SPRINGFIELD—Walking into the Farmers’ Market at Forest Park on any given Tuesday this summer it’s hard not to notice a bright yellow tent protecting the delightful popping sounds and hard-to-miss smells of freshly made salty-sweet popcorn.
Velma’s Wicked Delicious Kettle Corn of Springfield, owned by Steve Cary, has been a fixture at the farmers’ market (including its previous location at the X in Springfield) for the past eight years. Steve along with his three children have been serving up hot, fresh kettle corn—and having a blast along the way. His wife, Kelly, a mental health nurse, pitches in when needed.
Steve’s banter with customers is as much a part of the experience as popping the corn. He will often have fun with children who come to the booth to order by first asking, “Did you eat your vegetables, clean your room, listen to your mother and during the school year do your homework?” He also likes to tell customers unfamiliar with kettle corn that it’s “free-range, organic, low-fat, boneless, dolphin-safe, fair-trade, gourmet, microbrew- and chardonnay-compatible kettle corn.” Photos by Jennifer Garutti.