The product is a healthy popcorn and their company, Pipsnacks, is based in New York City. On March 13, the show revisited them and Heavy interviewed the Martins before the episode to see how their company has grown. “Our retail and online sales have drastically increased, which we have to give a major thank you to all of our fans for making that possible,” the pair told us. “Also, day by day we are able to expand our operations to a national level, which couldn’t be more thrilling, especially considering that we used to pop in a pasta pan.”
Here’s what you should know about the successful snack and its creators.
1. A Brother/Sister Team Is Behind It
The Martins are the duo behind the tasty treat. Jen was working at a health food store when a farmer gave her a special kind of corn. Jen made Jeff try popcorn made from hull-less kernels and the difference they tasted sparked the company.
They see working with each other as a positive part of the business. “The best part of the job is definitely working with my brother. We are best friends and think everything is funny! We are so incredibly busy and always running around and the more tired we get, the funnier things become. Also the more tired I get, the more likely I am to have a melt down and Jeff is who I would normally call, but now he is right there so its super convenient,” Jen told Many Kitchens.
2. Barbara Gave Them a Deal
In the clip below, watch the company face the sharks beginning at the 8:36 mark. The investors liked the taste of the popcorn, but Kevin thought their idea wasn’t worth the money. Robert offered them $200,000 for 20 percent, and then Barbara jumped in, offering the full price contingent upon them taking out $900 each week and her getting 10 percent. Confident in their company, Robert then offered them their original deal, but the pair still signed on with Barbara.
The pair dished on why they ultimately chose Barbara:
Robert’s offer was fantastic, but Barbara was just the right fit for us. She is 20 blocks from our office in New York City and has worked with food before. We knew going in she was who we wanted to get a deal with.
As far as Barbara’s involvement with the company goes, the brother and sister gushed, “Barbara has mentored us in so many ways, but most importantly, with the advice to be ourselves even as we develop and expand operations. The people you see on TV is who we are in real life and it’s important to stand grounded in those beliefs that helped up start Pipcorn 3 years ago.”
3. It’s Glutten-Free & Vegan
The company started out in Brooklyn, New York at an outdoor food market, and has since moved to Manhattan.
The popcorn is about half the size of regular kernels. They are popped using olive oil with no butter or cheese added. The product is gluten free, Non-GMO, vegan and made from whole grains.
The products are hand-flavored. As far as flavors go, the choices are truffle, rosemary, sea salt and kettle. As for their bestellers, Jen and Jeff said, “Our best seller is definitely the White Truffle Pipcorn. Our fans just love the flavor, but a close second is Sea Salt. You can’t go wrong with a classic.”
The newest flavor is called The Chili Lab. Cool Hunting wrote, “It’s billed as a medium spice, but definitely ignites some mouth tingles. As a testimonial, the bag hardly survived five minutes during the CH taste test.”
4. They Don’t Get Stuck in Your Teeth
This is because the hulls on their kernels are more delicate.
Jeff explained to Serious Eats, “The shells break up into tiny pieces that are easier to digest and don’t get stuck in your teeth like regular popcorn. It tastes like popcorn and looks like popcorn, but it’s a totally new experience.”
5. Oprah Picked Them as Her Favorite Thing
They launched in April of 2012, and only a month later, Oprah honored them by choosing Pipcorn as one of her favorite things.
Watch the video above where she surprises the Martins.
Also on this episode: