“But if it’s classic and original, why mess with it?”
The truth is that while we love cheddar cheese on our popcorn and go crazy for horseradish, we have had a terrible time sourcing horseradish that has just the right taste to make this flavor a winner on a regular basis. Horseradish lovers crave the fiery sensation that it brings to the palate… and when blended with fine cheddar cheese it can be heavenly.
Unfortunately, horseradish can also be terribly bitter when not processed properly. Perhaps it has to do with the region in where it is grown, the soil, the moisture or other factors that only a horseradish expert would know. All we know is that the taste of the horseradish that we purchase for CrunchDaddy Popcorn varies wildly. The inconsistent quality has made it terribly difficult to produce a product with the flavor and heat that our customers demand and without the medicinal bitterness that horseradish can bring.
Frankly, it’s been maddening… to the point that we nearly discontinued the product!
Yet, we love challenges… and we don’t give up that easily! Thus, we decided to approach the flavor in an entirely different way. Per customer demands, we knew we needed more of that classic horseradish HEAT, the kind that wakes your taste buds and makes your eyes water just a bit!! Beyond that, we needed a more consistent quality of horseradish that was free of the bitterness that was too familiar to us.
After some research, consultation with a horseradish expert (by luck!) and some late night experiments in the CrunchDaddy test kitchen, we’re proud to tell you that White Cheddar & Horseradish Crunch has evolved… Truly “New and Improved”, with all of the great taste and zesty spice that our customers have asked of us! This flavor is one that deserves a place at your next cocktail party!!
CrunchDaddy Popcorn opened for business at the stroke of midnight on January 1, 2012. Today we are celebrating the completion of our first six months in the gourmet popcorn business! I’m awed and amazed by the entire experience!
Opening a small business like CrunchDaddy Popcorn means taking a jumbled mess of ideas, distilling them, organizing them as best you can and then executing them in such a way as to bring those ideas to life in the form of a tangible product that people will enjoy. In my case, the fundamentals of CrunchDaddy Popcorn were formed in my mind back in 2007. Reluctance, uncertainty and fear of venturing out into the world of entrepreneurship kept me from marching ahead with those ideas. Thankfully in early 2011 I found the will and determination to give these ideas and dreams the treatment that they deserved. I’m so happy that I did!
Throughout 2011 I also found endless ways to forestall the execution of my ideas for CrunchDaddy Popcorn. I knew very well the failure rate that is associated with start-ups and wanted to do everything humanly possible to insulate myself and my business from any such failures… and I did it to the point of delaying the opening of the business until each and every possible scenario and contingency had been predicted, accounted for and planned for.
I have a close group of friends who act as business mentors, advisers and a marketing coach. One friend in particular was keen on seeing the “big picture” and observing my behavior. Several times a week I would send him an email of some popcorn flavor idea, a widget I discovered on-line or some fragment of a marketing idea that I could use for the business I had yet to open. His usual response was, “That’s great. When are you gonna make some popcorn?”
In his kind and indirect way, my friend was nudging me to stop seeking solutions for every potential issue that I could face and simply to “Do it!”, as the Nike ads say. His previous experience as an business owner had taught him what I now understand as an entrepreneur of only six months: Experience is the best teacher. It is impossible to predict and prepare for all of the learning experiences that you will encounter once you execute your plan.
With only half a year of experience under my belt in running CrunchDaddy Popcorn I am reluctant to wax philosophically or speak as though I am qualified to mentor others in their business pursuits. However, I can admit to having a much greater understanding and appreciation for the wisdom found through reading books on entrepreneurship and listening to the wisdom of those with experience. For someone who has compiled pages upon pages of ideas, notes, product catalogs, logo ideas and research materials, the mantra of “just do it” sounds like a load of inspirational nonsense written for the sake of selling books. If you are an aspiring entrepreneur let me assure you that it’s not.
Experience is your best teacher.
After six months I’m proud to tell you that CrunchDaddy Popcorn is a success! We’ve been truly blessed by the enthusiastic response to our products by customers throughout the U.S. and Canada. The worst fear when going into a business like this is, “What if people don’t like it? What if no one buys it?” I knew within a matter of weeks after opening that those fears were not to be realized. To the contrary, we’ve been blown away by the efforts made by our fans to spread the word to other people, to share our products and to re-post and re-tweet our messages. We even have a core group of CrunchDaddy fanatics who have become repeat customers three or four times over! No amount of pre-opening business planning and number crunching could ever account for this kind of organic growth. We’re truly awed and humbled by all of it.
We are especially grateful to each and every one of you who have shown support for CrunchDaddy Popcorn. No matter how big or successful this venture becomes, I will never lose my appreciation and fascination for the fact that so many people have entrusted us to provide them with products and experiences that are of value to them. There would be no CrunchDaddy Popcorn were it not for you. Take a bow, raise a glass and know that you’re part of a special group of people.
We plow ahead into the second half of our first year with more enthusiasm than ever! A round of several new flavors will be announced shortly as well as some new packaging options. CrunchDaddy Popcorn will soon be available for wholesale distribution as well. Wholesale marketing is something completely new for us, but we’re moving ahead with it and looking forward to many lessons learned. Just do it!
Now that I am a small business owner and an aspiring food specialist, I enjoy walking into a new food business and taking in the sights and smells, feeling the energy and the passion that it took to build the establishment. You can’t help but let some of that excitement rub off on you and be inspired to even greater things in your own business or dream of ways that this business can enhance your life.
Today I had the pleasure of meeting Adell Cothorne and Bill Kerlina, owners of Cooks ‘N Cakes in Ellicott City, Maryland. Cooks ‘N Cakes specializes in cupcakes… Excellent, fresh-baked and decadently yummy cupcakes that scream, “EAT ME!”
Did I mention that the cupcakes are awesomely delicious? (I say this as I wipe the last of the marshmallow frosting from the corner of my mouth… what’s left of a “S’more Please” cupcake, pictured front/left above).
Say what you want about food fads and the recent rise in popularity of cupcakes. There’s always room in any town for a bakery that can produce fresh products like this, cupcakes that should shame the big chain grocery stores from producing the nasty stuff that they expect us to buy, adorned with rainbow sprinkles and day-glo frosting.
Pictured above are just four of the many flavors that Cooks ‘N Cakes provides:
front/left: S’more Please - Devils food cake and marshmallow frosting with graham cracker crumb topping
front/right: Banana Split - Banana cupcake with strawberry and chocolate buttercream frosting and a cherry
rear/left: Berry Good - Vanilla cupcake filled with strawberries, vanilla buttercream frosting and a strawberry on top
rear/right: Something’s Bacon - Cornmeal cupcake with bacon infused maple buttercream, garnished with bacon
I admit to thoroughly enjoying each of these cupcakes! Hats off to the chefs for creating these little delights that each have a unique character and taste to them! My favorite was the “Berry Good”… an exceptionally light vanilla cupcake with a delicate buttercream and really showed-off the baker’s skills.
Four flavors down… and how many to go? I can’t see making another trip down Rt. 40 in Ellicott City without stopping in to Cooks ‘N Cakes to try even more flavors. If I need a quick gift or a dessert for unexpected guests, this place will be on my short list, for sure!
Cooks ‘N Cakes is located in at 9251 Baltimore National Pike (Rt. 40) in Ellicott City… In the same building as the big Starbucks. Skip the over-priced baked goods at Starbucks and take home some cupcakes!
The word of the day is "lagniappe", as it comes with every order made from CrunchDaddy Popcorn!
We include a little something extra with each purchase, usually a sample or two of other flavors or a free upgrade to a larger size of something that you ordered (Did you think that was done by mistake? No no!)
