I met Shawnee 4 years ago and we became business partners in Shawnee’s Greenthumb Popcorn- delicious vegan, gluten free organic popcorn covered in spirulina, nutritional yeast, cayenne and more! I am passionate about bringing more healthy food into the world and I run farmers markets and a non profit organization called Urban Oasis Project as well, but I want to see this brand become a national staple item as a healthy snack food. Shawnee and I dream of raising enough revenue with this popcorn to be able to fund her sailing school for young women, reconnecting youth with the power of the wind and the importance of nature and beauty.
Shawnee first launched this business in 2010, but we have grown significantly as I have helped over the last three years with business efficiency, marketing and management. Our biggest challenge has been finding investors to give us the capital we need to grow the business- we’re too small for the big guys and too big for the small guys! We have had a long road of learning how to navigate the professional food industry, but have received a lot of support and guidance from many people who love the product and want us to succeed. We are now distributed by a professional company and have the opportunity to get into whole new areas of the country, if we can finance the expansion.
We currently have had to resort to a personal credit card for months at a time as we expand into new markets or get really big orders and wait to get paid for the product. We then pay terrible interest on that debt, and it leaves us very constrained to think creatively about how to best advertise, market and expand. With this little extra cash, we would feel much more at peace as we scale up the business.