Teresa Tsou, Jennifer Martin, and Jeff Martin of Pipcorn
Kristen Uroda

Pipcorn: Jennifer and Jeff Martin

While working at a farmers market in Chicago, Jennifer Martin had a Jack-in-the Beanstalk moment - a chance encounter with some tiny kernels, which wound up growing into a small giant of a business: Pipcorn, snacks made of heirloom corn. Along with her brother Jeff and sister-in-law Teresa, Jennifer launched the brand in 2012, hand-popping mounds of popcorn and hand-stamping the packaging. Within a few months, the team was featured on Oprah, and within a few years, they were on Shark Tank, but each time the publicity nearly derailed them, forcing them to scramble to meet demand. Today, Pipcorn has expanded to include cracker, dippers, and cheese balls, and is sold in more than 10,000 stores across the country. 

Show Notes:

6:00 - The Martin’s Childhood 
14:00 - Jeff is laid off 
16:30 - Jennifer starts with juicing 
18:42 - Jennifer and Jeff are introduced to heirloom popcorn 
30:20 - The Smorgasburg booth 
35:50 - Early successes 
37:07 - Oprah 
47:47 - Building something bigger 
51:00 - The website crashes 
58:40 - Roadblocks with Whole Foods 
1:03:35 - Shark Tank 
1:12:30 - National success 
1:21:00 - Running out of money 
1:28:50 - The pandemic 
1:32:23 - Racial injustice protests 
1:39:58 - Luck and hard work 

Selected Links:

Madison, New Jersey

Gluten Free

Heirloom corn


Smorgasburg Booths

Kate Spade loving Pipsnacks

Truffle Pipcorn

Columbus Circle Whole Foods

Pipsnacks on shark tank

Barbara Corcoran

Pipsnacks on Oprah

Cheese Balls

Death Valley Solar Cooker

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