Poppy Handcrafted Popcorn as Small Business of the Month. Poppy is a locally owned small business creating more than 40 flavors of handcrafted popcorn for retail sales, whole sale, fundraisers, customized corporate gifts and custom popcorn catering.
Read on for our interview with owner Ginger Frank.
Tell us a little of the history of the company?
Poppy came out of a passion of several things. I love popcorn! I love branding, merchandising, and creating. I also love Asheville. I wanted to create something that would allow me to come along side this vibrant, supportive community and be a part of what's great about this city.
What are you most proud of about the company?
I'm proud of the product. I've worked really hard to use real ingredients, nothing artificial and make really great tasting popcorn. It's an ongoing challenge to make things this way and be able to turn a profit. I'm always working to learn how to achieve this - but I feel it's worth the effort and will pay off in the long run. I'm also proud of the brand that Poppy is becoming. It's starting to be recognized and the marketing efforts behind Poppy have served us well. People seem to be almost as passionate about the branding as they are about the popcorn!
Best advice you’ve gotten for operating a small business.
My father was a small business owner, and I learned a lot from watching him as I grew up. He worked really hard all of his life. I knew owning a small business would be a great deal of work but even so, I under estimated the commitment. My former employers were a great example of having fun while you work, taking time for yourself, putting trust in your staff so you can walk away when you need to - these are things I'm always reminding myself of and try to strive for, even when it's difficult.
Tips for other small businesses?
It's hard. It's really hard work. You have to really feel passionate about what you're doing and where you hope to be someday to get you through. You have to ask for help and be open to advice and guidance. You can't do it alone. Surround yourself with people you trust and people who care enough about you to say - "go home, go see your kids, I've got this".
What’s next on the horizon?
We are stepping into the wholesale world. We've been dabbling in it here in Asheville and it's been met with great reception. We'll be presenting Poppy Wholesale at the Alanta Gift Show in just a few weeks which will open us up to buyers all along the east coast. It's a huge leap of faith for us but we're really excited about the possibilities. We're also launching our fundraising program to local schools and organizations this fall. It's a way for us to give back to our community and establish relationships within our community. We are passionate about our schools and teachers!
Community is the backbone of our business. We realize that we couldn't thrive in just any city. Asheville is special - it allows people to follow their dreams and step outside the box. This community has been amazingly supportive of Poppy and we try and return the favor whenever we can. Some of the organizations we have supported include The Community Foundation, Sleep Tight Kids, Asheville City Schools, North Asheville Little League, Girls on the Run as well as others.
Visit Poppy online at www.lovepoppyofasheville.com