Using my hands to turn an idea into an object makes me feel good. I build things whenever I can. While starting a popcorn company fits, it’s not exactly what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the kinds of projects that start with a sketch and end a few days later with a sense of pride and a really sore back. This isn’t quite in line with what QP needs right now, and with only four of us, there isn’t room for hobbies. With that, I’ve sought out every opportunity to create what can’t be bought. It started when we needed white boards. A few weekends later and we had rolling magnetic whiteboards. They are as solid as rock, and used every day. Then we needed a spot to sit together. A place to eat and talk. This one nearly…
Something I am asked a lot is, “How did you start this?” I think the assumption is that there is some bite sized piece that can be culled and tackled to form a clear and rewarding first step. For us, that’s not how it went. We dipped our toes in a few hundred different pools…at once. There are a few things I would advise NOT starting with. The business plan is one of them. (The photo is from a used/vintage book store in the South End Boston.)
We have been a little quite on the blog front for a few days. Essentially, if you don’t see a post for a day or two it means we are really slammed. This time it was the packing. Last week we had four people packing boxes. This week it’s only two and that slows things down a lot.
So, exciting news! We have been nominated as one of the top three finalist in the food & beverage category in Daily Candy’s “Start Small GO BIG” contest!
(photo above was taken by a friend of Alex Bogusky’s) We flew out to Boulder this past weekend to attend The COMMON Pitch. Quinn’s first flight! He did exceptionally well. We did well too…
It’s been 29 days. That doesn’t seem possible, but it has. Now there are only 24 hours left until we get off this euphoric wave called Kickstarter.
It’s Friday tomorrow, with a LONG working weekend ahead of us! So I am taking a break right now, browsing through some really cool/fun Kickstarter projects.
Coulter and I have had this detailed vision of where we would put Quinn Popcorn together; of what the first space would be like.
I have probably refreshed my browser a billion times in the last 15 days. Each time hoping to see a new backer. Amazingly, most of the time I do! Now we are almost at 200% of our original goal!
Trying to get Quinn Popcorn into stores and onto shelves goes something like this:
We have officially kicked off Quinn Popcorn on Kickstarter! This is kinda a big deal for us and the response has been amazing so far. I hope you guys like the video!
Making a compelling video has to be the most important part of a Kickstarter listing. We need a decent video not only for Kickstarter but also to tell people about our product. There are lots of reasons for us to make a really good video. Unfortunately, it takes more than good reasons to make a video. This is hard.
There are a lot of cool things happening around funding for startups and Kickstarter is leading the charge. Put simply, they provide a platform to tell a large audience about your idea, and hopefully some of those people contribute to getting it off the ground. They describe themselves as the largest funding platform for creative projects in the world. Pretty cool. (I nabbed that photo from one of the projects listed below. Yes, I bought a bottle opener…)
We get a lot of questions about how we are so sure this is going to work. We aren’t. If you read the blog you already know that. Lately I have been describing our progress as a series of blind corners. We can’t know what lies after each turn until we go through it. We could theorize for days (and we do), but really, we just need to keep moving and see what happens. (Photo is of Kristy burning midnight oil. See what I mean about the intensity. Scary…)
I have become obsessively introspective when it comes to food purchasing. Bear with me on this one. So, what did teapigs do that convinced me their tea was worth 12X more than generic black tea? What does it take to get into the shopping cart?
That’s a screen shot from our Mint.com account. (If you haven’t tried mint.com go do it!) As you can see, our budgeted spending for May was already used up and it was only the 5th of the month. That’s just how things are working right now. We are doing this as lean as humanly possible, but it’s still adding up.
I need and want to write more posts that contain really hard to find industry knowledge. This isn’t that. This is a quick one about something hysterical (and terrible) that has been slowly unfolding. Kristy’s focus has become complete. She is a machine. In the process, however, I have become an employee.
Starting Quinn Popcorn just outside of Boston has been pretty ideal. We have a ton of idols that began this journey before us. Instead of feeling out of place, we feel welcomed and comforted that others in this area have also taken a chance in the food world! Some of our new favorites listed below!
I have become a popcorn peddler. We are handing out popcorn samples as quickly as we can make them. It’s part of a drive to get as much right as we can before production starts on our fist product run. We have received tons of feedback and it’s had a huge impact on the product. I spent this Saturday making new kits to give away. It takes a ton of time and it’s super tedious, but, I believe it’s worth it!
In the 7 months that we have started Quinn Popcorn I have yet to take a break. Yes, I stop for American Idol, for brief walks, and for an occasional dinner at the kitchen table, but I have yet to take a real break. This is the first time I have gone more than 3 hours without firing off dozens of Quinn Popcorn emails, making phone calls like a telemarketer, or researching the far corners of the food industry.
If you ask me to stop for one second, even to breath, I will tell you that you’re out of your bloody mind… It will ALL come crashing down!
Completed paperwork is pretty satisfying. It means that we are that much closer to getting Quinn Popcorn on the shelves.
I just witnessed the reason why Quinn Popcorn is heading to market so quickly and I need to pass it along. Kristy was trying a new gluten and dairy free macaroni and cheese. It was gross. No surprises there. (I am willing to eat anything but I just don’t understand Kristy’s joy when she finds something like this.) The pouch they used for their non-dairy-vegan-cheese-something-powder was, however, really nice. It was very light weight, looked like it was mostly craft paper, it is compostable, and it was stamped that it was produced in a carbon neutral facility. Pretty cool and exactly what we have been looking for.
We need to federally trademark our logo and company name. For those of you unfamiliar with this, trademarks are a type of intellectual property. They protect brand names, slogans, and logos, and can be any word, letter, number, design etc. We are not required to trademark our logo or name, but there are advantages in doing so.When a consumer buys are product, they are buying into our brand; they associate Quinn Popcorn and our logo with a quality product and most importantly, at first glance, it distinguishes our popcorn company from the other, competing microwave popcorn companies out there.