"A lagniappe ( /ˈlænjæp/ lan-yap) is a small gift given to a customer by a merchant at the time of a purchase (such as a 13th doughnut when buying a dozen), or more broadly, ‘something given or obtained gratuitously or by way of good measure.’
The word entered English from Louisiana French, in turn derived from the American Spanish phrase la ñapa (‘something that is added’ ). Although this is an old custom, it is still widely practiced today in Louisiana. Street vendors, especially vegetable vendors, are expected to throw in a few green chillies or a small bunch of cilantro with a purchase.”
(…a look at our fancy new vinyl sign for use at shows!)
Greetings to friends and fans of CrunchDaddy Popcorn!
A company blog like this is worthy of more frequent updates and I promise to post more information from here on. I want for this blog to be the place where the story of CrunchDaddy Popcorn’s evolution is told and where I share the ups and downs of my entrepreneurial venture. Lately there has been much to tell and far too little time to tell it… but that’s a good problem to have!
In order to bring folks up to date with what’s going on at CrunchDaddy Popcorn, I should tackle the question I hear most frequently of late: “How’s it going?”
Overall, for a company that has been open less than five months and being run by a first-time entrepreneur, things are going very well! Prior to opening the company on January 1, 2012 it would have been impossible to make projections as to the quantity and frequency of sales. However, I can say that the volume of business has well exceeded what I would have expected or projected. Further, the amount of repeat business that we are experiencing from customers locally and throughout the U.S. and Canada has been astounding.
With that said, and while I am proud of the progress that CrunchDaddy Popcorn has made thus far, it remains a part-time venture for me. Even though it feels like every waking hour is being spent on some kind of activity for CrunchDaddy Popcorn (and thus feels like a second “full-time” job), the sales volume is not yet sufficient to provide me with a full-time income… but that is the goal, to develop CrunchDaddy into a thriving business that can support me as well as my employees.
The future looks tremendously bright as sales and public acclaim for CrunchDaddy Popcorn products continue on a steadily upward trend. Enthusiastic reviews and comments about CrunchDaddy Popcorn come to us on a daily basis, through social media, our website and email. Positive comments are enough to make any modest entrepreneur pause and reflect on the fact that their products are being well-received and gaining in popularity. It’s been a very gratifying and humbling experience thus far!
As I meet with friends, bloggers and customers, not a week goes by when I do not learn of some new and exciting opportunity for CrunchDaddy Popcorn. As I often tell people, “there is no shortage of ideas and opportunities right now, just a shortage of time and funding.” We are a “boot-strapped” startup, meaning that we created CrunchDaddy Popcorn with personal resources, very little funding and seek to grow the company slowly and gradually from the proceeds of sales rather than traditional funding sources like small businesses loans. To the best of our ability, each phase of our development will progress as we are able to handle the growth and remain self-financed.
If there is a downside to the entrepreneurial experience thus far, it comes from the uncertainty of what the future holds and the difficulty that is inherent in managing growth. Behind the buttery sweet surface there is a swirl of activity that challenges me to keep numerous plates spinning in the air at once without sacrificing the quality of the products. Whether it’s popping popcorn, packaging it, shipping it, delivering it, answering emails or managing social media, there’s ALWAYS something that needs to be done.
Rolling out new flavors and expanding our packaging options are never as easy as they seem. I had to cancel two photo shoots in April (for new products) thanks to the tremendous response that we received to the review of CrunchDaddy Popcorn in HowChow blog. I suppose that’s a good problem to have, being busy fulfilling orders… but I don’t like the feeling of falling behind and not being able to apply my time toward growing the company.
Lastly, I must share my undying gratitude for the incredibly humbling and inspirational comments that people have shared in regards to their experiences with CrunchDaddy Popcorn. I am rarely short on words, but the awesome kindness and words of encouragement that I have received for CrunchDaddy Popcorn have left me speechless. No matter how difficult the task, I’ve been blessed with more than enough well wishes and compliments to keep me going for quite a while!
