Ep.103 – Steven Bier – Popcorn For The People

Paul FennerPodcast

Steven Bier, Popcorn for the People

What if you had a child on the autism spectrum who couldn’t find a job?  Not because they couldn’t work but because of a lack of opportunities.

This was the challenge that Steve Bier was facing with his autistic son Sam who was highly functional.  After being challenged by his wife, Barb, Steve invested $30,000 and bought a popcorn company in 2014.  Today, Popcorn For The People employs between 70 and 80 men and women with some form of disability who might not have had the chance to find meaningful work.  

As Steve pointed out during our conversation, a job is worth way more than the money for someone with special needs.  A job could be a lifeline to being and feeling independent.  To build social skills that are challenging under “normal” circumstances.  And for parents, a job can be an opportunity to see their children develop in ways that they likely thought were unimaginable.

From a Business Perspective

Steve walks us through how Popcorn for The People has grown into a sizeable organization after being kicked out of the first two malls they were initially set up.  He shares business lessons such as combining word-of-mouth advertising with pop-up events after ditching the idea of having their own storefront.

From a Parenting Perspective

Steve talks about how their son Sam was first diagnosed with autism and how he and his wife completely missed it.  Steve, an avid reader, suggests picking up a good autobiography such as Shoe Dog – Phil Knight, Nike founder, and From the Ground Up – Howard Schultz, Starbucks founder

Doing Good

Doing good that tastes good is probably the best way I would describe Steve and the organization he has helped build.  Watch this insightful video from the Today Show to learn more about this tremendous cause.  I’m sure you will be buying some popcorn.