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Popping Success: A Flavorful Journey

Contributor: Jamie Richardson


Tastebuds is rebranding to Popstarz Popcorn marking a new era of expansion and philanthropy.

📍 Tastebuds Popcorn Concord, 3805 Concord Pkwy S #132, Concord, NC 28027
Website | Facebook | Instagram

Derrick and Tavia Jackson are the dynamic duo behind the popcorn sensation that’s making Concord a little sweeter – Tastebuds Popcorn, a local favorite with over 200 flavors, handcrafted with love and real ingredients. Entrepreneurs at heart, they embarked on a delicious journey to bring people together through the joy of popcorn and are now rebranding and taking their business national!

A Delicious Journey Begins

Their story began during the pandemic when these seasoned entrepreneurs with a knack for innovation, sought to create something that would bring people together in a positive way. Recognizing the universal appeal of popcorn at family events, parades, circuses, and movie theaters, they decided to embrace the existing success of the Tastebuds Popcorn franchise located in Belmont, NC.

  • With brand recognition and the promise of creative control, they launched their business plan in January 2012, opening the doors to their popcorn showroom in May of the same year.

Tastebuds Popcorn, located just a mile north of Charlotte Motor Speedway, is a veteran-, woman-, and minority-owned business that boasts over 200 unique flavors of gourmet popcorn. Handcrafted in small batches with real ingredients, these flavors range from classics like buttery caramel to innovative creations like Cherry Lemon SunDrop and Everything Bagel, there’s a flavor to suit every taste (bud).

Photo credits: Tastebuds Popcorn Facebook

Crafting Community Connections: How Derrick and Tavia Jackson Seamlessly Integrated Their Brand into Concord’s Fabric

Beyond crafting delectable popcorn, Derrick and Tavia have woven their brand into the fabric of the community. They’ve collaborated with local high schools, offering custom-colored and flavored popcorn for PTA’s and booster clubs. The connection to the Panthers and the Charlotte Football Club through the Booster club at Hickory Ridge led them to become the premiere popcorn provider for the Bank of America stadium suites and signature private events.

Resilience in the Face of Adversity

In November of 2023, tastebuds emerged victorious in the Snack Competition at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, earning them the opportunity to have their product distributed throughout the airport. Simultaneously, an unexpected challenge arose as their store faced a flood caused by the sprinklers going off overnight, resulting in a temporary closure and damage to their supplies. This unfortunate incident occurred just after they had received their largest order yet—6000 bags—and raised doubts about their ability to fulfill it.

In a display of resilience, Derrick, the owner, tapped into the power of community and networking. He reached out to The Chamber, Leading Business in Cabarrus, and, within hours, received multiple offers, including assistance from churches equipped with commercial-grade kitchens and Cabarrus Meals on Wheels (CMOW). Determined to meet their commitment, they decided to order more popcorn and utilized the CMOW kitchen after its regular hours to fulfill the substantial 6000-bag order. Derrick described the experience as both enjoyable and heartwarming. Moreover, this challenging period provided them with the opportunity to contemplate the next steps for their business.

From Local Favorite to National Sensation

The client base of Tastebuds Concord includes Fortune 500 companies, celebrities, professional athletes, and local popcorn enthusiasts. Due to their remarkable growth and widespread acclaim, starting from March 1st, they will be rebranded as “Popstarz Popcorn”, positioning themselves as a larger, nationally recognized brand. Their ultimate aim has always been to bring pride to their family, and now they aspire to instill pride within their community as well. At Popstarz you can indulge in snacks fit for a star.

Tastebuds Popcorn on WCNC Charlotte

  • Don’t miss the opportunity to explore their upcoming Ambassador Program, where you can join the ranks of the “POP-arazzi”. Derrick & Tavia appreciate when customers share love for their gourmet goods with others, stating, “Everyone loves popcorn or loves someone who does.”

Spreading Joy, One Kernel at a Time

Launching the “Share A Smile” campaign in April 2023, the brand invites popcorn enthusiasts to participate in a nationwide gifting initiative with free shipping. Featuring popular and exclusive flavor profiles, a portion of the proceeds goes towards community-based charities. The campaign encourages everyone to “pop it forward” and spread joy, proving that life is beautiful when you gift well.

As Tastebuds Popcorn, now Popstarz, continues to grow, Derrick and Tavia’s dream of making their community proud remains at the forefront. So, go ahead, “snack like a star” with Popstarz. Their website,, showcases their journey, and you can follow their adventures at


Planning to visit? Tell ’em Cabarrus Weekly sent ya!