Small Business Spotlight: Minetta Crosier ’11

Popcorn Junkie

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Photo of Small Business Owner Minetta Crosier

This year has been particularly hard on our UCF alumni small business owners, so leading up to Small Business Saturday, we’re spotlighting a few Knights from our Business Directory!

Meet alumna Minetta Crosier ’11, owner of Popcorn Junkie:

What inspired you to start this business?

Enjoying popcorn with family and friends has always created smiles and fond memories for me. One of my fondest memory growing up is making popcorn with my mother and grandmother. The whole experience excited me. Watching the tiny kernel expand, the popping sounds and the warm buttery taste put a smile on my face every time.

Popcorn has always been a snack favorite of mine and growing up in the kitchen with my Mom, who was an amazing cook, I began experimenting with creating seasoned popcorn for just about every occasion. I loved the experience and watching others enjoying my popcorn creations was a treat for me. It was my husband who suggested I turn my passion into a business and Popcorn Junkie was born!

What is the best part about running your own company?

I like to say we “Pop with passion and a purpose.” We have regular customers we call Popcorn Junkies, who are like family. Not only do they enjoy our handcrafted popcorn, but they regularly visit before or after an Orlando City soccer game, an Amway event, or they’ll stop by our stand during a UCF football game. I enjoy being able to deliver quality, delicious treats and be a part of the happy memories our fans are creating that will last forever.

Also, Popcorn is one of America’s favorite snacks. It’s high in fiber, is naturally Gluten free and the different seasoning and flavor combinations are endless. Crafting gourmet popcorn allows me to express my creativity and deliver goodness and smiles to others. We have 20+ flavors on the menu and add new flavors seasonally. I also love making custom flavors for our customers as well.

What was the biggest thing you learned during your time as a Knight that you apply to your life today?

I worked a full-time job while I attended school. I learned determination. There were days I didn’t feel like going to class after a long day of working however, I value education and knew this path would help me reach my personal and professional goals. Even before graduating, I developed essential business acumen, critical thinking and public speaking skills that helped me advance in my job and now my business.

Why did you sign up for the UCF Knights Network Business Directory?

I’m proud to be an AlumKnight. I believe the Knights Network will give me an opportunity to meet and collaborate with others who I can learn from, support and even mentor at some point. I want to constantly be learning and getting better. I believe the Knights Network is a great way to learn from a diverse group of people while also giving back and supporting my fellow Knights community.

UCF popcorn

How has the pandemic affected your business?

When the pandemic first hit, everything stopped. We had to adjust like everyone else. However, before the pandemic, our business model was not solely dependent on foot traffic so that helped. Our focus was on continuing to expand our online and social media presence while leveraging technology to stay connected to our Popcorn Junkie fans, new business opportunities, as well as prepare our store to open safely, when we could do so.

Why is it important to support small business owners?

Small business owners are the heart of the community and America. We give it our all every day, juggling numerous roles, to deliver a unique experience to our customers. Our customers are not just a number, they’re family and friends, an extension of our community and our business. Small businesses don’t have the resources large retail chains and big businesses have, so we’re often operating and innovating with little room for error. The support we receive from the community and others means the world to us. It provides motivation and inspiration that helps us to not only survive but thrive.

Where do you see your business in 5 years?

Our goal is to continue to deliver GOODNESS and SMILES in every community the Popcorn Junkie brand is popping. In addition, we want to expand our brand promise to do good in the community with youth mentoring, as we’ve done each year, as well as creating employment opportunities, while creating lasting memories.

Find more Alumni-owned Businesses on UCF Knights Network​!

UCF Knights Network is our alumni professional networking platform that promotes career and professional development, entrepreneurship, job opportunities, and mentorship. Once you’ve signed  up (it takes only a minute to do if you sign up with Facebook or LinkedIn!), you can access the official UCF Alumni Business Directory via the platform.

This service is offered at no cost to our alumni, it’s simply a perk of being a grad! So, join today to reconnect with fellow Knights and expand your professional network.

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