Brad's Kettle Korn
An Interview with Brad Norman of Rusty's Kettle Korn
How long have you been a vendor at Kirkwood Farmers’ Market? 22 years
Tell us a little bit about your background: My name is Brad Norman. I was born and grew up on a farm in Tipton, MO. Besides my passion for cooking up kettle corn, I am a huge music fan. I enjoy seeing and supporting local artists in my town, and traveling to cities for larger musical acts. I am an avid pinball player, I enjoy BBQing, hanging out with friends at our favorite joints, and I am a huge Star Trek fan.
How did you get into the business? There are two things that inspired me to open my own business. First, I helped a friend with his kettle corn business up in St. Louis. I assisted my friend with bagging the corn. I thought to myself, “I would love to give this a try.” The last thing was after seeing so many small business owners venturing in and out of Sam’s Club, where I was currently employed. I’ve always wanted to work in a place where I could put a smile on customers’ faces. I consider myself a social person looking to make others happy. Through my kettle corn business, I could achieve this.
What makes your business unique? The recipe for my corn has/will never change. The products I use to make it with are safe for all people, even the ones who deal with food allergies. I like to experiment with varied sizes to accommodate for my customers’ needs. Last year I developed a party size bag, and customers were all too excited to see an update, but one that cut a good deal.
What sets you apart from your competition? Customers can’t resist the delicious taste or aromatic smell of freshly popped kettle corn. Inside every sugary, salty kernel is an explosion of delight kids and adults have enjoyed for years, and hope to in the years to come. My personal recipe is the secret to its success. The balance of salt and sugar complement one another without causing confliction on your palette. One bite and you’ll see why Rusty's Kettle Korn has been going strong for 18 years.
Is there anything you’d like to add? Since opening for business in the farmers' market in Kirkwood, MO, this city has become like a second home to me. The wonderful friends I’ve met here have made my experience an unforgettable one. The city is beautiful, and is a nice get-away from my daily life in Columbia, MO. Anyone interested in visiting a new city, should check out Kirkwood and its amazing community.
Is there a seasonal recipe you would like to share: Sorry! This one is a secret.