Meet the Cableway suppliers: Karen Tardieu, the entrepreneur who is popping up a storm

Meet the Cableway suppliers: Karen Tardieu, the entrepreneur who is popping up a storm

Karen Tardieu founded Popcorn Tribe, South Africa’s only GMO-free, gluten-free, dairy-free vegan-friendly popcorn company in 2014, with the vision of creating a healthy, tasty and value-for-money snack.

The idea came to Tardieu at home at her kitchen table, when she realised that most household snack products were full of ingredients such as preservatives and chemicals. “That’s how I decided to ‘up’ the popcorn game by using only natural flavours,” she explains.

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Popcorn Tribe's exciting flavours currently include Caramel & Khoisan Sea Salt, Cinnamon Pop, Plain Goodness and Gone Peanuts

Five years later, Popcorn Tribe is moving from strength to strength. Tardieu was even named one of the top three suppliers to the Cableway over the past year at our recent Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) graduation and awards evening.

“Being a supplier to Table Mountain is not only an honour but a privilege, because of the values of the management team towards their employees, the environment and community. We are very proud suppliers to the Cableway,” says Tardieu.

In addition to being named the second-best supplier to the Cableway, Tardieu also graduated from the ESD programme, which is run by Siyakha Implementation Partners. 

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Meet the top suppliers of the Cableway of 2019! Karen Tardieu walked away with the second place and an award of R20 000

“The programme has been monumental in helping us structure and formalise our business processes, financial records and marketing strategy. The weekly visits also provided a space where I could bounce off ideas with the business coach, which was invaluable,” Tardieu adds.

A highlight of Tardieu’s ESD programme journey was being featured on the Forerunners programme on the e.tv and eNCA television channels. The programme profiles emerging enterprises that are making their mark on the local economy by giving them an on-air platform to extend their reach. The programme resulted in an incredible R1.6-million marketing exposure for Popcorn Tribe, plus new business.

Looking to the future, Tardieu aims to explode internationally. Popcorn Tribe has recently moved from a 36 square metre home-based garage to a 750 square metre factory. With the addition of an upgraded food-safety certification, Popcorn Tribe will soon be exporting its products to Europe. 

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Karen Tardieu smiles with Cableway executive management, Rianda Williams and Neil Arbous

Tardieu adds that new flavours, non-GMO and natural of course, will also be released to expand the company’s product range. With current flavours including Caramel & Khoisan Sea Salt, Cinnamon Pop, Plain Goodness and Gone Peanuts, we can’t wait to taste the new additions to the Popcorn Tribe family!

Although an exciting international expansion is on the cards, over the next year Tardieu is focused on expanding Popcorn Tribe’s product on the shelves of major retailers in South Africa. 

We love to see our suppliers grow, expand and take on the world, and until Popcorn Tribe is available nationwide and across the globe, we’re proud to stock its snacks at all our Cableway stores. Be sure to stock up on your next visit! 

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