Arts & Entertainment

Filmmaker Cory Popp recognizes small, but ‘passionate’ businesses

Local videographer aims to spread word of new, independent shops.

The owners of OX Coffee said they have an “emotional connection” to the coffee they make – a connection many of its customers may not have known about until three weeks ago, when Philadelphia filmmaker Cory Popp contacted the shop.

Popp has found an interest in sharing a positive light on small businesses in the city to raise attention and attract potential customers. He does this through a short video where the owners explain the work they are doing and the passion they have for it.

“I find businesses that are visual and interesting,” Popp said. “I want my videos to show how passionate they are about their work.”

One business he thought would fit the series was OX Coffee, a coffee shop in South Philadelphia owned by Will Gross and Max Cudworth.

“We were looking to have something out there that would present coffee in a refreshing way,” Gross said. “[Popp] approached us and told us about the series he was starting to work on. We were super excited to be involved.”

OX Coffee was the second video to be featured in series since its start in February, and it has already gained attention for the coffee shop.

“There are a lot of people coming in and saying how much they liked [Popp’s] work,” Gross said.

Popp, along with his Philly Makers partners Ben Sibley and Andrew J. Mead, have had success from the video series. Instead of seeking potential businesses, some are now coming to them.

“I think people are realizing that they can get a cool video about their work out to their customers for free,” Popp said.

Philly Makers is Popp’s way of giving back to Philadelphia. As a Temple graduate, this is the place where he studied and now lives. Popp said he believes businesses can prosper here.

“I think that Philadelphia is a great place to start a business as opposed to somewhere like New York,” Popp said. “It is a lot more affordable to get started. You also really get to know passionate and committed customers.”

Small businesses weren’t always the vision Popp had in mind when creating Philly Makers, he said. He was looking for anything happening with social value but then found his focus, which made it easier to develop stories for the series – something he said is a lot of work goes into.

Although some might argue that this is not the time to start a business, Popp has a different view.

“I really love that in 2014, if you love something, you can make it into a business,” Popp said. “Because of the Internet, you don’t need to be a big corporation to be successful. Anyone who wants to do something should go out and do it.”

Siobhan Redding can be reached at                                                                                                                                                                           Editor’s note: Cory Popp was a designer at The Temple News in Fall 2011. He played no role in the editing process of this article.

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