In Food Industry

We Need Bees & Bees Need Our Help

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

{We saw countless honey bees buzzing, feeding, and pollinating on our trip to visit our sunflower oil grower and supplier Colorado Mills. Can you spot the one above?} As news came out about Neonicotinoids, and their potential harm to pollinators, we knew we had to dig in. We reached out to our growers to learn more and see what we could do to help. We are now working with our suppliers to find ways to support non-Neonicotinoid growing practices and help protect local pollinators. Honey bees pollinate over 80% of our flowering crops which constitute one third of everything we eat.    Neonicotinoids are a group of pesticides used to coat seeds to protect them from insects and pests in the early stages of growing. The coated seeds are only used for planting and never for human consumption. However, neonicotinoids,…

Eco Shipping

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

Let’s start off by saying that we love sending popcorn to you. It’s exactly why we’re here – to clean up snacks, so you can enjoy them! The things is, sometimes those boxes have a lot of empty space inside. All those empty spaces take up space limiting the amount of boxes a truck can carry. This means more trucks on the road. We’d like to work together to decrease the amount of empty space in our boxes. And here’s how, a Quinn Popcorn Eco Shipping guide. Select an Eco order size and we’ll ship your order with as little empty space as possible. To make an Eco order of Microwave Popcorn, use the options below: 3 boxes 6 boxes 9 boxes 15 boxes 25 boxes To make an Eco order of Farm-to-Bag Popcorn, use the options below: 3 (6 bags) 6…

California Olive Ranch

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

Since launching last year, we are so excited to see Farm-to-Bag Popcorn become a household go-to. We love the opportunity to talk to folks about our focus on ingredients. From healthy oils to non-GMO and transparency; we really do think food should be simple, honest, transparent, and convenient. The backbone of Farm-to-Bag is awesome ingredients and strong grower partnerships. Our California Olive Oil popcorn made with California Olive Ranch extra-virgin olive oil couldn’t be a better demonstration of this. California Olive Ranch, located in Northern California, has a climate like Spain and northern Tuscany (aka perfect for olive growing). Here they rely on time honored family traditions alongside sustainable innovations. At harvest time (a 45 day window) the short bushy trees are harvested quickly and carefully. Within in just a couple of hours of being picked, the olives are milled to maintain the fullest…

Worse Than GMOs

Monday, April 27th, 2015

I think we’ve all seen and heard the GMO food arguments and counterarguments. It seems like a pretty complex issue, but in reality, it’s dead simple. (If you need a primer on what a GMO is, check out THIS post.) First there are two distinct positions that keep getting mixed together. Advocating for the elimination of GMOs, and advocating for labeling of products that are made using GMOs. Advocating to eliminate GMOs: This is the position that’s making it look complicated. From emotional appeals to conflicting scientific reports, the argument for eliminating GMOs is complicated and eventually leads to a point for point quagmire. Yes, GMO’s impact on our health and environment is real, but it’s not the root of the issue. Even if you’re convinced that we need to stop growing all genetically modified food, there’s still a huge piece missing. Without labeling, the…

Natural Flavors

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

(Here’s a promise from us, we’re always going to share exactly what’s in our product. No hiding behind natural flavors here – the photo above is some of our raw ingredients.) Nature and flavor might be two of our favorite things, so why is this word combo stirring up such a hullabaloo? For us, it comes down to one thing really, a lack of transparency. The words “natural flavor” on an ingredient list just don’t tell the whole story. Here’s how natural flavoring is defined in the Code of Federal Regulations: “essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy…

Courting Buyers

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

We have packed up about half of our initial run. A lot of that is going to the Kickstarter backers soon, but we finally have something to sell. The thing is, before we can get onto the store shelves we need to convince the store that they should sell it. This is surprisingly straightforward. Not easy, just straightforward.

Our Common Pitch

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

A few weeks ago, while we were high off our Kickstarter progress, we decided to take a chance and submit our “project” to a competition called The COMMON Pitch.

We Found Our Space

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

Coulter and I have had this detailed vision of where we would put Quinn Popcorn together; of what the first space would be like.

In Search of Space

Monday, August 1st, 2011

The next big step for us is packing up the boxes. We are doing it ourselves which will be a huge challenge but a larger issue is looming… We don’t have a space to do it in. (The photo is of a beautiful old building in Boston’s South End. No, we are not packing there. I wish. Recognize it from our Kickstarter video?)

CoCoa Metro- Chocolate Milk Anyone?

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

  As I was opening boxes in our shipping facility the other day, sweating after moving one darn box, I was offered a choice of milk. “Chocolate or white?” I had no idea what to say. I was totally caught off guard. Someone was offering me cold milk, and I had a choice between chocolate and white! What!?

