“To succeed you have to believe in something with such a passion that it becomes a reality.” –Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop

There are a few big announcements to make today. First and foremost, you can now get Popped Culture popcorn online at poppedculture.org/get. Secondly, the Popped Culture stand at the Broad Street Market relocated. Read on to find out more.

Taking Flight

When I nicknamed 2016 “The Year Of Taking Flight,” I did so because I dreamed of flying to Morocco with low-income students. I dreamed of helping individuals in poverty lift themselves out poverty. I wanted to amplify a local program focused on teaching low-income youths construction skills by teaching leadership skills, sustainability principles, intercultural competencies, self-reflection, and communication strategies that I learned from the XMNR program that I’ve written about before. The course would culminate in a trip to Morocco (obviously). The students would use the skills gleaned from the course to help others in poverty. I dreamed of flying.

Found a school bus from our hometown of Harrisburg, PA while traveling in Morocco.

Found a school bus from our hometown of Harrisburg, PA while traveling in Morocco.

I lost my purpose and my passion when the idea was vetoed. I didn’t know what to do, like a bird struggling to fly with clipped wings. “Dream bigger,” I was told. This seemed impossible at the time.

Rule #1: Don’t stick to the plan when you lose your passion. Today I can say that I know how to dream bigger. It’s the only logical thing to do. That’s why we’re growing our social impact – our bag for bag program. You’ll need to wait to find out how we’re doing that. Just know that bigger impact requires bigger roots. That’s why we’re launching the Popped Culture eCommerce site. Starting today, you can get Popped Culture popcorn and apparel online.

In the process of out-sizing our online presence we’ve also downsized from a production space at the Broad Street Market to a retail space. The spot is smaller, sharper, and slightly west of our former spot. Come visit us starting tomorrow (Thursday, October 13). You’ll quickly understand why version 2.0 is better.

Keke working our first mobile event in Carlisle, PA.

Keke working our first mobile event in Carlisle, PA.

Our larger social mission and smaller space mean we must “think different.” Since we no longer have a production facility inside the market, you’ll likely see us popping up some fresh popcorn on the spot at local events. As luck would have it, taking the show on the road enables us to reduce the amount of sugar we use to pop our tasty kettle corn by nearly half. We’re still a little sweet, a little salty, and a little addicting. We’re now a little healthier, too.

Rule #2: Go out and get feedback when you lose your passion. I thought “The Year Of Taking Flight” meant flying with students I’d taught. It seems that this year our corn will do the flying. Take a moment to check out our site and our new retail space. We’d love to know what you think.

Conclusion

Today’s not only about announcing the online store and the new face of Popped Culture at market. It’s also about letting you know that we’ve started to sink those big roots (although they might be on a trailer), and we’re ready to make a big impact. In these last few months I’ve re-found my purpose and passion and that’s surely not where we’re staying. Last year, with your support, we donated over 1500 bags of popcorn to local elementary school kids. Although this year we might not be boarding a plane to Morocco, I know we‘re surely taking flight.

We’re creating our own rules at Popped Culture. Please let us know if you are interested in working together. Let us know if you are interested in pursuing the things that others say we cannot do.

Yours truly, Mark Wieder

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