Thanks for the support and interest in CrunchDaddy Popcorn!
HowChow is a blog about the food scene in Howard County, Maryland, the home of CrunchDaddy Popcorn. We recently had the honor and privilege of meeting the man behind HowChow blog and provided him with a bodacious tasting experience! Here’s what he had to say about it!
Joy of joys!! Our official Twitter name is now @CrunchDaddy! The old name of @MrCrunchDaddy is history!
The name @CrunchDaddy was not available to us when we opened our Twitter account last summer, so we settled for @MrCrunchDaddy. Thanks go to a very kind gentleman from Tennessee who originally owned this Twitter handle but never used his account. He was generous to hand it over to us with his best wishes! For that we are eternally grateful and we are thanking him with a bodacious shipment of CrunchDaddy Popcorn! Thank you, sir!!
Hot, salty, buttery popcorn is an essential component of the movie theater experience… that is if you have an extra $20 burning a hole in your wallet after you’ve purchased the tickets.
Sadly, the popcorn that we’re used to eating in a movie theater is over-salted and coated in a greasy combination of tropical oils, artificial flavorings and colorings… without a single drop of butter. It never lives up to the aroma, but we buy it and eat it anyway.
Microwave versions of “movie theater style” popcorn are even worse. If you’re patient enough to pop your own popcorn and melt your own butter you have a chance at some decently good popcorn… as long as you have a light touch with the butter. Otherwise, you’ve got soggy popcorn.
During the past few years as I’ve presented many gallons of popcorn to friends and family for samples, I was often asked if I would ever produce a simple and straight “plain” popcorn with salt. Nothing much in that idea inspired me. After all, what was the challenge in it? I want any flavor that I bring to market to have something more going for it, something that can not easily be made at home… something worthy of the name “CrunchDaddy”.
While I saw no challenge in producing plain popcorn, I believed that I could produce a buttery popcorn that was flavored with real butter and without a hint of artificial flavors or colorings. The result is what we now call “Movie Night Crunch”!
The ingredients are plain and simple: popcorn, butter, canola oil and finely ground sea salt. The butter is fresh (not powdered) and the sea salt is applied judiciously. We strive for “just salty enough” so that the true taste of the other ingredients can shine. For those that want the over-salted variety, their salt shaker probably isn’t too far away and they’re free to add all the salt they want.
In the end, “Movie Night Crunch” gives you an authentic buttered popcorn experience to enjoy in your own living room, home theater or man cave. No greasy fingers, no salt overdose and no need to pay movie theater prices!
While I’m proud of all of the CrunchDaddy flavors that I’ve developed and the work that went into creating them, I’m particularly excited to be offering what could become our most popular variety, “Peanut Butter Crunch”!
The notion of peanut butter and popcorn together strikes some as rather novel, but I always thought that peanut butter works well with crispy, crunchy things like breakfast cereals, granola, pretzels, cookies and so forth. Making a peanut butter popcorn seemed like a no-brainer to me.
While first trying my hand at caramel popcorn back in 2007 I developed a peanut butter CARAMEL popcorn that people went crazy for. It remains one of my favorite popcorn recipes. Unfortunately, as a start-up company on a small budget it is impractical for me to produce any kind of caramel coated popcorn en masse. The door is wide open to offering caramel varieties in the future when I have a larger facility to work with… but for now, the troubles and the messes involved in making caramel popcorn flavors is more than I can handle.
However, I’m hard-headed and didn’t want to give up the possibility of bringing out some kind of peanutty popcorn when I launched CrunchDaddy. After a week’s worth of experimentation with various kinds of peanuts, chopped, ground, and peanut butter, I came up with the flavor and texture that I wanted: a complete peanut butter and popcorn experience, without caramel, that’s neither too sweet nor too sticky… Something that makes you want to eat the whole bag! “Peanut Butter Crunch” was born, featuring a dusting of peanut buttery sweetness that keeps you coming back for more!
