RG: Motor City Popcorn is a gourmet popcorn company serving 8 flavors. MCP is carried in over 13 retail locations and you will find us as a vendor at many major events, such as Concert of Colors and Noel Night.
What was your experience in the Build class?
RG: Build broke down the numbers the best. It is still a principle I use today. For instance, I know my “Break Even Point” (Basics, p33) before I set up for each event so that I don’t get excited about all the money in my pocket. I know exactly how many units I need to sell to make a profit. I was in the class with growing businesses that I still keep in contact with: Flash Delivery, Detroit is the New Black, Drama Queen, and Fresh Cut Detroit.
RG: I haven’t worked for anyone since June 9, 2003, when I was in the record industry. Working at MCA Records was not a typical office job so I was used to being in the field. Once MCA closed I used my record industry access to do contractual promotional work; creating and selling mixtape CDs. My mother is a General Motors retiree and earned a good living but my family doesn’t have entrepreneurs, I wanted to change that. It’s fulfilling when you take care of your household, take a trip, look at what you have in your house, and think that I actually did this. My brother’s words stick with me, “The hustle is in us, we just have to apply towards the right hustle.”
What are your recent developments?
RG: I’m currently in Motor City Match to get a building on the east side in order to move from shared kitchen with limited kitchen hours. I’ve applied to Hatch Detroit, Motor City Match and Crains’ Entrepreneurs of Colors Fund to raise funds for my buildout costs. This time of the year [May-August] keeps me busy with open houses, weddings and other special events. It is important that I increase the available cash on-hand so that I can stay afloat when collections are late.
What is your long-term vision?
RG: My vision is to have a 5,000 sqft. space with a commercial kitchen and retail space. We will host movie nights and have an area for kids to enjoy themselves including a lounge with amenities for parents. You may not buy anything the first time but if the kid has fun, you will eventually buy something. I’d like for MCP to be a crucial tourist stop like the famous Chicago popcorn brand; lines out the door. I have someone in mind to hire to manage distribution and store inventory, I’m still working to fund that role.