We had the good fortune of connecting with Cierra Link and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cierra, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Popcorn Explosion was created out of my love and desire for sweets. I wanted something to call my own and something that would keep me occupied. In the beginning stages, I researched and played around with different ideas, but ultimately it came down to me wanting to do something unique that hasn’t been mastered before. I wanted to start a business that had a shock factor about it and that I felt could win over the community of people that have a huge sweet tooth just like I do. I’m a huge fan of fair food, food that you can’t get on a regular basis, and I wanted to stay in that distinct category. We get so many customers that were hesitant to try our flavors at first and the feeling of winning them over is extremely satisfying and rewarding, which is a constant goal not only for myself but for my business. After several months of researching and preparation, I knew that popcorn was what I wanted to master, and it still allows me to implement my creative side and execute new ideas so it’s a win-win situation for me.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Popcorn Explosion is unique in that people are able to try new flavors of popcorn outside of the normal butter, caramel, or cheddar. We have a variety of flavors on our menu which provides an overall experience. I’m most proud of the fact that others enjoy our popcorn and that we’ve been able to win so many people over which allows us to have repeat customers and people reaching out for us to participate in their events. Popcorn Explosion is at the place that it is today through hard work and being receptive to our customer’s feedback. Our customers have had the biggest impact on our success, and their input has helped us improve overall as a company. It was important to get their insight and opinion firsthand which is how we set ourselves apart; we got out and interacted with our customers. I was a huge advocate for participating in pop-up shops, vendor events, art events, etc. I felt like that was the only way that people were going to know our name. I could sit there and tell people all day that my popcorn is good, but the likelihood of them purchasing a product off of the strength that I said so was slim to none. I knew that I would need to market a different way and so I researched different events that were going on and made sure to participate. Being the picky eater that I am, I know what it’s like to contemplate not purchasing something out of fear of it not living up to your expectation so I made sure to provide samples at the events so people could try. I have learned a lot since first starting the company, but I make sure that I learn from any mistakes that have been made. I want Popcorn Explosion to be a household name one day. I want the company to grow to the point where I am able to employ others and help other people/families. I want the world to think of us as a company that is reaching new heights because of our quality, uniqueness, and innovation.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My mom deserves all of the recognition in the world. She was a young mother and I watched her make a way and accomplish so much even at a young age. I know that it wasn’t easy and I also know that she sacrificed a lot to make sure that I was well taken care of. She was diagnosed with Lupus almost 15 years ago and I’ve never once heard her complain or not get things done even when she’s not feeling well. Growing up and seeing an example of a strong woman gave me the motivation that I needed to start my own business. I will forever be thankful that God chose her to be my Mom.