If you want to elevate your family movie nights, consider adding Project Pop to your menu! You’re sure to find something for everyone: “a little sweet, a little salty, all vegan, and all good,” according to the website.
Popcorn with Purpose
Food hasn’t always been Chauniqua Major-Louis’s passion. Known as Major, she began her career in public relations, helping other chefs see their dreams to fruition. That all changed when a former boss gave her a small hot-air corn popper for Christmas. She made treats for her colleagues, having fun as she experimented with different ingredients.
Then, at a work conference in Miami, she won a limbo contest (a multi-talented entrepreneur!) and used her $100 prize to invest in a new popper, the Whirley-Pop stovetop model. Ready to start her own business in 2014, she considered soaps or organic juice before pursuing her love of popcorn. She first sold her organic kettle corn at local pop-ups in Orlando before transitioning the company online.
Inspired by her nieces, it was important to Major that only clean and simple ingredients were used. Made in small batches, the organic non-GMO kernels use no preservatives. She relies on virgin coconut oil, organic vegan cane sugar, and Himalayan pink salt to create the perfect flavor profile. “If I can feed it to [my nieces], I feel comfortable feeding it to everybody,” she explains.
Project Pop’s Mission
Fortunately, Project Pop got a major boost during the pandemic. Prior to 2020, Major never promoted the brand for fear that she couldn’t keep up with a sales rush. Then, in May, a reporter at VegOut reached out to her — and the rest is history. From a thousand orders in a single day to media hits in Esquire and Essence and emails from Oprah’s team (yes, that Oprah), her business took off. Soon, she was filling orders for Netflix and Fox as well as various movie premieres.
Major’s business, though, is about more than snack food. The brand’s mission is to put people and purpose over profits. Project Pop currently sells a Celebrate Black Lives two-pack that benefits Black-led nonprofits and also donates to Orlando’s Hebni Nutrition Consultants and National Black Food & Justice Alliance.
Check out our full interview with Major in our current issue!