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Who are we?
We’re an all-digital fundrasing platform company located in Austin, TX.
We support people with activities and causes that make GOOD TROUBLE:
The kind of people who are warriors for love, peace and happiness. The little guys who cheer and promote the uplifting of other little guys like them everywhere.
Yeah, those people. OUR PEOPLE.
We also make some dang good food.
But enough about us. Please tell us more about you.
De J. Culbreath-Lozada
- Snack Food Innovator Award 2018
- Austin A-List 2019
- Tory Burch Fellowship 2020
About Us: The birth of a popcorn dynasty (in the making)
It all began in 2016 when our founder, De J. Culbreath-Lozada, a single mother of two and primary care provider for her elderly father and young niece, got the idea to create Soul Food-inspired popcorn flavors after a long term, undiagnosed illness left her out of work and with just $53 left in her bank account.
De J. used $26 of that $53 to buy organic seed and coconut oil to create Soul Popped Gourmet Popcorn, a company that soon attracted a national following because of its unique flavors and specialty packaging.
Awards and Recognitions
De J. first sold Soul Popped from her car before making it into a local weekend farmer’s market. In less than 6 months, Soul Popped was being sought after by the likes of SXSW, Google and Facebook to be featured snacks at their events.
De J. was elated when Soul Popped was selected to participate in a highly regarded Accelerator that specialized in Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) like hers. She was the first African American founder to be accepted and to graduate from that program.
A national breakthrough occurred when De J. pitched Soul Popped to Sam’s Club on MSNBC’s Your Business with J.J. Ramberg and won a deal to be carried in the Big Box chain nationwide.
Slow and Steady Growth
Although the Sam’s Club deal proved to be premature, De J. used the notariety she’d achieved to become an overnight hit on Amazon, quickly being sold in 9 countries through the E-Commerce giant.
She started a small production facility on the outskirts of Austin, TX to handle increased production and growth. She eventually migrated to her own online platform so that she could maintain closer relationships with her customers which eventually set the stage for her to start a n online fundraising program.
In 2019, De J. opened her first retail location for Soul Popped in Austin’s premiere mall, becoming the first African American shop owner to do so in the mall’s over 40-year history.
While entertaining multiple offers from property managers around the U.S. who wanted her to open more Soul Popped locations in their respective developments, the pandemic struck and left De J. struggling to figure out next steps.
A Pivot to Good Trouble Gourmet
De J. was elated to participate in the 2020 cohort of the prestigious Tory Burch Fellowship program where she is receiving mentorship to develop her leadership skills from some of the best and brightest business and thought leaders in the country.
But like so many other businesses hit hard by Covid, De J. realized that she would have to find a way to pivot from the face-to-face business model she had so carefully cultivated for more than 4 years to a 100 percent online experience.
“I realized that the pandemic wouldn’t last forever and didn’t want to create brand confusion by taking an experience brand like Soul Popped and turn it into something my Soul Poppers wouldn’t recognize,” De J. said. “So I decided to create something brand new that would build off of my success with Soul Popped and give me the opportunity to work with more flavors and ingredients in a different way.”
This fall, the maker of Soul Popped will launch a new fundraising initiative called Good Trouble Gourmet with an all-new branding and product line. The primary purpose of this new company is to Do the Most Good by Helping Others Wanting to Do More Good. That company is GOOD TROUBLE GOURMET.
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