Popcorn Girl

Popcorn Girl

Company Signs Middle Eastern Deal, Goes Global

“We had neither the experience nor the expertise to successfully negotiate an international partnership that would bring cash-flow into our business while creating a franchise operation half a world away. That’s where NVIE helped. They guided us each step of the way, and we have begun to see our dream business take on a completely exciting new dimension. We wouldn’t have succeeded in this without the help and support of NVIE.”

– Laurie Sabol, Owner, Popcorn Girl

The Client

Under the direction of local entrepreneurs Mark Smith and the Popcorn Girl herself, Laurie Sabol, Popcorn Girl Las Vegas has become a local and regional specialty-foods success story and marketing powerhouse. Popcorn Girl Las Vegas has been successful in creating a fun-and-flavorful product line based around a range of flavored popcorns. As their distribution in Las Vegas expanded – based around two locations, in Summerlin and Henderson, which together employ 30 people – visitors from around the world soon began ordering their popcorn.

The Situation

Nevada Industry Excellence (NVIE), a NIST MEP affiliate, contacted the firm’s two founding partners to explore ways they could help the dynamic local firm effectively reach out beyond their operations. In those discussions, it became clear that Popcorn Girl Las Vegas was faced with the kind of dilemma that so many local success stories face. The company had two tremendous opportunities: creating four-wall franchising operations in other metro areas around the country, and the potential to expand internationally. Tremendously successful locally, both with their storefront locations and their direct-ship distribution, the founders needed advice and help in handling an international suitor who could become both an investor and an international franchisee.

The Solution

NVIE’s understanding of the international marketplace and food-product marketing helped provide the kinds of experience-based, decisive information the founders needed to close their immediate opportunity and maximize the success of their potential partnership with a Middle Eastern investor/franchisee. Popcorn Girl Las Vegas’s goal was to close the deal and maximize the cash flow while implementing a successful franchise operation in the Middle East. In addition to the cash infusion into the business, their new client and Middle Eastern partner also agreed to pay all expenses involved in shipping equipment to their Middle Eastern location. They also covered costs involved in having the owners spend three weeks in the Middle East to mentor their new franchisee/partner and assist in the set up of their first overseas location.

The Results

  • Negotiated a $200,000 deal with a Middle East client
  • Franchised the company and entered into the international market

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