I’ve been astounded (and humbled!) by the comments that I’ve received on “Peanut Butter Crunch”! Kim James, a friend in Sydney, Australia had a sample delivered to her and commented:
"I NEED MORE… I have never tasted such a delectable gourmet popcorn like I did the other day & it’s like that craving that won’t go away. I don’t know how you have done it, but it just “works” so well! Thank you so much for giving me a total orogasmic popcorn experience. Well done! Seriously impressed!!”
Joe Wallner, a popcorn aficionado from Hanover, Maryland sent this review:
"A novel idea for popcorn not previously encountered — popcorn unusual, indeed! Each kernel delivers a mouthful of peanut buttery flavor, pleasantly somewhere between the earthiness of homemade peanut butter and the sweetness of Reese’s. Immediately noticeable is the very unique mouthfeel of the flavoring. The peanut butter does not “crunch” as it’s name suggests — rather, I would say that it “melts” into something that feels very much like authentic peanut butter in the mouth — surprising at first, and addicting in the long run. For fans of peanut butter, it delivers the full experience, including the growing desire to grab a cold glass of milk for complete satisfaction.”
Jen of @Jenswwjourney and @CrazyCookingCpl on Twitter said:
"That peanut butter popcorn was amazeballs! and totally all gone. in my tummy. can’t wait til it goes on sale :)"
Flattering to say the least!
I can’t add any more to what they said! I’m just looking forward to bringing it out for all of you to enjoy!
A most warm and festive holiday greeting to all friends, family and followers!
I am writing to announce that our website, CrunchDaddy.com will officially open for business at the stroke of midnight on January 1, 2012!
You’ve been hearing for months about these plans (I know, I know!), the flavors I’ve been creating, the setbacks and the obstacles that it takes to get a business like this off the ground. Progress has been delayed by time and funding, but I believe that it has all been for a good reason and will ultimately add to my learning experience.
I knew as of a couple of months ago that I would be unable to open CrunchDaddy Popcorn in time to do justice to the potential demand of the December holidays, which is why I have scheduled the opening of the website for January 1, 2012. I know that this is a disappointment to some, but as the calendar pages turn we have a steady flow of occasions to celebrate and I can assure you that CrunchDaddy Popcorn will be available for them.
The website launch will be for personal internet sales only. Local (Maryland) retail availability and wholesale distribution will come sometime in the first quarter of 2012. For now, my focus is on completing work on the website, which includes adding all of the products, images, descriptions, shipping options, site security, payment options, FAQ’s, and on and on and on! A photo shoot of the products is being conducted this weekend by a very talented young photographer who I am eager to introduce you to. Orders are being placed for the necessary ingredients, as well as equipment like bag sealers, a trade scale and shipping supplies. For example, yesterday I received a shipment of 25 lbs of sesame seeds and 11 lbs of candied ginger! Upcoming deliveries include 50 (more) lbs of popcorn, 50 lbs of peanuts, 25 lbs of butter (at least), 35 lbs of canola oil, plus cinnamon, chocolate, gallons of corn syrup and honey and so forth! It’s getting crazy!
Am I ready? Well, no… So I have a very busy few weeks ahead of me! I’m in that mode where I need nearly every waking hour outside of work to be doing something that will help me to meet my January 1st goal. I know it can be accomplished, so I’m pressing ahead!
Lastly, I want all of you to know that your support, interest and encouragement has meant a great deal to me. This is my first shot at opening a business of my own, so it’s exciting, gut-wrenching at times but something that I truly believe is worth pursuing. I’m looking forward to lighting this candle on New Year’s Eve at midnight… as people around the world raise a glass and celebrate with me!! (ok, maaaaaybe not!!)
If you’ve ever tasted kettle corn there’s a good chance that you found it to be highly addictive. The sweet sugary glaze and touch of salt make for quite an enjoyable snack.
