Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP is the ultimate entrepreneurial success story. From startup to super stores, this delicious snack began with a recipe of hard work and humble beginnings. We sat down with cofounder Angie Bastian to get the scoop.
In 2001, my husband, Dan, and I realized we hadn’t started a college fund for our kids, age 3 and 5 at the time. We asked ourselves what we could do to begin raising money, and the answer for us was to start a small, part-time business.
Dan came across an Internet ad that said, “Make thousands of dollars every weekend.” It was for kettle-corn equipment, and the idea was to sell it at local functions. Popcorn was almost an every-Sunday event in my home growing up, and my mother was very particular about the way she made it. So we bought a kettle and started popping kettle corn in our garage.
You’ve gone from selling at farmers’ markets to stores in all 50 states. Did you ever think you’d get this big?
I remember having a dream way back when we first started popping kettle corn in our garage. It was like watching Willy Wonka, only with a popcorn factory. At the time, I had no idea what a successful and purposeful business looked like from the inside. It’s not something I could have ever imagined for myself, but the dream gave me a glimpse of what was possible, and that’s what Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP has become.
When did you realize things were taking off?
When we became the official kettle-corn sponsor of the Minnesota Vikings. We received an opportunity to pop kettle corn for one of their training camps, and we gifted the players 120 bags of kettle corn to eat while they watched practice footage. They came to us later to see if we wanted to be an official sponsor. Once our kettle corn was in Vikings fans’ hands, everyone wanted to know where they could buy it.
Did you have any setbacks along the way?
There are always setbacks in business, and some decisions were more difficult to make than others. It’s overcoming the setbacks and staying true to ourselves and our vision for the brand that helped us become successful over time.
We just released five new flavors — real butter, cheddar cheese, dark chocolaty sea salt, milk chocolaty peanut butter, and caramel — and are extending the fun, positive energy of those products past grocery-store shelves with our #crushit campaign. “Crushing it” means having the courage to be your authentic self and bringing positivity to everything you do. Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP has always been about bringing positivity to the snack aisle with real, simple ingredients — nothing fake — and we hope to bring that same energy to people’s lives with our #crushit campaign.
Any advice for female entrepreneurs out there?
Believe in your potential. Be proud of who you are and your unique perspective. Lead by example and don’t let your mistakes discourage you, because you’re going to make mistakes. Learn from them and never give up!