Salty Sisters Gourmet Popcorn of Pinellas County
Lenore Holz spent 10 years running a seasonal lemonade stand before deciding she wanted to shift into a business with a more suitable kitchen and workspace, and a product with a longer shelf life and creative appeal.
“I was fortunate enough to have an opportunity to purchase a popcorn or food truck in the New York area,” she said. “I brought it to Florida and did that for a short time until the opportunity arose to acquire Salty Sisters Gourmet Popcorn.”
She now owns and operates two locations, along with Urban Popcorn Food Truck, allowing for two separate streams of revenue.
Salty Sisters Gourmet Popcorn sells approximately 30 fun and unique flavors at a time, and with its two locations in Treasure Island and Madeira Beach, it has become a staple in Pinellas County.
Knowing that she would need support along the way, Holz reached out to the Florida SBDC at Pinellas County Economic Development for assistance. This allowed her to grow the business with the support of business consultant, Debra Schweikowsky, at no cost.
“I was able to take my business to the next level with the help of Deb at the SBDC at [PCED],” Holz said. “She help me with financing, with marketing, and staffing issues.”
The assistance proved beneficial to the growth of the business.
“Since then, I’ve been able to hire a staff of up to 10 people full-time and part time. Negotiation was key in my recent acquisition of Salty Sisters Gourmet Popcorn. It went a lot smoother. I had a lot of stress and specific questions – big questions and little questions – and Deb was there for all of those matters.”
Like many others, Holz says the business experienced a dip in sales and staffing when the COVID-19 pandemic set in, but that she used that time to gain expertise in running her business more smoothly and nail down some financial aspects of the business.
Now, as she continues her entrepreneurship journey, Holz plans to continue to work with Schweikowsky, to scale her growth. “Debra is helping me refine and of course, increase sales; hone in on my marketing,” Holz said.
She encourages others to also work with organizations like the Florida SBDC at PCED. “Use it,” she said.
“Reach out for help. Don’t be afraid. Make time in your busy schedule. No question is too small or too big it. They are a valuable resource at no charge, and it’s too good not to take advantage of.”