Velma’s ‘Wicked Delicious’ Kettle Corn is located in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts. We travel with our popcorn machine to different locations in the New England area.
We’ll show you our Kettle Corn recipe. Feel free to burn a couple of your own pots and pans at home while trying to recreate it without a popcorn popper. It’s not easy!
Want to start your own kettle corn business? How does being your own boss in an all cash business grab ya? We’ve written a 60 page ebook which goes into detail on what you’ll need and where you’ll find it!
Looking for a popper in your area? Skiddaddle on over to our Kettle Corn Directory to find someone who pops local to you. Are you a kettle corn vendor? G’wan over there and add your link. It’s free! Note: It’s not updating at the moment, I gotta fix the stupid directory software.
Here’s a new spot for the 2014 season – the Sharon Farmers Market at the Cresent Ridge Dairy (in Sharon, MA). We’ll be here every Saurday from 10 am – 2 pm, all the way till the end of October. We were looking to rework our popping schedule last year and tried a bunch of different farmers markets. We discovered this market at the end of the season and gave it a whirl for the last 3 weeks in October. It was a brand new market that started that year and we weren’t sure how well it would pan out. We did descent traffic for an end of the season market so we’re back this year to see what happens. At the moment it’s keeping pace with our Framingham location, and we’ve been there for 7 years. We’ve noticed a sort of sales curve for the season – our best week is usually the first week of August in all of our locations. If Sharon fits this curve, we should be doing pretty well later in the year.
The layout looks pretty good. It’s on a main road with good visibility. The Cresent Ridge Dairy has been selling ice cream from this location for years, so plenty of people naturally come here. Groups of people were still showing up at 2 o’clock to get ice cream when we started to break down. The owner agreed to sell some bags inside their store during the rest of the week, we ended up selling 2 of them before we left the parking lot because we were out of stock.
You’ll find some farmers markets tucked away in obscure spots and it’s totally up to the market manager to drive traffic. Many of these types of places can end up up doing poorly. The Sharon farmes market has a ton of things going for it. They also have a marketing team promoting the farmers market itself. Haven’t seen that anywhere else, so we’re impressed with the effort they’ve put into making it work.
In addition, you can pet some cows and goats out back. It’s a whole legit dairy farm operation so it’s kind of a neat place to explore, hang out and get some crazy yummy ice cream.
I wanted to post my video that I created of the Fairhaven Farmers Market which happens every Sunday in Fairhaven, Massachusetts. I shot this video to basically help the market attract more customers along with touting ourselves. I recently moved to the Buzzards Bay area and I’m going through the process of finding new markets to pop at. I’m also hoping to find markets which are near by and will cut down my commute. There’s a lot of you guys who have bought my online course “Start Your Own Kettle Corn Business” and I wanted to go over some of the things that I’ve been discovering as this move has forced me out of my comfort zone and I have to almost “start over again” in locating places to sell kettle corn.
We’ve come up with a formula in choosing new locations (like farmers markets) to sell kettle corn. It’s basically this:
1. How long has the event been in existence?
2. How is its visibility?
3. What is the nearby population density?
4. Does it cater to kids/families?
If you can find an event which scores high in all of these, you’ll more likely have a winner. Lemme go over each of them.
1. How long has the event been in existence? – Obviously something that’s been around for a while will more likely be known by everyone who lives anywhere near it. Word of mouth is huge in any marketing, and this just takes time. I can remember my Framingham Farmers market only having me and 5 other tents back in the day. Now the market has grown substantially (along with my customers) and it’s very lucrative. It’s very hard to have people appear with just a newspaper ad and a couple of flyers around town.
2. How is its visibility? – If their marketing sucks, how will people find the event? If it’s located right next to a busy street, this will work. Nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd, right? Most of the events that have failed were the ones WAY back from the road, behind some buildings. If people can’t see it, it’s hard getting everyone to remember and even find it. Our Springfield Farmers market was going crazy for us before it was forced to move off of a busy street and just a quarter mile away, set back into a park. We lost a third of our business the next year and still hasn’t recovered to where it was 3 years ago.
3. What is the nearby population density? – If the event is huge enough, then it’ll need to be away from everything, but if we’re talking about something like a weekly farmers market, you’re going to rely on locals to keep you in business. Most people aren’t going to drive very far just to get vegetables and kettle corn, it isn’t convenient. Recently we switched from popping at the Carver Farmers Market to the Fairhaven Farmers Market. We doubled our business the moment we started. Let me show you the Google maps for each spot.
