Kettle corn is not caramel corn; it’s not like Cracker Jacks, and it isn’t like cheese popcorn or other “flavored” assortments. Kettle Corn is Definitely different; there is nothing unusual added to it like MSG; it’s how you integrate all the ingredients which gives it that yummy taste. Although the standard ingredients of kettle corn are similar: oil, popcorn, salt and sugar, the ratio of sugar to salt and the oil itself make the difference between something that’s so-so and something that will compel your buyers to keep coming back time and time again.
You’ll need to arrange an inspection from the health department; which is normallyaffordable, but you will discover that the requirements are unique for each area. Some towns or counties might need you to have special items, which will increase the total of money you require to lay out up front. Some of the extra equipment can be a sink or sinks (to wash everything from your hands to utensils) and a pressurized water tank with a heat source.
In some counties around the country, a state license may be necessary (often at times called a “Transient Vendor License) before you can set up shop– and, before you can get this paper work (which may be something apparently unrelated to your venture) you may be obligated to get some liability insurance. The purpose of this insurance is to cover yourself should a client or employee hurt themselves on your “property”. Even if your state doesn’t require this insurance, the event may require everyone to have it, although some places that have their act together (some of the larger weekly fairs or farmers markets, to name a few) will have their own coverage.
Once you’ve nailed down all the essential paperwork for licenses and permits, you’ll want to locate events in which you’ll be able to sell your product. Bigger doesn’t always mean better; huge locations will want more payment for the spot since larger crowds of people tend to increase the set-up price. However, tinier venues such as local weekly farmers markets and larger arts and crafts fairs can end up being rather lucarative. These events require less per square foot and seldom have more than one seller for each niche product, since their essential concern is selling fresh local produce. Having something unusual such as kettle corn, however, can be a big draw for customers. The sound and smell of fresh kettle corn has forced many individuals to investigate at these events; it’s very unusual once these mass taste your kettle corn, they’ll be hooked like addicts.
A kettle corn business, unlike some other business, your initial costs are comparatively small, particularly when you understand the potentiality for earnings.
After you’ve set yourself up with your kettle, bin, tanks of propane and a tent or kiosk, you’ll be surprised at your profit-expense margin. This is not saying that running a kettle corn business is easy money– you have to work at it. The physical act of setting up all the equipment and the sustained stirring and bagging– often under extremes of weather– will definitely tire you out by the time you’re finished. After popping like crazy for most of the day, when you include in the time spent setting up, cleaning up and traveling, it can add up to a long exhausting day.
On the plus side, you’re the one in charge– breathing down you neck and giving you orders. The “downside” is you’re doing everything– preparing, transporting, keeping the books, (though you should have an accountant when tax time comes) and you have to do some PR, as well. This is a whole other area of owning a kettle corn business, which has its own particular prerequisites, including visits from the local health inspector and, of course, figuring out your prices and the retailer’s cut. For retail, labeling is required–you need to list ingredients, contact information in some cases you may also need an expiration date.
As with any business start-up, you’ll discover many paths to take, but your efforts will be repaid once you realize the profits and popularity of your kettle corn– and you did it all yourself!