Company: Awakened Foods
Category: Current, E-Com / DTC, Food / Bev, Shark Tank
Location: Loveland, Colorado
Ka-Pop! founder Dustin Finkel is a CrossFit instructor and a paleo diet enthusiast with a passion for health and wellness. He’s also an adjunct professor in the University of Colorado business school and a veteran of the food industry having worked as a marketing and brand manager for companies like General Mills and WhiteWave Foods. Dustin watches the ingredients he puts into his body and was already a fan of ancient grains because they are densely nutritious, naturally gluten-free, incredibly sustainable, and never genetically modified. Seeking a healthier version of snacks that actually tasted great, Dustin started experimenting with ancient grains and discovered that sorghum would pop like popcorn. Using a super clean recipe that is vegan, gluten-free, top 12 allergen-free, and non-GMO, Dustin create Ka-Pop! Snacks in a variety of delicious flavors including Cheddar, Olive Oil & Sea Salt, Rosemary Garlic, Red & Green Sriracha, Salt & Vinegar, Birthday Cake, and Churro.
In 2021, Ka-Pop! Snacks merged with Bubba’s Fine Foods (which was also the Ka-Pop co-manufacturer) to form Awakened Foods. The company focuses on providing healthy snacks, both branded and for private brands, that fit the keto and paleo diet trends. Dustin leads Awakened Foods as CEO and Jeff Schmidgall, who founded and led Bubba’s Fine Foods, is the COO of the new company. Combined, they bring more than 45 years of CPG leadership, manufacturing, and finance experience.Awakened Foods Website