Kind of obvious where we would do better, right?
4. Does it cater to kids/families? – Certainly ANYONE will eat kettle corn, but we’ve noticed that if you get the kids into the picture, everyone will be happier. We see this every day when school let out at all of our farmers markets. We recently had two blues festivals which were a major bust for us. Nobody was thinking of taking their kids to something like that. We did a 4th of July fireworks festival in Assonet, MA which was absolutely nuts. Families galore there. A craft festival is certainly a family event, not so sure of a car show. Again, you’ll always sell something (even at a car show), but the bigger money happens when you have all sorts of mouths to feed.
We’ve been doing the Carver farmers market on Sunday for the past 2 weeks. As I mentioned previously, it’s a great market run by a fine gentleman, but our sales have been pretty dismal. We’ve been exploring other options for popping on Sunday and one of them was the Fairhaven Farmers Market. We decided to take a whack at it on July 8th and we did alright for our first time. Fairhaven has a descent size population and it’s literally a bridge crossing from New Bedford, an even bigger city. We’ve been refining our formula for choosing popping locations:
1. Location visibility – Is the market visible from a busy street? How will people know if it even exists? Sure the market manager will say they do marketing, but it seems most NEW customers will pull over on an impulse.
2. Age of market – A market will acquire regular customers as it goes along. It’s certainly easier to tap into an existing customer base than scrounging for your own.
3. Nearby population – Where are the customers going to come from? There seems a definite travel radius from the market people will drive to get veggies and kettle corn.
Fairhaven seems to fit the bill better for our Sunday popping location. It’s at the intersection of a busy street, right next to a bridge to an even bigger population of people in New Bedford. The Carver farmers market has great age and visibility, but nobody really lives in Carver Massachusetts. There are certainly people going to the market on a regular basis (because of age), just not that many, and I don’t see how that will substantially increase as we stay there. Our Springfield and Framingham locations increased in traffic over the years because there were that many more people to spread the word.
I normally don’t gush over a product, but this is such a necessary thing if you’re selling stuff from under a tent.Â www.canopiesbyfred.comÂ sells EZUP awnings, EZUP canopies and other things for your craft fair, farmers market tent. Someone on this site turned me on to them and I immediately bought one. They are the greatest thing. (see video) You get an extra 2 feet of overhang with your tent without going beyond your allotted 10′x10 space.
But I have to give some crap to Freds website.
His website optimization (SEO) stinks. I LOOKED REALLY HARD to find a canopy for my EZ UP tent. I knew these things existed by couldn’t find one online. This is why I got excited when I finally located one. If you do a search for “EZUP Awning” or “EZUP Canopy” Freds site doesn’t show up at all on Google. I think he’s listed as #37 on Yahoo. Fred is losing sales bigtime. In fact, because I’ve labeled this blog entry “EZ UP Canopy By Fred”, I’ll bet my video or this blog entry will appear first before his website.
Next day update: OK, I found Fred’s website. He’s on page 6 for the search term “EZ UP Awning”, this stupid little video on Youtube now shows up on page 4 for the search term “EZUP Awning” (no space). The point of all this is you’ve got to be explicit on your spellings and cover all the variations if you want to be found by Google. I would’ve bought one of Fred’s awnings years ago.
While we’re on the subject of SEO. In my book, “How To Start A Kettle Corn Business” I go into proper web optimization for your website. I had stated that if you want your kettle corn business to be found in your state, include your state in your URL. (i.e. kettlecornkentucky.com) Go ahead, do a search for “kettle corn kentucky” on Google. Guess who? Yup, that’s me on the first page.
Since I set up my Kettle Corn Directory page, Google is now listing me way up there for any search that goes by “kettle corn + state name” for all 50 states. This was never my intention, but this certainly explains why I’m getting people going to my website FROM my kettle corn directory page. OK, fine you guys, DON’T listen to me.
A few days later: I get this email:
Hey Eric! Â What can I say????
I just received some orders and one of the customers said he heard about our
canopy awnings from you. Â He was in California. Â The next customer called me
and he also follows you. Â He was in Washington. Â I understand you have a
following. So I checked out your sight and was sent to You Tube to see the
Thanks so much!! It looked great. Â The best of luck with your business!