In 2008 Jonny and Ian went for a holiday in the USA. We first encountered KETTLE CORN at JAZZ IN THE PARK in Denver Colorado. We sat and listened to the jazz and ate a jumbo bag of Kettle Corn. Its slightly sweet and slightly salty taste was just yummy. The funky jazz was pretty good too. We next encountered popcorn in Chicago, at a famous shop called Garrets Popcorn which was on the Greyline Bus Tour.
There we bought some of their famous Chicago Mix which is Caramel and Cheese. It’s fabulous. The next place we saw Kettle Corn was in Twinsburg Ohio. And that’s where Jonny decided this would be a good business for us to try. And so when we got back home from our holiday we started researching Kettle Corn and found Graham and Julie Meyers had already started Kettle Corn at Willunga.
But they were glad to hear from us and welcomed another Kettle Corn company because it was relatively unknown in 2008 and as Graham said it needed promotion and marketing. So we built a trailer.
Some of you might remember the marquee that rolled off the trailer and popped open like popcorn. Jonny’s Kettle Corn was registered on 29th of January 2009 and began its first Market at Torrens Island in February 2009.
Jonny and Ian both worked full-time jobs because Kettle Corn and markets were only a weekend job. We tried all sorts of markets like this one in Two Wells. In July 2009 we were lucky to get into the Rundle Street Markets but were only allowed to sell pre-bagged Kettle Corn.
So we asked some friends Ted & Carol to do that market while we still continued with Torrens Island; both markets were on Sundays. Soon after Michael Harbison the Lord Mayor was helpful in allowing us to cook Kettle Corn in the Rundle Street Market. They were fun days. And then we got a big break when we were given a position at the 2009 Adelaide Royal Show near the flying pigs.
So we did lots of shows and fairs and markets and were always asked if we sold Kettle Corn in shops. Finally, we decided to do wholesale, so we bought a factory in South Terrace Wingfield and re-fitted it to comply with Council regulations for food production. We approached Romeo’s Foodland who suggested we work with Siena Foods as our distributors, and in June 2011 Jonny’s Kettle Corn started appearing in Adelaide Supermarkets and other fresh food outlets thanks to the help of Michael Mercuri of Siena Foods.
But just as we started to get going we had a set- back. The Snack Food Company who own the trademark Kettle Chips claimed we were infringing their trademark by using the word Kettle. Well, Snack Foods is owned by Arnotts and Arnotts is owned by the American company Campbell’s Soups, one of the biggest processed food producers in the world.
So we had to fight them. We changed our brand to Jonny’s Popcorn Delights and the company is now called Jonny’s Popcorn. It still cost us a lot of money to change all of our packaging, signage, website and stationery.
But we have moved on. And now we have several distributors across Australia. Meanwhile, we built a new lowering van and are part of the City of Adelaide Activation Program. So this is where we set up in Hindley St.
On Anzac Day 2012 we were invited by Rundle Mall Management to set-up in Rundle Mall and that was a huge day for us. In 2013 we got our first contract to supply Coles and that created a whole new fan base for our popcorn. When the stores ran out in a few short weeks the website and Facebook page went boonta with enquiries about where to get more.
Check our store finder for retail outlets near you. But the story is also about our team — Ben – Mandy – T Bro – Hatiga – Matt – Luke – Artur – Vi – Kym – Leonard – Anne – Ashley – Jesse – Jack and Jarryd who have helped us make the magic popcorn you all love. And a few very good friends who have given their time for free to get us to this point – Roz and Myee.