At the end of a long day, there’s nothing like coming home, kicking your feet up and enjoying your favorite snack! For some, perhaps it’s a slice of cake, a piece of candy or maybe even a bowl of ice cream. For LaToya Warren-Heath, its a handful of delicious freshly popped popcorn. However, while most of us are content satisfying our tastebuds, she and her husband saw an opportunity! With his encouragement and startup funds from the sale of their first house, the Greenville NC native and popcorn connoisseur, formed Bougie Pop— a popcorn boutique that provides gourmet popcorn for all occasions.
Established in June, despite it’s infancy, Warren-Heath considers Bougie Pop an “overnight success.” In a matter of weeks, she managed to do what it takes the average business owner months, sometime years to accomplish—bring an idea to fruition. “My husband and I started researching everything we needed to run a successful popcorn company and we started buying the stuff. Overnight, we had a popcorn kettle, popcorn machine and popcorn accessories.” she explains. Before long, Warren-Heath had the logo, packaging, a variety of flavors and the lease for the warehouse she works out of. Just like that, she was officially in business.
Bougie Pop offers an array of flavors such as Caramel, Blue Raspberry, Cheddar Cheese, White Cheddar and specialty flavors like Cookies & Cream and Cinnamon Sugar. When someone opens a bag of Bougie Pop, its Warren-Heath’s hope that they experience, “A taste like none other. Popcorn on the 10th level. I want them to get popcorn that supersedes any idea of what they thought or imagined popcorn should taste like.” Sold in a variety of sizes ranging from mini cones to gallon sized tins, Bougie Pop is available for local delivery and shipping nationwide. The flavorful treats are great for baby showers, birthday parties, graduations, gender reveals and pretty much any other occasion imaginable.
Vendor events and social media platforms have been instrumental in creating a buzz for Bougie Pop. According to Warren-Heath, “Facebook been a great resource.” It’s how she receives order, where she purchased her first popcorn machine and also how she met the former popcorn shop owner who became her mentor. He’s provided the new business owner with tons of invaluable information since the launch of Bougie Pop.
Although, it’s Warren-Heath who spends the majority of her time working the business, she acknowledges the pivotal role her family has played in it’s success. Especially, that of her husband whom she considers “a tremendous help.” Afterall, he’s the one who came up with the name, jokingly referring to his wife as “bougie.” He also helps with deliveries but most importantly manages the household while she’s away. There’s also her mother and sister-n-law who help with deliveries within their respective areas and her cousin who helped her experiment with flavors when establishing her product line.
Warren-Heath admits that entrepreneurship has provided a crash course in patience and time management as she works to balance the her business, professional and personal life. Acknowledging, ”I didn’t know how many sleepless nights I’d actually end up with but it’s been well worth it. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
As for the future of Bougie Pop, Warren-Heath’s visions for the brand extend well beyond the storefront she plans to open next June. “I wanna incorporate my love for being a mentor and a leader in the community with my love for popcorn. Hopefully, some little girl out there will see that black women have businesses, dreams and aspirations just like everybody else and it’s not far-fetched.”
Most importantly, she’s building a legacy for her 3 year old son, Carter. “I always said that when I had my own children that I was going to setup a foundation for them to be successful even if I’m not here anymore. To leave behind a legacy so my son can say, “this is what my mom and dad did for me.”