Pipcorn: Jennifer and Jeff Martin : How I Built This with Guy Raz While working at a farmers market in Chicago, Jennifer Martin had a Jack-in-the-Beanstalk moment—a chance encounter with some tiny kernels, which wound up growing into a small giant of a business: Pipcorn, snacks made of heirloom corn. Along with her brother Jeff and sister-in-law Teresa, Jennifer launched the brand in 2012, hand-popping mounds of popcorn and hand-stamping the packaging. Within a few months, the team was featured on Oprah, and within a few years, they were on Shark Tank, but each time the publicity nearly derailed them, forcing them to scramble to meet demand. Today, Pipcorn has expanded to include crackers, dippers, and cheese balls, and is sold in more than 10,000 stores across the country.

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Pipcorn: Jennifer and Jeff Martin

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Pipcorn: Jennifer and Jeff Martin

Pipcorn: Jennifer and Jeff Martin

Pipcorn: Jennifer and Jeff Martin

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Kristen Uroda for NPR
Jennifer and Jeff Martin are co-founders of Pipcorn.
Kristen Uroda for NPR

While working at a farmers market in Chicago, Jennifer Martin had a Jack-in-the-Beanstalk moment—a chance encounter with some tiny kernels, which wound up growing into a small giant of a business: Pipcorn, snacks made of heirloom corn.

Along with her brother Jeff and sister-in-law Teresa, Jennifer launched the brand in 2012, hand-popping mounds of popcorn and hand-stamping the packaging. Within a few months, the team was featured on Oprah, and within a few years, they were on Shark Tank, but each time the publicity nearly derailed them, forcing them to scramble to meet demand.

Today, Pipcorn has expanded to include crackers, dippers, and cheese balls, and is sold in more than 10,000 stores across the country.