Lil Pop Gourmet Popcorn wins Fort Worth small business 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 Residence Depot advertising and marketing coordinator just before going into teaching and then possessing two daughters. But she generally knew she wanted to turn into an entrepreneur.
With the assistance of her husband, Michael, who operates in finance in Fort Worth, the Burnsides started to assume outdoors the box and decided to start out a small business primarily based on a shared passion.
“We began Lil Pop for the reason that of our really like for popcorn as a family members and a want to teach our two daughters entrepreneurship,” Burnside mentioned. “We knew this would be the great chance for us to apply our experiences from the corporate globe and start out a gourmet popcorn firm.”
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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. Clients can also develop their personal popcorn by picking a base and toppings.
Nearby prospects can order on the net and get their popcorn inside two days, and the small business 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 small business has won the city of Fort Worth’s annual small business program competitors. The firm received a grand prize of $ten,000 to assistance its small business endeavors. This is also the very first time a Black-owned small business has won in the competition’s 12-year history.
By means of the competitors, 20 nearby modest firms completed six weeks of coaching and education in small business improvement. The top rated eight finalists pitched their small business idea to a panel of judges and reside audience on Could 11 and submitted written plans for judge evaluation.
“Being in that atmosphere to share our highs, lows, and dreams with the group was pretty motivational and gave us the validation that we had been on the ideal path,” Burnside mentioned. “Winning the competitors has provided us the chance to pour sources into the firm sooner than we anticipated. We’ve observed an quick boost in interest in our firm which has resulted in extra 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 function as CEO and founder of the firm provides her the chance to balance becoming a keep-at-dwelling mom and constructing the small business. Meanwhile, husband Michael balances his complete-time finance job whilst serving as the business’ chief monetary officer.
“Our plans are to develop the firm massive sufficient for each of us to function in the small business complete time inside the subsequent 5 years,” Burnside mentioned.
Saria Hawkins pitches Manifest Your Objective, a stationary firm that targets Black females. Rachel DeLira Fort Worth Financial Improvement Division
A $six,000 second-location prize went to Manifest Your Objective, a luxury stationery and workplace accessories small business run by Saria Hawkins. Increasing up, Hawkins saw a lack of representation of Black females in the stationary business and wanted to develop stationary merchandise to reflect her culture and likeness.
Manifest Your Objective specializes in luxury stationary that represents Black females. Whitney Blocker Whitney B Jordan
Hawkins sells her merchandise on her internet site and Amazon, and attends many vendor events every year. Hawkins saw a 275% income boost for the duration of the very first year of operating her small business. She has delivered extra than three,700 stationary orders to females about the globe and from time to time completes 200 orders per month.
Brian Frank’s small business Knarly Vans won third location in the 2023 Fort Worth small business program competitors. Rachel DeLira Fort Worth Financial Improvement Division
Knarly Vans, a firm 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 aids fill holes in passenger van floors when the seats are lifted for wheelchairs. The firm also sells insulated window covers and other merchandise.
The small business has sold to 11 nations, which includes a number of in Europe exactly where van life is well-liked. The firm has generated $30,000 in income and expects to produce $200,000 subsequent year if the small business stays on track.
Immediately after every of the eight finalists presented their pitches, audience members had a opportunity to vote for their favorites.
Michelle Holloway pitches her small business, Life-style Transitions, which won the well-liked vote from audience members. Rachel DeLira Fort Worth Financial Improvement Division
Life-style Transitions owner Michelle Holloway won the well-liked vote. Holloway performs dwelling inspections for seniors and tends to make suggestions to avoid falls and boost 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 firm Hallelujah! Brittles and Sweets, mental wellness agency Honeybee Wellness & Consulting, plant-primarily based foods distributor Pure Vegan Pantry and self-publishing firm RIPE Publishing Property.
Seventeen of the 20 firms who participated in the 2023 competitors had been minority- or females-owned firms, the strongest diversity of Fort Worth’s small business program competitors to date. This was also the very first time the competitors incorporated representation from seven of the city’s council districts.
“It’s thrilling to see the Fort Worth Organization Strategy Competitors attract a group of competitors that holistically reflects our city’s small business neighborhood,” mentioned Andrea Duffie, communications specialist for the city’s financial improvement division. “That is in particular correct for minority and females-owned firms, who have historically struggled to access these types of sources and coaching when it comes to developing and scaling their businesses.”
Judges and audience members watched eight modest firms pitch their small business ideas on Could 11 at the city’s annual small business program competitors. Rachel DeLira Fort Worth Financial Improvement Division
To qualify for the competitors, firms had to be two to 5 years old with an annual income of much less than $500,000. All of the firms had to be situated 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 Little Organization Improvement Center, SCORE Fort Worth, the North Texas Entrepreneur Education and Education Center and AccelerateDFW Foundation contributed mentorship and coaching.