WHITMORE LAKE (WJRT) (04/17/19) -- It's a small company with big flavor! When it comes to popcorn and pretzels, one metro-Detroit brand prides itself on quality and taste, without breaking the bank!
Mark Sarafa has worked in the food and beverage industry for a number of years. He started Pop Daddy Popcorn about 5 years ago, because of a love for popcorn.
"We started making our own at our house with different oils and kernels and next think you know, neighbors were asking us to make it for birthday parties. We ended up with two big poppers in our basement and we started a little business with our kids selling it at farmer's markets," Sarafa said.
Pop Daddy Popcorn prides itself on quality, packing lots of bold flavor into every kernel and pretzel.
"All of our team members that make the product know it; a lot of them go out and sample with us and they're proud to say, hey I made this product here that you're sampling today."
Pop Daddy Popcorn pops only locally grown kernels.
"It's a ruby red kernel, it's bright, red and pops a real small crunchy bright white and we use all premium ingredients."
The popcorn comes in a variety of different flavors including hot sauce, garlic, butter, olive oil and several others.
They're also in the business of pretzels.
"We make 4 varieties, our original was our peppercorn ranch and garlic parmesan, and we have two brand new ones, a yellow mustard and then we make a hot sauce pretzel, which has a ton of flavor and little bit of kick."
But when it comes to the popcorn, it's more than just popping the kernel.
"We have measuring cups, we pour a set amount of popcorn into our big kettles, we have an oil button, we put olive oil into the popcorn."
It then pops, goes into a bucket and is seasoned; it's then put into a hopper, which weighs the popcorn before it's bagged.
"It then goes into a sealer and gets coded and sealed and placed in a box."
And then off to a store shelf near you!
Sarafa is proud to produce a quality product made right here in Michigan. But in order to keep his success, he has to give it away.
"The other entrepreneurs, we learn from each other, we talk to each other, we call each other on the phone, new entrepreneurs coming up, we'll meet them certain places and ask if they can call me and ask me some questions."
He offers this parting advice to others looking to start their own business.
"Your team is the most important thing when you have a small company. the people you work with and work around. And so I'm grateful for those folks out there."
You can find Pop Daddy Popcorn products at your local Kroger and Meijer stores, Holiday markets and Tom's and Olson's markets in northern Michigan.
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