A-MAIZE’N KETTLE CORN is a family-owned company that started up just this February by Ed and Jan Frumes. After extensive backgrounds in the financial services industry, they decided to make a change and do something that was smaller, more fun, and would help the community.
They’ve ended up with a great family run business which sells a popular product, and is easily integrated into fundraising and charitable benefits.
It’s not complicated. They have a range of flavors of hand-crafted kettle corn – currently eight are listed on their website, but of course they’ve also developed seasonal specialties. You can see their Christmas offering on their Facebook page.
The business is growing steadily, and they’re booked solid during December with the trailer right next to Santa’s Workshop in Old Town Fort Collins. As you can imagine, they have relatively low overhead. With such a popular product, they’ve been able to be remarkably profitable.
But they didn’t get into this business to make a ton of money. They have a passion to help out others in the community, and this is a great model for organizations looking to raise a little money. Ed gave me a quick list of just some of their beneficiaries this year:
- American Cancer Society
- Multiple Sclerosis Society
- Children’s Miracle Network
- Toys for Tots
- United Way
- Rotary Club’s STEM contributions
- Animal House
- Preston Middle School
- Poudre High School
Each of these groups have appreciated the Frumes’ contributions and generosity of such an attractive fundraising model.
And, just because they love making a difference, they also deliver for Meals On Wheels in their spare time.
So what are the challenges they’re focusing on now? Well, they get constant requests to sell the product in stores or online. But that hasn’t been a great channel for them, because the aroma is what really draws customers in. My browser, at least, doesn’t have that attachment yet.
And however they expand, they’re committed to keep the quality up. Product quality, of course, but also the personal experiences they have with each customer. They were attracted to this because of that great interaction.
And here’s another surprising tidbit: This product is waste free. All of their leftover corn goes to a local chicken farm in trade for eggs, and they really don’t have much else to throw away. And the chickens love it. Bonus!