Unfortunately, most people believe that they either need to buy kettle corn at a fair, amusement park or carnival. You can buy the mass-produced variety in some grocery stores, but none of it compares to the taste of fresh-popped kettle corn. The dirty little secret about kettle corn is that you don’t need a deep copper pot, propane burner, goggles and protective clothing in order to make your own… and what you can make at home is every bit as good as what the pros make.
All you need to make excellent kettle corn at home are a few simple ingredients and a special popper known as a Whirley-Pop:
The Whirley-Pop is an aluminum popping kettle with a wire whip stirring mechanism in the bottom of the pot. Popcorn is made by adding ingredients to the popper and turning the crank handle to stir the kernels until all of the popping is complete. The Whirley-Pop is, in my humble opinion, simply the best popper for making popcorn at home.
The process for making kettle corn in the Whirley-Pop is not much different than making a batch of regular popcorn. For one batch of kettle corn you will need:
1/2 cup of unpopped popcorn (white or yellow)
1/4 cup of oil (canola, peanut or safflower recommended)
just less than 1/2 cup of white sugar
approximately 1/4 teaspoon of salt (or more to taste)
Before starting, make sure that the popper has been washed and prepped for initial use, which includes wiping the interior with a coating of oil. **We recommend that you pop at least one or two batches of regular popcorn in your Whirley-Pop before you use it to make kettle corn. You will also need a deep bowl or a roasting pan to receive the molten hot popcorn. I recommend using a pot holder on your hand that rests on the handle of the popper, as hot oil or sugar can spatter out of the vent holes on the popper.
Begin by adding all ingredients except the sugar to the popper. Heat the popper on high heat for about 30 seconds and add the sugar. Close the lid and use the crank mechanism to stir the ingredients constantly at a medium pace.
As the mixture heats and nears the popping stage, you will feel the sugar mixture begin to thicken, making the handle more difficult to turn. Keep cranking, a bit faster! Popping will be slow at first, then vigorous. As the popper fills with popcorn you wil no longer be able to turn the crank mechanism, so don’t force it! Remove the popper from the heat BEFORE the last popping completes, wait a moment for the final pops and then QUICKLY dump the kettle corn into the bowl or roasting pan.
BEWARE! FRESH KETTLE CORN IS MOLTEN HOT AND WILL BURN YOU IF YOU TOUCH IT BEFORE IT HAS COOLED!! That is, resist the temptation to grab it and taste it right away. You don’t have to wait until it has cooled to room temperature, but give it at least 2-3 minutes to cool.
Your fresh kettle corn will be stuck together in one big lump, but that is easily broken by hand or with a large spoon. You may want to take a moment to remove any unpopped kernels that are stuck to the kettle corn.
When you get the knack of this and don’t use too much sugar, you can make your kettle corn come out without leaving any dark or burned sugary residue in the pot. You can alternate between kettle corn and regular popcorn without having to clean the popper.
Now you’re enjoying fresh and hot kettle corn right in your home… and it took just five minutes!
“As one of the ‘Secret Taste Panel’ - oh crap - not so secret anymore - to get to try the new Honey & Cinnamon Crunch, I think that was one of the best things I ever tasted. Ok. That didn’t have chocolate on it. Seriously. Popcorn nirvana. The sweet honey taste blended with an absolutely intoxicating cinnamon….My first response to Dan was that I wanted to go find a dark room to be alone with it. Then I remembered I was at work and had to recover with a shrug and a ‘yeah, it’s ok I s’pose.’ :) Very, very yummie stuff! - Sharon Smith”—
New popcorn flavor ideas are such a distraction to me. They rattle around in the back of my skull and taunt me until I get in the kitchen and see what becomes of them.
