Staring at rows of nut butters in a busy Whole Foods aisle, brand-marketing consultant and publicist Emily Schildt had an "aha" moment, seeing firsthand the difficulties facing both consumers and newbie product creators when it comes to finding new and unique products.
"I was working with an alternative nut-butter brand, and we tested packaging to see how it would stand out," Schildt tells New Times. "Standing there, I realized just how hard it was to see this one butter in what seemed like a sea of more than 20 SKUs. Even though we'd designed the packaging to be bright and eye-catching, it was all lost on that shelf."
It was at that moment that Schildt began hatching the idea for Pop Up Grocer, an experience-first grocery destination for unique and up-and-coming consumer packaged goods.
"The idea was to create an environment where these newcomers to the market could get the high visibility they need to grow their products into a viable business."
Three years later, Pop Up Grocer is offering consumers a way to find dozens of innovative new brands in natural foods and beverages, home, pet, and body care. Moving forward, the pop-up retail shops — which will continue to explore new cities each quarter — will be used to target where Schildt decides to open permanent Pop Up Grocer locations.
Having cultivated pop-up experiences in New York, Los Angeles, Austin, and Chicago, Pop Up Grocer is taking its beloved brands to its most recent roving retail shop in Miami. The one-of-a-kind shopping experience will be available beginning Friday, January 28, and will run through Sunday, February 27, at a temporary retail store located at 171 NW 23rd St. in Miami.
"We are so thrilled to be heading to Miami for our 2022 season and looking forward to meeting the appetites of those searching for something equally exciting in grocery," Schildt says. "We go to the communities that want us, and Miami is a growing market for natural foods as well as health and wellness. It's a perfect match."
In true Wynwood fashion, the Miami store will be designed by Chaz Capobianco, owner of Miami-based design studio Capoco, and Elizabeth Jaime, a Miami-based prop stylist and florist. Pop Up Grocer is also partnering with local baker Fernanda Quintero, who will offer a bespoke bakery menu at the location.
Dedicated to connecting with consumers in a new and unique way, Pop Up Grocer brings all the buzziest brands on Instagram under one roof in your favorite cities, says Schildt.
Unlike a traditional grocery retail setting, Pop Up shoppers can explore and discover a wide variety of emerging consumer-packaged goods. As with all Pop Up Grocer shops, expect Pop Up Grocer's Miami selection to feature a curated selection of all-natural products, many of which are plant-based and sugar-conscious.
To be part of Pop Up Grocer, products must display creative and innovative products, source ingredients responsibly, and offer attractive or unique packaging.
In Miami, that includes over 130 up-and-coming brands, a majority of which are women-owned. They include products from Get Golden, Brainiac, the Good Ritual, Agua Bonita, Fly by Jing, Figlia, and Actual Veggies.
"Our goal is not just to sell, but to give exposure and visibility to these brands by getting them in front of people who might not otherwise find them," Schildt says.
Part of that mission includes the Fund, Pop Up Grocer's charitable arm, through which 5 percent of in-store sales from each pop-up location are donated to one brand to be used for a targeted relaunch that includes new marketing and packaging design, among other services.
Can't make it to the market? The Pop Up Grocer website sells $40 boxes offering customers a selection of eight items.
Pop Up Grocer. 171 NW 23rd St., Miami; open January 28 through February 27 daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; popupgrocer.co.