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Meet the Founders

Meet the Founders: Allison and Stephen Ellsworth of poppi

Allison and Stephen Ellsworth of poppi

Allison and Stephen loved the health benefits of apple cider vinegar, but they weren’t wild about the taste. Together they created a brand new prebiotic soda that makes it easier to drink to your health.

poppi blends real fruit juice and organic ingredients to feed healthy gut flora and satisfy your soda cravings. Plus, each can contains just 5g of sugar, so you can feel good about all of their fun(ctional) flavors. 

Recently, we caught up with Allison to learn more about her journey and hear her advice for fellow entrepreneurs. 

poppi strawberry and lemon

1. Why did you start poppi?

I’m always trying to find a balance in life, whether it’s at work or in my day-to-day diet. I also wanted to be a little more health-focused in my choices without going all-in and being too hard on myself. I’d always heard amazing things about apple cider vinegar (ACV), so I started drinking it every day. I was really loving how my body felt after drinking it, but, to be honest, the taste left a lot to be desired. Apple cider vinegar straight up is a pretty intense flavor! 

My husband Stephen and I started experimenting in our home kitchen to make it taste better, combining it with our favorite fresh fruit juices. We ended up creating something totally brand new that tastes just like the sodas we grew up loving.

2. What obstacles did you face along the way?

It’s always going to be a challenge when you go up against huge, established brands. It was definitely a process to get started, claim some shelf space of our own, and find our community. There are a lot of options out there, but that’s also what’s been so amazing about our community. They love our flavors, so they championed us the entire way, sought us out even when we were tucked away in the back of stores, and helped us spread the word.

poppi product arrangement

3. What lessons do you have for other entrepreneurs?

Trust your gut. (No, that’s not just a prebiotic pun!) If you have a vision for something, stick to it and see what happens. This whole brand started out in my kitchen in Dallas and I’m currently preparing for our National Meeting in Austin, where there will be around 120 poppi team members. It’s a true testament to the fact that anything can happen if you work hard enough and believe in your own abilities.

4. What’s on the horizon for poppi?

I’m really excited about getting poppi outside the United States. We always have people from around the world in our comments asking when we’re going to start selling in their country and the answer is — soon! Tell your friends in Canada to keep an eye out, because we’re launching there next.

poppi products on pink wall

5. How do you keep work/life balance? What drives/inspires you?

I’m driven by my belief that poppi is the perfect soda. All you have to do is try it and you’ll immediately understand why I quit my other career to focus on battling Big Soda! 

As for balance, that’s always something I’m trying to achieve. I’d like to think I’m getting better at it. I have young kids and the brand is really taking off so I’m always busy with something, but I’m so lucky to have a strong and committed team that can take off some of the pressure. Everyone at poppi is so talented and driven, and I can’t wait to see what we do in the next couple of years!

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