HUNTSVILLE / BIRMINGHAM – Lisa Jackman makes popcorn a cool gift to give. “She doesn’t wait for you to figure it out,” said the Alabama Retailer of the Year judges. Jackman has found “different ways to market her business beyond just walking in and getting some popcorn,” the independent panel said.
What’s Popp’N Gourmet Popcorn, a boutique shop in the Westbury Square shopping center in Huntsville, sells popcorn, nuts and cotton candy. The five-year-old business also has pop-up shops at the Redstone Arsenal Military Base, University Pickers Consignment shop and the ARTery Shop. It sells its bagged, tinned and gift boxed products at outdoor community festivals and special events. The store will even set up bridal and baby shower and wedding reception popcorn/dessert bars. What’s Popp’N also packages its products for corporate gift giving.
Those brand extensions and community involvement earned Jackman and What’s Popp’N Gourmet Popcorn the title of Alabama’s Bronze Retailer of the Year Award in the Annual Sales Less Than $1 Million category. The Alabama Retail Association, in cooperation with the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Collat School of Business, honored Jackman today at the 2016 Alabama Retail Day luncheon in Birmingham. Terrance G. “Terry” Finley, president and chief executive officer of Alabama-based Books-A-Million Inc., made the keynote address.
The Retailer of the Year judges lauded Jackman for getting half of her product from local sources. “We use Heart of Dixie butterfly popcorn that is grown at Pine Lawn Farms here in Huntsville at a family business,” said Jackman who spent more than three years researching different popcorn kernels, before settling on a local grower that sells their crop internationally. “They specially treat the soil to be able to grow popcorn that yields well,” she said.
“Lisa has done a great job of marketing this business and a great job of giving back to the community,” said Pammie Jimmar, small business and events director for the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County, which nominated Jackman for the award.
Community groups that ask for donations don’t walk away empty handed from What’s Popp’N. “I don’t like to say to someone I’m sorry I can’t give,” Jackman said. “I give something small, so I can give to all.”
What’s Popp’N Gourmet Popcorn was one of 13 retail businesses honored at today’s luncheon. This year’s winners came from a pool of more than 70 nominees. The Alabama Retailer of the Year awards program, started in 1999, honors outstanding retailers who have demonstrated growth, innovation and a commitment to their respective communities.
“Lisa Jackman is a retailer of the year EVERY year to the What’s Popp’N Gourmet Popcorn customers, its six employees and the Huntsville community,” said Alabama Retail Association President Rick Brown.
The Alabama Retail Association represents retailers, the largest private employer in the state of Alabama, before the Alabama Legislature and the U.S. Congress. Through sales of food, clothing, furniture, medicine and more, our 4,100 independent merchant and national company members touch almost every aspect of daily living. Since 1943, we’ve worked to promote what’s best for the retail industry in Alabama. Whether voicing the retail view when public policy is made, educating members about issues that impact them, negotiating rates for benefits and services or communicating the retail story, the Alabama Retail Association and its members are better together.