De Juana “De J.” Lozada is the visionary behind Soul Popped Gourmet Popcorn. It all began the day she faced the challenge of how to find a healthier way to share the Soul Foods of her heritage with her family without wrecking their waistlines or their health. That’s when she decided to experiment with a new way to deliver all of the flavors of the foods she loved without the associated guilt.
Keep It Simple.
It started with the fried chicken recipe her beloved grandmother used to make. How could she recreate that authentic fried chicken experience but in a healthier way? De J. knew the secret to her “Big Momma’s” fried chicken lay in the all-natural seasonings she used to create the batter. So she went into her kitchen, and using only the ingredients she found there, De J. created Big Momma’s Fried Chicken…for popcorn!
Popcorn is a naturally healthy snack food that’s low calorie and high in fiber. It’s a relatively easy carrier for seasonings and it’s easy to enjoy on the go. That’s why when De J. set out to make something healthier taste like Soul Food flavors, popcorn was the obvious choice!
Soul Food Popcorn is Born!
Next De J. used the same proprietary techniques to recreate the authentic tastes of macaroni & cheese and banana pudding by using other real food ingredients. An astounding 10 more flavors followed within a two-week period, to include Chicken ‘N Waffles, Buttered Corn Off-the-Cobb, Austin Smoke BBQ and the Real Dill Sour Pickle.
Testing the Market
De J. began selling Soul Popped from a food truck parking lot. Word about Soul Popped’s unique flavors spread quickly and she was soon invited to begin selling at two area farmer’s markets.
In just its first year, Soul Popped now enjoys a growing legion of enthusiastic Soul Poppers who not only buy for themselves but regularly bring new people to try it and buy it as well.
Our National Debut
In November 2017, Soul Popped traveled from Austin, TX to New York City, NY for a taping on MSNBC’s Your Business with J.J. Ramberg. During the visit, De J. got to pitch to national buyers for Sam’s Club who enthusiastically received the product and extended an invitation to help bring Soul Popped to Sam’s Clubs big box shelves! (Watch De J.’s pitch here.)
They Like Us! They Really Like Us!!!
Soul Popped is now available on Amazon in seven flavors and is making plans to enter the national retail grocery market beginning in Q2 2018.