I’ve been apologetically teasing about a few new flavors that have evolved while I’m getting other aspects of this business together. Last night, however, I tried my first batch of a new flavor that I’m eager to tell you about… and based on the overwhelming reactions from my “Secret Taste Panel” at work, I think I have a winner!
CrunchDaddy’s “Honey & Cinnamon Crunch” is born! I made a non-traditional honey caramel popcorn, golden yellow in color… and dusted it gently with premium cinnamon. The comments that I heard this morning from people that shared this first batch have made my week!
One co-worker wrote:
"This is delicious popcorn, Dan. Really a remarkable recipe and execution. Better with every bite." - Bill (not a chef, but a fan of eating)
I can’t wait for you to try it! You’ll have the opportunity soon enough!
Looking for a great holiday gift idea? The Whirley-Pop will help you make great popcorn at home and comes with a 25-year guarantee! You can even use it to make kettle corn! It’s easy! See my guide here: How to Make Kettle Corn at Home
With introducing new and unique popcorn flavors comes the challenge of describing them.
For me, that’s something like asking a mother to describe her own child! While I may not be the most objective source for such an opinion, I invite any and all friends and relations who have tried these flavors to chime in with their own perspectives.
The first flavor, the original, the one that started the ball rolling for CrunchDaddy Popcorn is “Sweet Butter Crunch”! Not only is it a unique flavor, but it serves as the base for several other flavors that we will be introducing.
Sweet Butter Crunch is my take on what is commonly called “kettle corn”… but we don’t call it that! Kettle corn has become widely available in supermarkets, fairs and amusement parks. It’s made by popping corn in a mixture of sugar, vegetable oil and salt, which results in a sweet/salty glaze on the popcorn. For me, the quality of it depends on the taste of the oil used and how well-controlled the salt is. The main drawback in kettle corn is the saturation of oil and the aftertaste that it brings, which can be prominent, sometimes overwhelming. After I finished my first bag of kettle corn made at Hershey Park in Pennsylvania, I knew that there must be a way to improve upon it.
In trying to take kettle corn to the next level, to “kick it up a notch”, I wanted to find a way to incorporate real butter into the cooking process in place of the vegetable oil. The high water content and low smoking point of butter made this a challenge, as it burns quickly!
Happily, after much experimentation and taste testing, I arrived at the recipe for “Sweet Butter Crunch”! It’s a light, crispy popcorn with a delicate coating of butter, sugar and salt, with just a touch of oil. After experimenting with so many different batches (some failed miserably!), I wasn’t sure that I got it right until I started giving it away for tasting.
The reaction was immediate and overwhelmingly positive! No one was shy about eating this stuff handful after handful until every last bit of it was gone! I was frankly overwhelmed at the reaction and rather enjoyed observing the behavior of friends and neighbors engaged in the feeding frenzy. Having seen that, I knew I had a good thing on my hands!
Lately I enjoy providing a taste test of my Sweet Butter Crunch along with a taste of kettle corn that is sold nationwide at supermarkets. First, I ask them to try the competitor’s kettle corn… and they typically say something good about it. Next, I ask them to try Sweet Butter Crunch and give me an honest comparison of the two.
I have yet to meet anyone who doesn’t prefer my Sweet Butter Crunch over common, oily kettle corn!
That’s just part of the excitement behind CrunchDaddy Popcorn! We’re looking forward to bringing it to market so everyone can enjoy it! I think you’re in for something good!
I have to confess: I’m not a fan of the term “gourmet popcorn”.
Sure, the word “gourmet” has flattering connotations:
"of or characteristic of a gourmet, especially in involving or purporting to involve high-quality or exotic ingredients and skilled preparation."
That’s fine. When I hear the word “gourmet”, I think of a restaurant, especially one that is very fancy, rather expensive and not somewhere that I can eat often. When I think of the food they serve, I don’t think, “Oh yeah, we’ll find some great popcorn there!”
