Everyone knows Popcorn is a great snack. It’s easy to make, easy to take on the go, and delicious to snack on while binging on Netflix for hours forever. But what you’ve been buying in your grocery store of choice is most likely loaded with anything but natural, organic, local, and sustainable ingredients. But for the past two years a local New York company is changing the way we snack on popcorn. Pop Karma’s mission is to “make delicious popcorn from pure, top-quality ingredients.” Simple as that. Their ingredients are minimal and sourced from the best, most responsible, and sustainable producers.

Pop Karma

I went Behind the Kitchen with owner Jean Tsai to hear about what it was like starting Pop Karma and her secrets to a successful business.

Pop Karma Comes from One Smart Kernel

Jean owes a lot of her successful opening to prior experience in business. Before Pop Karma she worked in various corporate worlds to gain experience to start Pop Karma. Jean earned her MBA at Dartmouth College and her BSE/BA at the University of Pennsylvania. Through her prior experience and education she learned how to do certain things that would soon become vital aspects to running Pop Karma. She admits that a retail business, especially in NYC will always have challenges. “It’s very important to learn everything you can about the retail business and be open to adapting when needed because things are always changing,” Jean explains. Especially in this new age of social media, Jean says she’s been trying to understand every platform out there and how to best utilize them for business. Pop Karma does not hire a PR team and Jean does everything herself or with the help of her 4 employees. Social media has been a big way for her to connect with customers and spread news and updates about the store.

As someone who prioritizes healthy and whole foods in her own life, Jean also prioritizes providing her customers with the highest quality healthy snack. She is a big advocate for whole foods and keeping nasty chemicals out. She finds it incredibly rewarding seeing how excited her customers get about her healthy snack. Getting people excited about something healthy? Ok, I’m sold.

Pop Karma

I went by Pop Karma to try this healthy treat and loved each flavor better than the next. My top pick though, was the Kyoto mix, which is a combination of miso and seaweed. This specific flavor is vegan and all of Pop Karma’s varieties are gluten free. And you will never find any trans-fats, preservatives, or genetically engineered foods in this snack.

And when Jean’s not munching on pop corn, where does she love eating around New York? Some of her top picks are Jivamuktea Café and Peace Foods Café, both deliver a large variety of healthy options.

What’s next for Jean and Pop Karma? Lucky for us, they are working on a second location! No more details yet, but we’ll be waiting by anxiously.

For More Information on Getting to Pop Karma and finding out how to order, check out their website

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About The Author

Profile photo of Julie
Healthy Eater

Southern girl at heart, minus the fried food. Fresh on the NY food scene, hungry for a healthy way to live in this food capital.