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Austin’s First Black-Owned Store Front In Barton Creek Square Serves Up Soul Food-Inspired Popcorn

By Parker Diakite

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Soul Popped Gourmet Popcorn is the newest storefront in Barton Creek Square and the first black-owned shop in the Austin, TX shopping mall.

Instagram | @soulpoppedpopcorn

De J. Lozada started selling Soul Popped Popcorn back in 2016 after deciding nobody in the market was making popcorn in both a healthy and tasty way.  When her children were small,  they would eat popcorn nearly every day which is why she started to examine what ingredients were in the popcorn they were eating.

“I was shocked to learn that most of the popcorn we consumed either depended on chemicals and other artificial ingredients for taste or if it was chemical-free, it was missing the flavor we expected to enjoy,” she stated.

Lozada said she started Soul Popped to keep sharing her favorite snack with her family and friends without all of the “hidden yuck or blandness.”

“I found that I can flavor the popcorn and literally make it taste like food,” Lozada told Spectrum News Austin. “I’ve been a serial entrepreneur all my life. This is my first food business and I haven’t looked back.”

Instagram | @soulpoppedpopcorn

As the first black storefront owners in Barton Creek Square, Lozada said her presence is a big deal for the community and hopes her success opens doors for others.

“When the next black business comes along, it’s not even a question of whether or not they can make it in this environment,” she said. “We will have forged that path and proven that it can be done.”

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