Lil Pop Gourmet Popcorn wins Fort Worth company competitors
Husband and wife duo Michael and Shalonda Burnside say they opened Lil Pop Gourmet Popcorn to teach their daughters about entrepreneurship.
As a new mom, Shalonda Burnside was struggling to reenter the workforce. Burnside had worked as a Lowe’s project coordinator and House Depot advertising and marketing coordinator just before going into teaching and then possessing two daughters. But she constantly knew she wanted to develop into an entrepreneur.
With the assist of her husband, Michael, who performs in finance in Fort Worth, the Burnsides started to believe outdoors the box and decided to start out a company primarily based on a shared passion.
“We began Lil Pop mainly because of our really like for popcorn as a family members and a wish to teach our two daughters entrepreneurship,” Burnside mentioned. “We knew this would be the best chance for us to apply our experiences from the corporate globe and start out a gourmet popcorn corporation.”
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Husband and wife duo Michael and Shalonda Burnside say they opened Lil Pop Gourmet Popcorn to teach their daughters about entrepreneurship. Shalonda Burnside
Lil Pop Gourmet Popcorn specializes in handmade popcorn with a signature line which includes birthday cake, cinnamon churro and cookies and cream flavors. Consumers can also generate their personal popcorn by picking a base and toppings.
Regional consumers can order on line and get their popcorn inside two days, and the company not too long ago started shipping across the U.S. The Burnsides also sell their treats at pop-ups in the Fort Worth location.
Now, the family members company has won the city of Fort Worth’s annual company strategy competitors. The corporation received a grand prize of $ten,000 to help its company endeavors. This is also the 1st time a Black-owned company has won in the competition’s 12-year history.
Via the competitors, 20 neighborhood compact enterprises completed six weeks of coaching and instruction in company improvement. The best eight finalists pitched their company notion to a panel of judges and reside audience on May possibly 11 and submitted written plans for judge evaluation.
“Being in that atmosphere to share our highs, lows, and dreams with the group was quite motivational and gave us the validation that we have been on the suitable path,” Burnside mentioned. “Winning the competitors has provided us the chance to pour sources into the corporation sooner than we anticipated. We’ve observed an quick raise in interest in our corporation which has resulted in additional sales.”
Lil Pop Gourmet Popcorn specializes in handmade popcorn with a signature line which includes birthday cake, cinnamon churro and cookies and cream flavors. Shalonda Burnside
Shalonda’s part as CEO and founder of the corporation provides her the chance to balance becoming a keep-at-dwelling mom and creating the company. Meanwhile, husband Michael balances his complete-time finance job although serving as the business’ chief economic officer.
“Our plans are to develop the corporation huge adequate for each of us to operate in the company complete time inside the subsequent 5 years,” Burnside mentioned.
Saria Hawkins pitches Manifest Your Objective, a stationary corporation that targets Black ladies. Rachel DeLira Fort Worth Financial Improvement Division
A $six,000 second-location prize went to Manifest Your Objective, a luxury stationery and workplace accessories company run by Saria Hawkins. Developing up, Hawkins saw a lack of representation of Black ladies in the stationary sector and wanted to generate stationary solutions to reflect her culture and likeness.
Manifest Your Objective specializes in luxury stationary that represents Black ladies. Whitney Blocker Whitney B Jordan
Hawkins sells her solutions on her internet site and Amazon, and attends several vendor events every year. Hawkins saw a 275% income raise throughout the 1st year of operating her company. She has delivered additional than three,700 stationary orders to ladies about the globe and at times completes 200 orders per month.
Brian Frank’s company Knarly Vans won third location in the 2023 Fort Worth company strategy competitors. Rachel DeLira Fort Worth Financial Improvement Division
Knarly Vans, a corporation that outfits passenger vans, won a third-location prize of $four,000. Organization owner Brian Frank mentioned his company’s outfitting is ADA compliant and assists fill holes in passenger van floors when the seats are lifted for wheelchairs. The corporation also sells insulated window covers and other solutions.
The company has sold to 11 nations, which includes a number of in Europe exactly where van life is well known. The corporation has generated $30,000 in income and expects to produce $200,000 subsequent year if the company stays on track.
Just after every of the eight finalists presented their pitches, audience members had a possibility to vote for their favorites.
Michelle Holloway pitches her company, Life style Transitions, which won the well known vote from audience members. Rachel DeLira Fort Worth Financial Improvement Division
Life style Transitions owner Michelle Holloway won the well known vote. Holloway performs dwelling inspections for seniors and tends to make suggestions to protect against falls and raise security. Holloway is an occupational therapist on track to get her post-specialist doctorate degree. A 60-minute session charges $290, and solutions are authorized by insurance coverage.
The remaining finalists incorporated homemade candy corporation Hallelujah! Brittles and Sweets, mental well being agency Honeybee Wellness & Consulting, plant-primarily based foods distributor Pure Vegan Pantry and self-publishing corporation RIPE Publishing Residence.
Seventeen of the 20 enterprises who participated in the 2023 competitors have been minority- or ladies-owned enterprises, the strongest diversity of Fort Worth’s company strategy competitors to date. This was also the 1st time the competitors incorporated representation from seven of the city’s council districts.
“It’s thrilling to see the Fort Worth Organization Program Competitors attract a group of competitors that holistically reflects our city’s company neighborhood,” mentioned Andrea Duffie, communications specialist for the city’s financial improvement division. “That is specially accurate for minority and ladies-owned enterprises, who have historically struggled to access these sorts of sources and coaching when it comes to expanding and scaling their providers.”
Judges and audience members watched eight compact enterprises pitch their company ideas on May possibly 11 at the city’s annual company strategy competitors. Rachel DeLira Fort Worth Financial Improvement Division
To qualify for the competitors, enterprises had to be two to 5 years old with an annual income of significantly less than $500,000. All of the enterprises had to be positioned inside Fort Worth.
The financial improvement division for the city of Fort Worth organized the competitors with sponsorship from Frost Bank. Supporting partners TechFW, HSC Innovates, Tarrant County Modest Organization Improvement Center, SCORE Fort Worth, the North Texas Entrepreneur Education and Education Center and AccelerateDFW Foundation contributed mentorship and coaching.