We had the good fortune of connecting with J Benjamin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi J, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
My wife and I love to go on cruises. So we started this company just as a part time venture just to get extra cruise money. But in 2020 I was laid off due to the pandemic and started doing it full time and it probably was the best career decision I’ve ever made.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I previously worked in the IT field for several companies for about 15 years. Without boring you with the details I basically solved problems for a living. I don’t think any of my technical skills benefit me much with my popcorn company. But I do believe the skills I learned in my customer service background has impacted my company the most. One of the things I learned from my time working for a company with an endless amount of presidents, Vice Presidents, Jr Vice Presidents, directors and execs is that you never know who you’re working with. So treat everyone as a VIP and you’ll be successful. I take that same approach with my customers now. No matter that the issue, question or comments, I treat it as if it was coming from the CEO of my company.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
It depends on what they were looking for. If they were looking for a little culture the museum district in Houston has some of the best art and science museums in the country. The Houston museum of natural science has the most and most complete T-Rex skeletons in the world.
If they wanted to eat some good food there’s Burns BBQ and Kenny and Ziggy’s. There are plenty of must stops restaurants in town but these were both featured on the food network and in my opinion both on part of the Houston experience.
If they were looking to party then we would head directly to mid-town. Bars like Axelrads and 8th wonder are places to hear good music, local food and great people.
If they came with their kids I would recommend one of the 1000 water parks around town like Spashtown or Texas typhoon.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There’s not enough time in the day to thank everyone thats contributed to the success of our company. But if I can thank everyone as a group, I would like to thank the city of Houston.
From the customers that love and support small businesses no matter how hot it is outside or how high the chance of rain. They still come out and shop. They make all this worth it.
To the property owners and business that allow pop ups and markets. They give us a place to sell.
The market organizers that find the perfect location and customers to host these markets. Lately it seems like anyone and everyone thinks they can host a successful market and thats just not the case. For the ones that do it and do it well, I like to thank you so much for giving us place to meet our customers
And finally my friends and family who were our original taste testers and then customers. Y’all believed in us from the very beginning. Without you there would be no Poplife.