Madison Park Foods
Tell us about your business.After 25 years of searching for the popcorn I had as a little girl in the Midwest, I finally found it again. I started having large amounts shipped to me and my family. After several months, my son looked at me across the kitchen counter and said “Why don’t you just start distributing this yourself? You love it, it makes you happy, it’s great and it’s different”. At that moment I decided 25 years in the technology industry was enough. I could take what I knew from my career and build my own business! I see my business evolving by finding other unique food/beverage items that are just as amazing but have also been pushed aside my our corporate food industry. Critical to my success is creating awareness around these special products, articulating their intrinsic and overt value to the consumers.
Tell us about your workspace, shop, or studio.For now, it’s my kitchen and my home office. For the first year we (friends and family) hand packed everything and my husband formulated and made every seasoning blend and batch. Now that work is beginning to transition to co-packers. Phew!
What inspires you?Other food entrepreneurs and the farmers I rely on. I have worked all my life, but these farmers toil, willingly to make their farms successful. I did not know much about farming and how tough it is for family farmers in America. Their dedication and the possibility of helping them get the recognition for their wonderful products – that inspires me most.
What makes your business stand out?Our Petite Maize is unlike 99.9% of the popcorn in the market. Our seasonings are creative (and each is purposefully made from >50% American grown ingredients).
What advice would you give an aspiring creative entrepreneur?This is a journey, not a race; you aren’t going to get everything done immediately. Be honest about your own talents, strengths and weaknesses – do what you can and try and get help (paid or volunteer) for areas where you are not strong. Balance each day with things you love to do, and tasks you dread doing. Get those things done first if you can. Walk away from your work every once in a while. Rejection of your products is not rejection of YOU. Stick to your business plan but keep an open mind about opportunities that come your way.
What does American Made mean to you?America is a unique place and state of mind. Where there are still possibilities, where people do still help one another. American Made means pride in who we have been and what we can be…if we respect and rely on one another.
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