Gene & Patty got their idea to make and sell popcorn at farmer’s markets and craft shows in an unexpected way. In 2010, one of Patty’s daughters asked for Peanut Butter popcorn for her birthday. At this time, Patty was unemployed and back in college working on her Bachelor’s degree. Gene was a waiter at a Midland-area restaurant.
The idea of making and selling popcorn seemed like an interesting and easy way to earn extra money. At least that’s what the catalog and fliers stated when they received information from a national supplier. They learned about a local popcorn farmer who also sells oil-popping equipment, toppings, and supplies. Sadly, they discovered the equipment and all that was needed was too expensive for their budget. Gene often states: “We were $375 short of buying the least-expensive popper the farmer had at $395.”
As per Patty, “Sane people would have decided to find another way to make ends meet.” Instead of looking at other options the couple went to a local store and bought a $20 hot-air popper. They began experimenting and researching to find a way to make popcorn that they would want to eat. They reasoned that since they didn’t like what was on the market, it was important to make something they liked. They researched and experimented. Eventually, their experiments extended to Patty’s economics professor, their neighbors, grandchildren, children, and any willing taster.
They named their company in honor of Gene’s dad – who was called “Pop Pop” by Gene’s children. Gene is also called “Pop-Pop” by his grandchildren. While the company is a joint effort, the name “Pop-Pop” seemed a natural transition.
Finally, in 2011, they went to their first craft show…and their journey truly began. The rest, as they say, is history!