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The annual WakeMed Farmers Market re-opens for business on Tuesday, May 17th, and this year we are excited to welcome a variety of vendors to our Raleigh campus.
Recently, we had a chance to sit down with the owner of Jimmy’s Golden Gourmet Popcorn, Damion Sledge, to ask him a little more about his business and their participation in this year’s Farmers Market.
Damion shares his story below.
In 2009, our son’s football team was in need of equipment, so my co-coach said, “Why don’t we sell that popcorn that you make?” We decided to do a “team” fundraiser, and we sold our first bags in Ziploc form – and it was a hit!
From that point on, we decided that Jimmy’s Popcorn needed to come alive – and what better way to do that than to help youth and school programs with their fundraising needs?!
We’ve now had the business for going on 6 years, with our first three years being 100% fundraising-based.
So, we get asked about our name A LOT – especially since my name is Damion and not Jimmy! Every time someone would try our popcorn for the first time, their response was always the same: “Man, this is addictive!”
As a joke – one night, when we were telling our closest friend about wanting to start the business, he immediately said that we had to name the company Jimmy’s Crack Corn because once you start eating, it’s hard to stop. However, from a marketing and branding standpoint (especially since we wanted our company to help organizations raise money) we needed something more fitting for young kids to sell. So, Jimmy’s Golden Gourmet Popcorn, aka: Jimmy’s Popcorn was the answer to our problem!
A typical day in the Jimmy’s Production Kitchen is a lot of fun. We usually have anywhere from 200-500 bags of popcorn that get made each day for our customers. This typically covers: our online orders, fundraisers, farmers markets, and our wholesale customers.
All of our product is 100% handmade – especially our Toffee, which is made fresh for every order.
The most challenging thing about what we do is ensuring that our batches all taste exactly the same so that our customers always have the same, great experience when they have our Tasty Toffee Treats.
Since we are a locally owned company, we love farmers’ markets as it allows us to be a part of the community and interact with our customers. Shopping in a supermarket, there is never a guarantee that the product you are buying is “fresh”.
Being part of the WakeMed Farmers Market has helped us get our name out there in the community. A lot of our customers have heard of us from our fundraisers, but having a place that they can go to on a weekly basis is great.
You can find Jimmy’s Popcorn in the concession stand at the Durham Bulls Park & The Mudcats Stadium, as well as the WakeMed Farmers Market.
To learn more about Jimmy’s Golden Gourmet Popcorn, visit their website. You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter. For additional information about Jimmy’s, email them at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hours: 9 am – 5 pm, Monday – Friday | 9 am – 2 pm, Saturday
Phone: (919) 381 – 4844
3000 New Bern Ave.
Raleigh, NC 27610