It was truly a phenomenal day, and reminds me of an iceberg. You see a tip above water...but underneath is a massive body of ice which props up its entirety. This was analogous to yesterday, when thousands of customers, friends, colleagues and family members converged upon us to order popcorn through 2011. The upshot? Groupon sales were okay, but the results of upselling and referral business were surreal.
We were humbled by those who ordered for corporate events, holidays gifts, parties, fundraisers -- all insisting on paying full price. It was an honour to encounter such a flood of decent souls, all choosing to share in and celebrate our success. The ability to do this is the mark of true quality, and contributes to the universal energy of gifts which keep on giving.
Five years ago, I started Popcorn Chef because I regularly shipped popcorn to an international clientele via a company whose products were delicious. I wanted to franchise it. They were highly successful but family-owned, and though they kept a list of interested parties, their answer was no. As I moved to different parts of the country over the years, I would occasionally check in to see if they were ready to franchise. After being told no again after settling into Seattle, I essentially forgot about it until a series of oddly comical events occurred. To make a long story short, it was clear the timing was right - and I decided to strike out on my own.
I wish I could say I was inspired after making batches of product in my kitchen and gifting them to friends as some do with baked goods or meals, but for me it came down to enjoyment of a product and seeing a business opportunity. Thus, we've always run it like a business. This can be challenging when friends or acquaintances want us to operate it casually ("Hey, can you ignore your order batching / upfront payment process and just throw together a tin, then chase me around for a week to deliver and collect payment? But oh...changed my mind - I'm on a diet."). Fortunately, not many try to push that envelope.
Indeed, it began as a “neener” -- but this venture has gone much further than we ever expected to take it, and we've met some great people along the way while having an absolute blast. If it isn't fun anymore, I'll sell it - and like the serial entrepreneur I am - probably start up something else. Meanwhile, sincere thanks to our supporters yesterday from the bottom of our hearts.
Now go eat some popcorn!
Chef de cuisine