Family Dinner: Andy Friedman of SkinnyPop

What’s one of the best parts about being a Resident at The Garage at Northwestern? Well, besides the access to resources, mentorship, and The Garage’s network, the answer is easy. Students at The Garage love the free snacks. To help bring some Silicon Valley vibes, we offer Residents access to free snacks, all day, every day. And, one of the most loved snacks is SkinnyPop Popcorn. So when SkinnyPop Co-Founder Andy Friedman stopped by Family Dinner last week to share his own founder story, we couldn’t have been more excited to meet the man behind our favorite snack. 

The SkinnyPop story starts with Wells Street Popcorn, which still has three locations in Chicago. Interested in hopping on the healthy snack train, Andy and his Co-Founder, Pam Netzky, began experimenting with healthy for you oils, seasonings, and kernels before landing on some popcorn magic. In the early days of SkinnyPop Popcorn, Andy and Pam were popping the popcorn themselves, sealing up and selling 25,000 bags in their first go in specialty stores right out of their cars. Andy demonstrates the true meaning of bootstrapping, recounting his memories of sharing an office with his Co-Founder, working nearly 24 hours per day before finally hiring a sales team.

Today, at five years old, SkinnyPop has taken over the one billion dollar ready-to-eat popcorn category, with just three ingredients. Now a part of the Amplify Snack Brands family, sales of SkinnyPop have grown 300% in the past two years, propelling to number four in the popcorn market. Hear more of Andy’s story to our students below.

Interested in getting in on the free snacks at The Garage?

Join us for a special event or learn more about The Garage’s Residency Program.