Soul Popped Gourmet Popcorn offers product with a purpose

Owner De J. Lozada (right) stands with Assistant Manager Tiffany Nance. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Owner De J. Lozada (right) stands with Assistant Manager Tiffany Nance. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)

Owner De J. Lozada (right) stands with Assistant Manager Tiffany Nance. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)

Image description
Soul Popped opened in Barton Creek Square in October. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Image description
Soul Popped features seven signature flavors, including Banana Pudding, Austin Smoke BBQ and Big Momma’s Fried Chicken. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Image description
Customers can chose from a variety of flavors, including coconut creme and jalapeno. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Image description
Soul Popped also features homemade pork rinds called Soul Skinz, handmade caramel corn and a special flavor of the month. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
De J. Lozada opened her gourmet popcorn shop, Soul Popped, in Barton Creek Square Mall in October, but she said the story of her brand was years in the making.

Prior to creating Soul Popped, she found herself with $53 to her name and children to care for.

“I had to decide in that moment ... how can I take that $53 and make money for myself and for my family?” Lozada said.

Lozada’s son provided the inspiration to create soul food-flavored popcorn. He is on the autism spectrum, she said, and because he is sensitive to texture, Lozada would use popcorn in an attempt to introduce different food flavors to him.

Using real spices and ingredients, Lozada created her seven signature flavors from her own soul food recipes, she said. In short order The Soul Poppers, Lozada’s nickname for her customers, became fans of flavors such as Austin Smoke BBQ, Heavenly Mac & Cheese, Buttered Corn Off-The-Cobb, Banana Pudding and Big Momma’s Fried Chicken.


She began selling her product at local farmers markets before eventually opening her storefront location, which, according to Lozada, made Soul Popped the first black-owned business to open at Barton Creek Square.

“Word of mouth is the reason we’ve grown. ... There’s something big businesses can’t replace, and that’s the authenticity of belonging,” Lozada said, adding that as a member of the Austin community she sees the importance of building a relationship with her customers.

Lozada said she is not done growing her brand and has ambitions to expand to The Domain and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. She has also developed a new digital fundraising program that allows for partnerships with school districts and nonprofit organizations.

“You plant deep and spread wide,” Lozada said. “We want to start at home because this is our community, and we love our community.”

Soul Popped

2901 S. Capital of Texas Hwy., Austin

512-373-8335

www.soulpopped.com

Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
By Amy Rae Dadamo
Amy Rae Dadamo is the reporter for Lake Travis-Westlake, where her work focuses on city government and education. Originally from New Jersey, Amy Rae relocated to Austin after graduating from Ramapo College of New Jersey in May 2019.


MOST RECENT

Lingering symptoms, long-term impact of COVID-19 will take time to fully understand

Dr. Mary Katherine Theoktisto answers questions regarding the virus.

Salvation Pizza, opening in the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport June 16, is one of several new pizza options in the Austin area. (Courtesy Salvation Pizza)
Pie chart: See a map of 11 new, coming-soon pizza options in the Austin area

New spots include Above Ground Pizza opening in New Bruanfels after several permitting delays and Salvation Pizza feeding travelers at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

Austin City Council members finalized their spending plan for the federal stimulus dollars before adjourning for their summer recess that will stretch to late July. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin will dedicate $100M in federal stimulus funds to combating homelessness over two years

In one of their last detailed discussions before their summer break, council members secured funding for several of their individual priorities alongside homelessness allocations.

Photo of Congress Street
The Moontower Comedy Festival will return in September

Headliners for the four-day festival include Margaret Cho, Dave Attell and others.

Here is your guide to spending the weekend in the Lake Travis-Westlake region. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
5 things to do this weekend in the Lake Travis-Westlake area

Live music, markets and more events are taking place in the Lake Travis-Westlake region this weekend.

The extension of Kenney Fort Boulevard is underway north of Hwy. 79. (Amy Bryant/Community Impact Newspaper)
North-south road in Round Rock makes progress; homestead exemption OK'd in Leander and more Central Texas news

Read the top business and community news from the past week from the Central Texas area.

Candlewood Suites is located at 10811 Pecan Park Blvd., Bldg. 2, Austin. (Chris Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin City Council votes for improved coordination with local counties on homeless issues; no action taken on Williamson County Candlewood Suites purchase before summer break

Council members unaimously approved a resolution aimed at improving collaboration on homeless strategy between Austin and local county officials June 10.

Photo of a drive-thru vaccine clinic
Travis County and partners to hold multiple vaccine clinics over the weekend, June 11-13

A drive-thru clinic at the Travis County Expo Center, along with several other neighborhood pop-ups, will offer the Pfizer vaccine this weekend.

Five Below is coming soon to Bee Cave. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Five Below to open Bee Cave location

Five Below is scheduled to open a new location in the Shops at the Galleria shopping center.

Central Austin home prices reached a median price of $675,000 in April. (Olivia Aldridge/Community Impact Newspaper)
City Council votes to double Austin's homestead tax exemption

The exemption's increase from 10% to 20% of a homestead's value follows the passage of an additional exemption increase for senior and disabled Austinites last week.

Bee Cave city leaders and residents are considering how best to grow Central Park over the next several years. (Greg Perliski/Community Impact Newspaper)
A park's purpose: Bee Cave confronts how to grow Central Park

Beyond basic infrastructure, the city could bring an all-abilities play area to West Travis County.