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Brand Builder

Episode 5 | How Pipsnacks Got Oprah Winfrey and Mark Cuban Excited About Popcorn

By October 30, 2017 May 26th, 2021

Episode 5 | How Pipsnacks Got Oprah Winfrey and Mark Cuban Excited About Popcorn

with Co-Founders Jeff Martin, Jen Martin, and Teresa Tsou

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It was a once in a lifetime break.

Just four months into launching their business, a chance encounter and a random act of kindness helped land Pipsnacks a coveted spot in Oprah’s “Favorite Things” episode. This meant massive exposure and the halo effect that only comes from the one and only Lady O.

But elation quickly turned to devastation during the first airing. Within five seconds of their logo flashing on the screen, the influx of traffic crashed the company’s home made site.

Pipsnacks are best known as the makers of Pipcorn, the delicious, artisanal mini popcorn that not only tastes great, but that’s easier on the stomach and teeth thanks to a more delicate hull.

On this week’s Brand Builder, we are fortunate to have all three of Pipsnacks’ founders – siblings Jeff and Jen Martin and Jeff’s wife Teresa – to tell the incredible Pipsnacks story, including how they landed on Oprah’s radar, and how they went about assembling a brand and a culture that could weather all the ups and downs of CPG entrepreneurship.

In this episode, you will learn the following takeaways:

  • Kindness really does count. While most brands would spend their time hunting for ways to get on TV with the biggest stars, Pipcorn found its way onto the main stage…through an everyday act of kindness.
  • Power of brand.   How did this brand make popcorn one of the trendiest snacks in the industry? Hint – it’s all about brand.
  • Tell the right story.Good storytelling should be a part of every single interaction, whether that’s approaching a potential distribution partner, an investor, or even just a vendor you want to work with.

Jump to

  • How Jeff and Jen Martin discovered Pipsnacks’ signature product – Pipcorn. 3:00
  • The moment Jen, Jeff, and Theresa decided to get serious and go into business together. 4:30
  • How the Pipsnacks team knew they were on to something big. 5:07
  • The dynamic of the Pipsnacks team, and how the family feel comes through in their brand. 6:35
  • How Pipcorn ended up being one of Oprah’s favorite things. 9:40
  • How the team dealt with their site crashing during their big moment. 12:06
  • Pipsnacks on the power of their brand values. 15:08


Have an idea for the show? Drop us a line!

Brand Builder is presented by SnackNation.

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