourced to partners on both the West and East coasts of the United States.
The founders were then free to concentrate on developing the company from within. Over forty positions were added, allowing Pipcorn to recruit innovative thinkers who will contribute to the company’s further growth.
These days, the company sells much more than just popcorn. Last year, they launched an online shop, where customers could buy snacks like cheese puffs, flavored popcorn, and corn chips that went with any dip.
If you’d rather shop in a store, you can find this nutritious snack in more than a hundred different Safeways, Wegmans, and Whole Foods. Though they now sell in Canada as well, global dominance is still far off.
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