Yasmeen Tadia (BBA ’04)
Cox Alumna Spins a Not-So-Fluffy Entrepreneurial Idea Into a Tasty Treat
31-year-old Yasmeen Tadia (BBA ’04) is the single mother of Zain, a 4-year-old boy who, like any self-respecting child, loves sugar. They say necessity is the mother of invention, and so it is that Zain’s mother invented a flavorful, low-calorie, gluten-free sweet treat called Fluffpop™ Gourmet Cotton Candy.
“One Fluffpop has about the same sugar content as a quarter of a hard candy,” says Tadia. The entrepreneurial vision behind this sugary pouf came in the quest for a reasonably healthy candy alternative for her son, but Tadia’s professional experience since graduating from SMU Cox has given her the confidence to turn her not-so-fluffy vision into reality. She worked for the last six years in management as a human resources professional for Highgate Hotels, New York City’s largest operator of hotels. As corporate director of human resources, she helped the ownership team with strategy for hotels globally. With the birth of her son, Tadia’s life took a turn for the sweeter. In fact, her Fluffpop™ company motto is “Make Your Life Sweeter.”
A serving of Fluffpop™ is far smaller than a serving of the cotton candy typically sold at places like the state fair or the zoo. But while a huge serving of cotton candy registers pure sweet on the taste buds, Fluffpop™ actually tastes like the exotic flavors—such as pineapple, guava, strawberry and lychee—that Tadia uses to spin this cottony confection. It satisfies the craving for sweet, but at six calories per serving, it doesn’t overwhelm anyone’s calorie count. Tadia offers a variety of Fluffpop™ options: organic, gluten-free, vegan and Kosher. There are also edible glittery and glowing options for upscale events.
“The product is about 90 percent air and 10 percent sugar,” says Tadia. She imports chemical-free, flavor-packed hard candy from countries around the world and uses a spinning device she created herself to turn the candy into cottony flavor sensations. She and her “Fluffpop™ DJs” spin these sugary confections live, much to the viewing pleasure of cotton candy aficionados.