SPOTLIGHT SERIES: Poppi + Allison Ellsworth
"People say you can't have both, meaning and a full-time business and being a mom and I don't believe so at all! I love my time at work and I love time with my kiddos."
About POPPI: Allison had been looking for solace from her chronic health issues, and apple cider vinegar answered her prayers — after drinking it every day for a week her symptoms all but vanished. Poppi is a pop with natural sweeteners and fresh fruit, so you can get all the benefits of ACV without the overpowering taste! Cheers!
Learn how entrepreneur Allison Ellsworth got started with POPPI, and how she and her business overcame the struggles of this past year.
Our favorite office flavor is easily strawberry-lemon. As the founder of Poppi, you've got to have a favorite flavor! Which flavor would you say has your heart and your taste buds?
So hard to choose between all of our amazing flavors, but I always find myself reaching for Strawberry Lemon! This flavor is close to my heart because it is one of the first flavors I came up with. You can’t ever go wrong with a cold Strawberry Lemon!
So, tell us, how did you come up with the idea for Poppi? What sparked the idea and how did you turn it into a full-time business?
I came up with Poppi, when I was pregnant with my son. I was experiencing a bunch of health issues and visited many doctors, with no answer as to why I was feeling so sick. I then decided to do my own research and discovered Apple Cider Vinegar! I gave it a try and it ended up making me feel so much better!! The taste on its own is horrible though, so I made it into a drink that tasted amazinggg. I started this as a passion project and sold my tasty secret at the local farmers market, and now it’s on grocery store shelves nationwide!!
We want all the dirt! What was it really like to be on Shark Tank in 2018?! (& not to mention, you were pregnant at the time!)
It was definitely a life changing experience that is for sure. I was SUPER pregnant at the time and I went to an open casting. We got the call one night that we were selected to be on the show, and I had to get there the next day. I was ready to pop at any moment, but I knew I had to be there and had to make this happen because it was a once in a lifetime chance. It ended up being beyond worth it. I had my son Theo a few days after the show!
Your business was set for its big debut in March of 2020, but then as we all (unfortunately) know, the pandemic hit. How did this impact your business? Did you make any major pivots during this time?
I think that social media and the beauty of engagement on the internet really helped take Poppi where it is now. People were stuck at home, but they were also on their phones more than ever, so with the use of social media we were able to get our name out there during a time where no one was going anywhere. We really made the most out of a difficult time and sticky situation!
What's it like building a company like Poppi and being a mama of two kiddos? How do you manage work-life balance?
I’d be lying if I said it was easy. But thankfully my husband Stephen and I run the company together so that is a huge help. People say you can’t have both, meaning a full-time business and being a mom and I don’t believe so at all! I love my time at work and I love my time with my kiddos. I’m so lucky! It’s all worth it.
Where can we find you when you're not working on Poppi?
At home with my family & our dog buddy! We also like to be outdoors & take the kids to the park. I am busy with Mom life and really try to spend as much time with my two little ones doing crafts, cooking in my kitchen, or taking the kids to sports.
If you could give any piece of advice to a new female-entrepreneur, what would it be?
My piece of advice would be to go for it! You’ll never know until you start and I think majority of the process is just starting. Make sure it is something you are seriously in love with and fully believe in and you will go places. Everything happens for a reason and when many doors are shut on you, it will lead you to the correct opportunity!
What kind of interview would this be if we didn't ask everyone's "favorite" question. Where do you see Poppi in 5 years? What's your long-term vision?
I want Poppi to take over big soda! Anyone and everyone can drink Poppi, while enjoying the taste and not to mention the benefits. Things that are good for you can taste GOOD too. My goal is for our product to provide happiness one can at a time. We represent so much more than just a beverage. We say our drinks are happiness canned, and that’s truly what we believe!
We have to know, what's your biggest guilty pleasure?
I have a sweet tooth.. so donuts! Haha. I’m gluten free though so it’s incredibly hard to find good ones. My favorite donuts are from a place called Sidecar in Southern California. They are amazing!!!
We all have that one moment in our entrepreneurial journey that sticks out as being a truly memorable experience. What's your's?
When I was selling my product at the farmers market in Dallas and a Wholefoods buyer happened to be there shopping! She tried Poppi (Mother Beverage at the time) and she was instantly in love with the taste. That experience was a stroke of luck and I am forever grateful! We wouldn’t be where we are without that right place right time moment.
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