It seems that somewhere back in the early 1980’s, popcorn guru Orville Redenbacher began referring to his specially developed hybrid of popping corn as “gourmet popping corn” because of its lighter, fluffier quality and greater popping ratio. Redenbacher deserves credit for his dedication to producing better popcorn.
Since then the term “gourmet popcorn” has been adopted by anyone and everyone who wants to elevate their version of this simple snack food to the heights of the world’s great cuisines. Some may deserve the appellation, but frankly, most do not.
I learned to love popcorn well before I developed my tastes for gourmet cuisine. I remember being a kid curled up on the couch and sharing a bowl of popcorn with my family, sometimes dusted with Old Bay or parmiggiano cheese (the popcorn, not the family). These weren’t close encounters with fine French cuisine. They were good times with the most casual and simple food I can image: popcorn.
On several occassions I have heard folks refer to my popcorn as “gourmet popcorn”. Let me assure you, I do consider that a genuine compliment and I would never want to change how people feel about what I make. That’s the best kind of opinion there is, the one that comes naturally and from the heart.
I cook with a passion for food and it’s usually not fancy, not pretentious and certainly not expensive. I cook to make people happy and to share the love and friendship that I feel for people. You’re not graced to be at my table; I’m blessed to have the opportunity to cook for you!
As for CrunchDaddy Popcorn… Feel free to call it whatever you like! We’ll just consider it our privilege to make it for you and to share the love of simply good snacking.
Thank you for coming to visit the new Tumblr page for my latest endeavor, CrunchDaddy Popcorn! I hope that you will “Like” what you see and share it with your friends.
CrunchDaddy Popcorn is a company rooted in my passions for cooking, snacking and (if all goes well!) my desire to break free from the 9 to 5 grind by doing something that I truly love: Spreading joy and happiness through great popcorn!
This project began back in 2007, but went through a three-year hiatus before I decided to revive it in the Spring of 2011. In the past few months I have been busy refining my recipes, exploring new flavors, sourcing ingredients, creating a website, researching equipment needs and navigating the tangled web of regulations that govern the operation of a small business like mine. On August 19, 2011 I registered “CrunchDaddy Popcorn, LLC” with the State of Maryland. Alas, there are many more details to be worked out before I am able to open for business. Hopefully I will have products avaiable for sale to local retail stores and via the internet within the next couple of months. Our website, currently under construction, is http://CrunchDaddy.com
The inspiration for this project came from my love for popcorn as well as my desire to improve on the common recipe for “kettle corn”. When I first tasted kettle corn, I was impressed with the combination of sugar, salt and popcorn. What I didn’t like was the unpleasant oily aftertaste from kettle corn, as the oil helps to form the delicate sugary glaze. I wondered if it would be possible to improve the taste of kettle corn by reducing the amount of vegetable oil and somehow incorporating real butter into the mix? A great deal of experimentation, late-night tinkering and endless taste tests performed by friends and family lead me to the desired result, which I now call, “Sweet Butter Crunch”. It’s good stuff! Bowls of “Sweet Butter Crunch” are devoured in moments whenever presented to a feeding frenzy of popcorn lovers!
For now, while the business is under development, before I have any products available for sale, I invite you to join me in the fun that I’m having in bringing this project to fruition! I will be posting more notes about what’s going on at CrunchDaddy Popcorn and eventually some pictures of the products that that I will be bringing to market. It’s a fun and challenging effort for me, especially while I am still gainfully employed in my full-time job… but enthusiasm is high and I’m having a great time getting this together!
Lastly, I owe a special degree of gratitude to numerous friends and family members… and they know who they are! They have not only been eager taste-testers, but also haven’t been afraid to give me their brutally honest feedback as I developed my recipes and bounced 1001 business ideas off of them. I’m also grateful for a core group of friends who provide me with invaluable business and marketing guidance as I feel my way out of the darkness and down the road of a successful small business.
Once again, WELCOME!! I look forward to sharing this experience with all of you and hearing your ideas and feedback!!