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Alain Guillot Show

Mar 22, 2020

Joseph Zeppilli is the co-CEO of Bad Monkey Popcorn, a family business that is in the business of making Popcorn.

The business is composed of four brothers, all of them with different backgrounds.

  1. Joshep: Finance
  2. Fabio: Lawyer
  3. Brother 3: Photographer
  4. Brother 4: Chef

How Bad Monkeys was founded

Bad Monkey founder Joseph ZeppilliThey always wanted to work together as a family. One night while eating together, one of them proposed the idea of making popcorn. They were aware that there was no gourmet version in the market, so they decided to put all their skills together and make a gourmet product for the grocery stores.

The four brothers, they all were working, but they were not happy with their jobs, they wanted something different, they wanted to work together, so they decided to give it a shot. They bet on themselves. They knew that no one could outwork them.

Joseph and Fabio quit their jobs (Finance and Law) and started working full time on the popcorn business. For the first two years, they made no money. There were some days when they doubted themselves and they didn't think they would make it.

What's the marketing strategy

The marketing plan was to sell the popcorn at all major Montreal festivals.

Bad Monkey popcorn is a healthy product. It has zero trans fat, zero sugar, gluten-free, and it's vegan.

In addition to the festivals, Joseph and Fabio started knocking on the doors of different small supermarkets. On accepted, then the other one, and then another one. Now Bad Monkeys are in over 7,000 grocery stores and one of their most pressing problems is keeping up with demand.

About marketing through social media, Bad Monkey has hired a few so-called "marketing agencies" but they haven't seen great results. All they want to do is spend their money, but they haven't come up with any interesting ideas.

Bad Monkey was also aired on the popular TV show Dragons' Den

Bad Monkey operational motto is to:

  • Have the pricing point of Walmart
  • The attitude of Reb Bull
  • And the quality of Starbucks

Working with family is a struggle and a blessing. The important part is to be family at home and associates at work and not to mix those two identities. Also, it's very important to have and respect hierarchies at work. The chain of command at work could very well be different from the family hierarchy. At work, it could be normal for the son to give instructions to the father or the mother.