Zach Kuhlow, OwnerTalent, Oregon
Zach Kuhlow's idea for pOp Cakes was based on the treats he remembers having in his childhood. The bumper sticker, "Why be normal?" was the first that Zach was able to read as a kid and it left an impression. He spotted this phrase from the window of his family's "guacamole green" VW camper van in the conservative state of Florida where he spent his formative years. He remembers weekly trips to the local, grassroots co-op, where he would lather up rice cakes with freshly ground peanut butter and, on special occasions, drizzled honey. Zach said, "I missed those days of crunchy rice cakes and decided that I wanted to relive the memories as if I were a kid again." Fresh, crunchy, and delicious with or without toppings pOp cakes are always an enjoyable treat. Zach takes pride in his rice cakes and the grains that go into them. The grains used are non-GMO certified, organic, and naturally gluten free. pOP cakes are handmade, packaged, and labeled in Zach's local certified domestic kitchen.
Zach learned about the SOU Small Business Development Center and the services offered while he was attending classes at the Higher Education Center, in Medford. He first registered for the free Smart Start Workshop where he gained valuable information on starting a business in Oregon. At the workshop he was introduced to his business advisor, Stephanie Hoffman, who has guided Zach through the major transitions in his business. Zach and Stephanie were able to pinpoint his target market and create a marketing plan tailored to his customers. Zach is in the final stages of completing pOp Cakes business plan and has utilized the input from Stephanie and Fred Arnett, one of the SOU SBDC volunteer advisors. Zach started distributing pOp Cakes at the local farmers markets in early 2013, and today you can find this tasty treats at the Ashland and Medford Food Co-ops, Shop'n Kart, and Harry and David. Zach's strategy is to distribute pOp Cakes along the west coast through local, quality food stores. Pick up a package and give them a try!