BERLIN — Eastern Shore Kettle Korn owner Tom Pfeifer is hoping to grow his Route 113 business right onto the shelves of local retail stores.
“What I’m looking to do is expand on the wholesale side,” said Pfeifer. “I’ve talked to a number of businesses that want to sell my kettle corn at their store.”
Billing his kettle corn as not just good but “shore good,” Pfeifer has secured store space off Route 113 in Berlin. He currently only has one product, a kettle corn that is both simple and addictive. Made from just four ingredients, including salt, sugar, oil and the corn seed, the product is a perfect example of why sometimes natural is just better.
“What that means is the popcorn seed is natural, it’s not genetically altered,” said Pfeifer. “That’s a big thing nowadays. People are concerned that the farmers are out there altering the process to grow bigger and better things, and they’re worried about the chemicals.”
The corn seeds are non-GMO and contain no peanut or dairy products. Pfeifer learned the recipe through his family and started popping the sweet snack last summer. He sells it at farmers markets in Berlin and Ocean Pines’ and now will be able to make and distribute much more from his store in Berlin.
Now that he’s part of the business community, Pfeifer hopes his kettle korn will become one of the signature flavors of Berlin. He said that he’s committed to keeping the kettle corn an affordable snack for families, locals and visitors.
“For all of [my family], popcorn was the snack. So I’ve kind of kept that in mind, and not a direct shot but I like to say that this is a resort snack at a small town price,” he said.
Pfiefer’s family is supportive and involved with the business with him.
“It takes work but it’s something that I enjoy. My family enjoys it. Seeing the people come back week after week, and tell me what a great product it is, that just means the world to me,” he said.
The store went through a soft opening two weeks ago. He’s mostly operating Thursday and Friday but expects to be popping for most of the week soon. He can usually be found at the Berlin Farmers Market on Fridays from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and at the Ocean Pines Farmers Market on Saturdays from 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
Pfeifer is currently looking for businesses interested in stocking his kettle corn. People are encouraged to visit his store while he’s popping to pick up a bag or try a free sample or view his Facebook page for contact information.