Have your kids ever come up with a cool business idea or product? Well, the McCallisters’ popcorn goldmine might encourage them to pursue those dreams.
One fateful December, Ebony McCallister and her daughters, Bailey and Harper, were whipping up some Christmas treats for family and friends. Little did they know, this evening would change their lives forever.
Harper, then five, knew that after they were done making treats, they would watch The Grinch, her favorite movie. After begging her mother to let her get ready for movie night, she was finally permitted to pop the popcorn for the movie. Once finished, she poured her allotted amount, then handed the remaining popcorn to her mom.
Since Ebony was tired and ready to get the kitchen cleaned up, she took the remaining chocolate, pretzels, and sprinkles, from their treatmaking and layered it onto the popcorn. After a quick chill in the fridge, their movie snack was ready.
“I had taken it all off the cookie sheet and put it into a bowl. It was so absolutely amazing. Bailey thought we really had something, but in my corporate mind, I thought, it doesn’t work like that. You need an audience,” reminisces Ebony.
Despite their mom’s protests, a weekend at their father’s house was all the time Bailey and Harper needed to solidify themselves as (adorably) unstoppable forces. The girls came up with over 60 names for potential popcorn creations, how they wanted to sell it, and some recipes.
Finally convinced by her daughters’ tenacity, Ebony decided to double down on their potential and make the business come to life as a Christmas gift to the girls. They bought their ingredients, started making their first batches, and set up their fledgling website. The first sale that kicked Posh Pop Gourmet Popcorn off was to Kevin, a realtor who was inferring about their previously sold house. For the next four months, Posh Pop’s products were sold exclusively online before they began to sell at farmers markets and beyond.
Posh Pop’s success boils down to its wide variety of yummy flavors, all created and vetted by Bailey and Harper. They come up with the name, consider what bits and ends would correlate with the name and taste good together, then make it. With their collective imaginations running the show, there are sweet, savory, and downright interesting flavors for everyone to enjoy. Some popcorn creations include the dreamily sweet Slumber Party, the crunchy and savory Cajun Critter, and the sophisticatedly yummy Caramel Cafe’Noir. Oftentimes, returning customers gravitate to their favorite type but end up trying a new flavor as well.
Today, the girls travel to different festivals and events to sell Posh Pop’s finest in their fitted out trailer. But, it wasn’t easy to get where they are now. Ebony knew she would have to teach her kidpreneurs how to talk to people and answer difficult questions while helping them learn how to be business-savvy. Most importantly, she had to make sure they could handle confrontation calmly and skillfully. After all, it’s surprising what some adults can say to children in an effort to trip them up. With their mother’s guidance and coaching, the girls have learned how to navigate these trickier elements of growing and running a business.
Since celebrating their first year in business, Bailey and Harper’s hard work with Posh Pop has inspired plenty of other kids and their parents to work together. When they’re selling at farmers markets and fairgrounds, the McCallisters are often approached by excited parents inspired to take their kids’ business ideas and make them into a reality. Ebony finds these revelations to be extremely important, as when children are exposed to business dealings, they are also introduced to new cultures, experiences, and ideas that they likely wouldn’t run into until college. Ultimately, this exposure will help strengthen the children’s values and shape their view of the world.
“Kidpreneurs push our world forward. Entrepreneurship was a big thing in the 50s and 60s when you knew the owners of local businesses. Today, everything is ‘big box,’ and entrepreneurship is seen as unattainable and oftentimes, it’s not taken seriously. I think COVID initiated an entrepreneurial spirit in America, and it’s trickling down to kidpreneurs. It’ll be interesting seeing how kidpreneurs will bring the world forward using what they learned during childhood,” says Ebony.
If you would like to give Posh Pop Gourmet Popcorn a try and taste what all the excitement is about, visit your local farmers market or fairground. To order online, visit poshpop.shop. ■