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Profits a-popping


Profits a-popping

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Just over a year ago, Phillip Kellman started selling popcorn in the car park at a supermarket chain.

It was his girlfriend Amina Best who pushed him to move from an idea to an enterprise. It is a decision he has not regretted as he has been able to grow the business to the point where he is no longer “de popcorn man”, and he is thinking expansion.

“We had the name and the concept before we even had machines. It was a vision we wanted to see grow,” he said.

Selling popcorn at the Warrens location on Fridays and Saturdays since July last year, he described it as “a fantastic year” as the sales from those two days allowed him to upgrade machinery and work on branding.

“We wanted to keep the business as local as possible so that’s we have slang at the beginning of the name – De Island Corn. It will roll off the tongue earlier at least for Barbadians and in the future we’re looking to have more products from corn as well,” Kellman said.

“Corn is a more beneficial staple to the body. We’ve decided to have fun with it but still make sure it is as healthy as possible for the consumers.

“We’re looking to branch out, get into more locations. You should see us in every Massy in Barbados. The vision is big but not too big. We’re looking to make sure we have a name stamped all across Barbados. This is the first step,” he added.

Even though he believed in the business and knew it would be financially viable, he was still surprised by the response.

“It is good because it’s a healthy snack. It has lots of fibre and it’s a snack that brings people together as well. Usually you watch a movie and you have a bowl of popcorn and I guess that’s why it’s comfort food for Barbadians,” he stated.

Some days he sells 50 pounds of popcorn and he has regular customers who clearly like the flavours offered. He said they add their own special ingredient to, as it were, make it “stand apart” from the others.

The small businessman also noted that they take custom orders of their range of flavours, which include cinnamon, raspberry, caramel, cheddar cheese, for parties, weddings, and other events and customers can book them via their Facebook page.

He is hoping to add local flavours such as golden apple in time for Independence and sorrel for Christmas.

He made it clear it is not a done deal as they were experimenting with the flavour to get it right before bringing it to market and if they are not able to get it done in time, popcorn lovers would be served flavourful blue and yellow kernels.

“We’re looking very soon … to do popcorn for diabetics, which is sweet but okay for diabetics. We’re in the process of getting the recipe down but it is going to be safe for them,” he said.

Expanding De Island Corn will bring more employment opportunities and more sales as Kellman intends to sell the treat every day of the week. (GBM)