Meet the PR Maven-Turned-Entrepreneur Who’s Changing the Snack Scene for Good

published Mar 3, 2022
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Chauniqua Major — Major's Project Pop
Credit: Stephen M. Dowell

Popcorn — it’s great. But unless you’re already eating Major’s Project Pop, it could be better. For those of you not familiar, Major’s Project Pop is the brainchild and meteorically rising snack brand created by Chauniqua Major-Louis — a publicist who’s probably worked with some of your favorite brands and restaurants throughout her career.

Preferring to simply be called by her last name, Major is a PR maven-turned-entrepreneur who places people over profit, and seeks not only to continually evolve her business, but also to stay, um, hungry for creative inspiration. In her previous career, Major worked with chefs to tell their brand stories. Although she was undeniably crushing it, a kernel (sorry!) of an idea sparked when she realized she wanted a vegan-friendly, no-preservatives-added snack she could share with her nieces.

Thus Major’s Project Pop was born. It’s an Orlando-based business that ships nationwide, and is fostering partnerships with big-name brands like BET, Netflix, the EMMY awards, and the Calm app. Project Pop tastes like your favorite nostalgic kettle corn snack, but is made in small batches with non-GMO corn and virgin coconut oil. The flavors are truly luxe (seriously, there’s even one with edible 24K gold flakes).

But, as we all know, most food brands offer tasty treats. What sets Major and Project Pop apart is Major’s commitment to her “why.” She’s passionate about growing her business sustainably, and recognizes that it can’t be done without respect for the people she works with — and, of course, her customers. She’s committed to her communities, both local and global, and follows through with this ethos in quantifiable ways. A portion of the proceeds from the “People Over Profit” popcorn, for example, is donated to Black-led nonprofits and community organizations.

Major is one of those people who doesn’t just speak — she sparks and bubbles. Her enthusiastic personality is evident in all of the company’s details, right down to the website’s design. It’s also impossible to listen to her and not come away feeling inspired. “You need a resolve — something that will anchor you in why you’re doing what you’re doing,” she explained to Kitchn. Major also cites a supportive team of people as a key factor in small-business success. I was particularly moved by her final tenet for entrepreneurial success: “You need to be encouraged and inspired continually.” Often, I feel so focused on the grind that I don’t consider the tools needed to fuel my fire. Can you relate? I felt so seen when she shared this insight.

She also points out the imperative that we should authentically support Black-owned businesses. “I think it’s important you support businesses that you love; brands that are doing great work; that have amazing products.” After learning about Major and Major’s Project Pop, I’m totally on board. If you are too, you can purchase popcorn by the bag or 2-pack, as well as popcorn swag (I strongly feel that we all need “snack mama” and “snack daddy” stickers). And if you’re really intrigued to see the brand’s growth and journey, give her a follow on social at @eatprojectpop.

Interested in finding out about more women-owned businesses? Check out our Instagram Highlights to find your new soon-to-be favorite brand.