Husband and spouse duo Michael and Shalonda Burnside say they opened Lil Pop Gourmand Popcorn to show their daughters about entrepreneurship.
As a brand new mother, Shalonda Burnside was struggling to reenter the workforce. Burnside had labored as a Lowe’s venture coordinator and Residence Depot advertising coordinator earlier than going into educating after which having two daughters. However she at all times knew she needed to change into an entrepreneur.
With the assistance of her husband, Michael, who works in finance in Fort Price, the Burnsides started to assume outdoors the field and determined to start out a enterprise based mostly on a shared ardour.
“We began Lil Pop due to our love for popcorn as a household and a need to show our two daughters entrepreneurship,” Burnside stated. “We knew this could be the right alternative for us to use our experiences from the company world and begin a gourmand popcorn firm.”
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Husband and spouse duo Michael and Shalonda Burnside say they opened Lil Pop Gourmand Popcorn to show their daughters about entrepreneurship. Shalonda Burnside
Lil Pop Gourmand Popcorn focuses on handmade popcorn with a signature line together with birthday cake, cinnamon churro and cookies and cream flavors. Prospects may create their very own popcorn by selecting a base and toppings.
Native prospects can order on-line and obtain their popcorn inside two days, and the enterprise lately started delivery throughout the U.S. The Burnsides additionally promote their treats at pop-ups within the Fort Price space.
Now, the household enterprise has received the town of Fort Price’s annual marketing strategy competitors. The corporate obtained a grand prize of $10,000 to assist its enterprise endeavors. That is additionally the primary time a Black-owned enterprise has received within the competitors’s 12-year historical past.
Via the competitors, 20 native small companies accomplished six weeks of teaching and coaching in enterprise growth. The highest eight finalists pitched their enterprise idea to a panel of judges and reside viewers on Might 11 and submitted written plans for decide analysis.
“Being in that surroundings to share our highs, lows, and desires with the group was very motivational and gave us the validation that we have been on the best path,” Burnside stated. “Successful the competitors has given us the chance to pour sources into the corporate earlier than we anticipated. We’ve seen a right away enhance in curiosity in our firm which has resulted in additional gross sales.”
Lil Pop Gourmand Popcorn focuses on handmade popcorn with a signature line together with birthday cake, cinnamon churro and cookies and cream flavors. Shalonda Burnside
Shalonda’s position as CEO and founding father of the corporate offers her the chance to stability being a stay-at-home mother and constructing the enterprise. In the meantime, husband Michael balances his full-time finance job whereas serving because the enterprise’ chief monetary officer.
“Our plans are to develop the corporate massive sufficient for each of us to work within the enterprise full time inside the subsequent 5 years,” Burnside stated.
Saria Hawkins pitches Manifest Your Function, a stationary firm that targets Black ladies. Rachel DeLira Fort Price Financial Growth Division
A $6,000 second-place prize went to Manifest Your Function, a luxurious stationery and workplace equipment enterprise run by Saria Hawkins. Rising up, Hawkins noticed an absence of illustration of Black ladies within the stationary trade and needed to create stationary merchandise to mirror her tradition and likeness.
Manifest Your Function focuses on luxurious stationary that represents Black ladies. Whitney Blocker Whitney B Jordan
Hawkins sells her merchandise on her web site and Amazon, and attends a number of vendor occasions annually. Hawkins noticed a 275% income enhance in the course of the first 12 months of operating her enterprise. She has delivered greater than 3,700 stationary orders to ladies around the globe and typically completes 200 orders monthly.
Brian Frank’s enterprise Knarly Vans received third place within the 2023 Fort Price marketing strategy competitors. Rachel DeLira Fort Price Financial Growth Division
Knarly Vans, an organization that outfits passenger vans, received a third-place prize of $4,000. Enterprise proprietor Brian Frank stated his firm’s outfitting is ADA compliant and helps fill holes in passenger van flooring when the seats are lifted for wheelchairs. The corporate additionally sells insulated window covers and different merchandise.
The enterprise has bought to 11 international locations, together with a number of in Europe the place van life is widespread. The corporate has generated $30,000 in income and expects to generate $200,000 subsequent 12 months if the enterprise stays on monitor.
After every of the eight finalists offered their pitches, viewers members had an opportunity to vote for his or her favorites.
Michelle Holloway pitches her enterprise, Life-style Transitions, which received the favored vote from viewers members. Rachel DeLira Fort Price Financial Growth Division
Life-style Transitions proprietor Michelle Holloway received the favored vote. Holloway performs residence inspections for seniors and makes suggestions to forestall falls and enhance security. Holloway is an occupational therapist on monitor to obtain her post-professional doctorate diploma. A 60-minute session prices $290, and companies are authorised by insurance coverage.
The remaining finalists included do-it-yourself sweet firm Hallelujah! Brittles and Sweets, psychological well being company Honeybee Wellness & Consulting, plant-based meals distributor Pure Vegan Pantry and self-publishing firm RIPE Publishing Home.
Seventeen of the 20 companies who participated within the 2023 competitors have been minority- or women-owned companies, the strongest variety of Fort Price’s marketing strategy competitors up to now. This was additionally the primary time the competitors included illustration from seven of the town’s council districts.
“It’s thrilling to see the Fort Price Enterprise Plan Competitors appeal to a bunch of rivals that holistically displays our metropolis’s enterprise neighborhood,” stated Andrea Duffie, communications specialist for the town’s financial growth division. “That’s very true for minority and women-owned companies, who’ve traditionally struggled to entry these sorts of sources and training in terms of rising and scaling their corporations.”
Judges and viewers members watched eight small companies pitch their enterprise ideas on Might 11 on the metropolis’s annual marketing strategy competitors. Rachel DeLira Fort Price Financial Growth Division
To qualify for the competitors, companies needed to be two to 5 years previous with an annual income of lower than $500,000. All the companies needed to be positioned inside Fort Price.
The financial growth division for the town of Fort Price organized the competitors with sponsorship from Frost Financial institution. Supporting companions TechFW, HSC Innovates, Tarrant County Small Enterprise Growth Middle, SCORE Fort Price, the North Texas Entrepreneur Schooling and Coaching Middle and AccelerateDFW Basis contributed mentorship and training.
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