Tuesday’s Test

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

I have been studying for two weeks and all day today for my ServeSafe Food Managerial test I am taking tomorrow morning at 10am. This is the one I need to pass in order to box our popcorn. If you mess this up it’s going to delay everything. (You might have noticed a coffee theme to the images I choose for these update posts. I need all the energy I can get. This one is from the Speedwell Coffee stand at the SoWa Market. So good.)

Where Do You Want To See Quinn Popcorn?

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

  Trying to get Quinn Popcorn into stores and onto shelves goes something like this:

Food Safety Test

Monday, July 11th, 2011

In order for us to package our popcorn boxes in a shared kitchen I need to take the ServSafe Food Handler/Safety course and pass the test.  I figured this would be like taking the written drivers test, but it’s not, it’s pretty tough. First I had to complete all 12 hours of the online course. Seriously brutal. Now I need to study because if I fail the test it’s going to delay everything!

Putting It All Together

Friday, July 1st, 2011

We keep getting asked when we will have our final product.  We will receive all of our components during the first week in August, but we will start selling on September 1st, and here is why.

SoWa Open Market

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Coulter and I drove to an open market in Boston this past Sunday.  The SoWa market is open every Sunday, May –October,  10:00 am- 4:00pm.  We arrived at 10am and were lucky, because an hour and half later, it was PACKED.  It’s  located near the Boston Sports Club and we parked in this incredible abandoned factory next store, while a boot camp session was being held right outside.  I am talking massive boot camp where the instructor yells, “Shit people, you are not trying!!”  Not my kind of morning.  I was really glad to be walking in the opposite direction. (As my friends can attest, extreme exercise makes me uncomfortable.)

Always Be Closing

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

  Our boxes are printing, our pouches are getting filled, and a pallet of popcorn bags is ready to ship. While our various vendors are chugging away we are switching into selling mode. We traveled to Montauk last weekend for a wedding, and there was no stopping Kristy from meeting with, or gathering contact info for, the buyers of every little market we passed.

The Amazon Jungle

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Since Quinn Popcorn won’t necessarily be available at a store near you right when we launch, we want to make sure that it’s at least available for purchase on the web… this is where Amazon comes in.

Why I Paid $8 For Tea

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

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?

COGs Isn’t My BFF (Repost)

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Sorry for the repost but this post mysteriously disappeared from our site. So strange. Anyway, it’s more relevant now than ever.   Getting our cost of goods under control is the thing that keeps me up at night. Well, I guess it’s that and and the crying baby. I used to scoff at some of the high prices I found at our local grocer. I don’t anymore. The truth is that it’s really tough to break even when you are selling a low volume (less than 100k units/year) product through a grocery store.

Organic Red Tape

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

As I was checking over my list of requirements this afternoon, making sure we are doing everything by the book, I came across info about labeling a food product as “organic”.  Complex is an understatement.  I spent the rest of the afternoon on the phone trying to figure out what we can and cannot say.  The best part is that there is no right answer.  Not sure how we are going to figure this out, but I have less than 24 hours to do so.  Our dieline for our box has to be finished by Monday.  It doesn’t help that tomorrow is Friday!

Logistical Fun

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Well, we knew things were going to come up closer to our deadline, but I kinda hoped that they would not make an appearance.  Wishful thinking on my part! It’s all part of the process.

Food Startups In & Around Boston

Monday, May 16th, 2011

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!

Rosemary Square Groupers

Friday, May 6th, 2011

A few weeks ago Kristy wrote about her little Rosemary breakdown.  Following the discovery of a few insects in our organic rosemary she set off to find a new supplier.  These came in the mail one week later.  We are little bummed that they don’t grow the in the US but the product is solid.  Thing is, there are other important reasons we are going with them…

Purely Lemon?

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

For those of you who have been keeping up with our posts, my ultimate goal has been to find pure ingredients to use in our flavors.  I often wonder if this is too much to ask… it has actually been comically difficult.

How Things Get Done

Friday, March 25th, 2011

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.

How To Fill Our Pouches?

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

With a baby in one hand, and a cup of coffee in the other….  I wish it was that easy.   Our bags will be filled with our corn kernels in the Midwest. Thankfully, we don’t have to worry about those logistics, because that would have been bit of a nightmare. We do however need to worry about getting our oil and spice/herb mixture into pouches. We have a couple of options that we can pursue and they are all pretty complicated.  There is no right answer, there is not a best path to take, and each one has its pros and cons.  I am having a really hard time trying to decide what to do.

Pitch Cards

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

Kristy wrote about her meeting with the local buyer for a national grocer in a recent post. The meeting went really well but beforehand we were a little nervous. It would suck to have the conversation derail or to walk out and realize that you forgot to define some important aspect of our product. It would also be very easy to do.