For the owners of Iowa Gold Kettle Corn, the business is about family and giving back to the community.
Brad and Stephanie Buffington of Forest City have been operating Iowa Gold Kettle Corn for the past four years.
Brad said the idea came about because they “really love kettle corn” and it was something his family could enjoy with him.
“We were kind of looking for something to do that the whole family could partake in and get work experience,” Brad said.
He said the business does “make some extra money” but that it’s “mostly something to do as a family.”
Brad also said in the last three years, the business has turned into a way to help the community.
“It’s blossomed into a pretty good fund-raising vehicle for non-profits in Forest City,” Brad said.
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Iowa Gold Kettle Corn has worked with more than 30 groups in the Forest City area, he said. Those groups range from the boy scouts to Relay for Life to the historical society.
“It’s an easy way to give back to the community,” Brad said.
With all of the groups they help out, he said, there is “always something going on every week.”
The business stays busy because they also attend many events in the area to sell their product. The booth was recently at the Winnebago County Fair.
Brad said the fair is “one of our favorite places to be.” He enjoys the “whole environment because it’s family-friendly and is very relaxed.”
Iowa Gold Kettle Corn is also sold at the Up in Smoke BBQ Bash in Mason City and the Des Moines Renaissance Fair and Bash on the Farm in Forest City.
“(The Bash) was a crazy day,” Brad said. “We never shut the fire off once and we just kept making batch after batch.”
The most recent event for the business was the Clear Lake car show.
The Buffingtons also supply kettle corn for area businesses to sell.
The business has been expanded over the past two years and their product is now sold in a number of stores in the area, including Scoopy Doos.
He said by expanding into local stores, it “keeps us busy year round.”
Brad said the most enjoyable part of their business is “just having fun with the people.” They always have people coming up to them and saying ‘we buy kettle corn everywhere we go and yours is the best we’ve ever had’ and that “never gets old,” he said.
Stephanie agreed, saying that “we hear that a lot.”
For Stephanie, she enjoys being able to share the business with her family.
“I like how we’re able to have our kids help out,” she said. “They enjoy it and we like them taking ownership in it.”
The Buffingtons have sold countless batches of kettle corn over the years but they’ve never looked back.
“I think for us, it was a big step to start it,” Stephanie said. “But we don’t ever regret it.”