Openings and Closings

Get a Kickstart: Foodies Find Funding to Start All-Natural Microwave Popcorn Biz With Online Funding Platform

When Coulter and Kristy Lewis decided to start their own business making a new kind of microwave popcorn, they had no idea it would take just a few weeks to raise enough money to get their idea off the ground. Turns out, all they needed was a kickstart. 

With business plan and product samples in hand, the couple found that jump they needed: approval by the online funding platform Kickstarter. 

Luckily, Kickstarter gave them more than a start. When their product, Quinn Popcorn, first appeared on the site July 8, it needed $10,000 in contributions to grant the Lewises that start-up money. In less than one month, Quinn now has almost 500 backers and more than $19,000 pledged

In other words, the Lewises' dream of making an organic, non-GMO, microwaveable snack food has became reality. 

To learn more about Quinn popcorn and how Kickstarter can help you start your own business, keep reading...

Quinn Popcorn's visionaries aren't the only foodie entrepreneurs to use Kickstarter to build their business. Another food start-up in San Diego, the Mustard, made more than 300 percent of its Kickstarter goal, earning $16,000. The biggest success story by far: Coffee Joulies, which earned more than $300,000 and nearly 5,000 backers. 

So, how did the Lewises get started? The self-described foodies just loved popcorn. The problem was they never find anything without added chemicals and hydrogenated oils. They tried everything to make their favorite American snack food healthy, including popping it the old-fashioned way: on the stovetop. 

But something always went wrong. The oil would burn the kernels. Or worse, everything would come out soggy.

"After five years of waiting for the perfect product to come along, we just decided to do it ourselves," said Kristy, who expects to distribute Quinn Popcorn to Amazon and at the couple's local Massachusetts Whole Foods as soon as September.

​Unlike conventional microwave popcorn that comes in a plastic or Teflon bag and is drenched with butter, butter, and more artificial butter flavoring, Quinn Popcorn is popped in a recycled, compostable paper bag and comes with separate natural spice and expeller-pressed oil packets. To give their microwave popcorn an artisanal twist, the Lewises have created three flavors that deliver that extra -- well, pop. 

The best part: You do it yourself to give your bag just the right amount of sugar or spice. Choose from three all-natural flavors combinations: parmesan and rosemary, Vermont maple and sea salt, and lemon and sea salt. 

"It's a fun, healthy, natural way to make popcorn -- and it tastes amazing," said Lewis.

Sounds delicious! No need to kick us into action. We're already salivating...

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Nicole Danna is a Palm Beach County-based reporter who began covering the South Florida food scene for New Times in 2011. She also loves drinking beer and writing about the area's growing craft beer community.
Contact: Nicole Danna