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Dreaming of starting a business? Learn from popcorn and are there any canada goose outlet stores bacon salt pros

Politicians love to remind people that America runs on small businesses. There are literally millions of mom and pop shops across the US. It is part of the ethos of being American; you get apple pie, baseball and the chance to be your own boss.

Running your own business feeds into everything we value as a nation, the independence, the bootstrap philosophy and hours upon hours of hard work. It also feeds into the daydreams of many an office worker. The chance to escape fluorescent lights, plywood dungeons of cubicle walls, and nagging voices of middle managers who never really liked you in the first place.

Starting a small business also can be like staring into the abyss. The training most people get in school and college prepares them for office jobs click over here, and unless you have wealthy and generous relatives, funding can be a major issue.

Sometimes the opportunity comes as a surprise, as in the case of entrepreneurs who turned popcorn and bacon into small business ideas.

That was the case for Kristy Lewis, who, with her husband Coulter, founded Quinn Popcorn. When Kristy and Coulter decided to start a family, Kristy was working full time as an executive assistant and engineering coordinator at a gaming company. Little Quinn was born and suddenly Kristy found herself staring at three whole months without work. can you machine wash canada goose jacket

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Quinn popcorn, which boasts that customers can look up their batch online Photograph: Quinn Popcorn

Starting a business at the same time as starting a family might seem risky, but Kristy saw it as a turning point in her life, and besides, when would she have any time off again?

Kristy had always dreamt of doing something in food, maybe one day of selling something at the farmers’ market, she explains.

She and her husband had been experimenting at home with making organic, natural versions of microwave popcorn, with real cheese and rosemary. They saw the potential for a business.

So while Coulter continued to go to work, Kristy changed diapers, got up multiple times in the middle of the night and made call after call to suppliers and supermarkets. At the end of the three months she had pitched Whole Foods on best ideas about canada goose outlet on pinterest a product that did not yet exist, so it was time to make it a reality. Kristy turned to a then-untested site: Kickstarter.

They didn’t tell their families, hoping the market would vote on its own. And so, without telling a single soul, not their parents or friends or anyone at all that they knew, Kristy and Coulter put Quinn Popcorn on Kickstarter. The logistics were challenging: finding the right kind of paper for the packaging and getting a farmer that sells 5,000 pounds of cheese to settle for selling 50 pounds.

They did not want the buy a canada goose jacket online funding to come from the people who love them – they wanted it to be a real measure of demand for the product in the real world. But part of it, Kristy admits, is they knew if family authorized canada goose outlet and friends found out they were starting a business, putting all their savings and lives into it just when they had a baby, everyone would think “we were off our rockers.”

Kristy and Coulter set a modest goal of $10,000 and waited. They told themselves not to expect anything. That first morning of their campaign they checked the site and were shocked when they saw they had $3,000 already. Kickstarter then put their campaign on its homepage and as the funding site started to get a blitz of media attention in outlets like the New York Times and Reuters, Quinn Popcorn got taken for a publicity ride along buy canada goose jacket winnipeg with them. In the end they raised $30,000 and Quinn Popcorn was born.

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Two entrepreneurs wondered what would happen if you could make bacon flavor that even vegetarians could eat. The result: a new small business. Photograph: Will Kincaid/ASSOCIATED PRESS


Not everyone is brave enough to take the leap with a newborn, but kids can be a surprising advantage in business – and not just because they drive their parents desire to succeed. J&D’s Foods, the makers of Bacon Salt, owe their start to co-founder Dave Lefkow’s son. But more on that later.

What the world needs, they both agreed, is more bacon.

Some years back, Justin Esch (the J in J&D) and Dave were both working at a software company that they felt was not going anywhere. They were both looking around for the next opportunity when they found themselves at a conference in Miami.

Well, to be exact, they found themselves drinking tequila on a beach in Miami, throwing out ideas for their next move when Justin mentioned how he had gone to a Jewish wedding and canada goose coat 1000 bulbs garland spent the entire time extolling the virtues of bacon to people who had never tasted it, Dave tells the Guardian.

What the world needs, they both agreed, is more bacon. Kosher, vegetarian, bacon flavor that anyone can eat.

Flash forward some time later, and Dave had started his own consulting firm, Justin was working at another software company and money was good.

There was no reason anymore to take a risk and start something new, but bacon salt was too good an idea to forget.

After a few experiments in Dave’s kitchen with sea salt were declared a “disaster”, they guys got the professionals to mock up a recipe.

It was time to see if bacon salt could be a reality. Around the same time, Dave’s son, who was then three, smacked him in the face with a Wiffle ball, an embarrassment caught on video that Dave’s wife suggested they send in to America’s Funniest Home Videos on a lark. A few weeks later they found out they had won $5,000, not bad for a few seconds of “work”.

Dave and Justin decided to use the unexpected bounty to pay for their first batch of bacon salt. So they soon found themselves with 6,000 jars of bacon salt in Dave’s garage and their next challenge.

How to sell it? This was 2007, when Myspace was big, so they had a brilliant idea. They created a Myspace page for bacon salt and sent friend requests to every person they could find on Myspace who had written that they love bacon in their profiles. The tactic paid off better than they could have ever guessed. Within five days they had sold all the jars of best place to buy a canada goose jacket bacon salt to people across 12 countries and 25 states. After that, they booked a contract supplying to supermarket chain Kroger.

Two months after selling bacon salt out of a garage with local high school kids and family doing the packaging, the guys had become full-time bacon salt magnates and left their jobs.

These days the Lewis’ and Dave and Justin’s days are very different from anything they would have imagined.

Every day is “chaos”, says Dave, laughing. No two days are alike, says Kristy, who chatted with the Guardian while driving through the vastness of Nebraska, illustrating her point. Some days it is “putting out fires”, others it is just dealing with the regular course of operations, says Kristy. But despite the pressure and constant work, one thing is true, they couldn’t be happier with where life took them.

Oh, and Dave’s son who won him that startup cash? He wants his money back, says Dave.