In case you didn’t know, I’m in the process of starting a popcorn business. But before I can start slinging 2 lb. bags of freshly-popped goodness to crowds of customers, I’ve got to come up with a catchy name to operate the business.

The blog post you’re reading right now is serving as a digital brainstorming session for my ideas. In it, I’ll list examples of brands I really like, some of the approaches I’ve used to create a unique name, and of course the titles included on my short list.

I’m taking the name selection process seriously because I’ll be putting a fair amount of money into the wrap and branding of the business. I will be running the business as a popcorn trailer initially that I expect to invest between $35,000 – $40,00 to start ballpark. This figure includes the cost of the trailer, a trailer wrap, licenses, kettle corn popping equipment, and inventory.

gourmet popcorn

My focus will be on serving unique flavors of gourmet popcorn.

I’m really hoping the total investment doesn’t go over this mark, but it’s important to build the business the right way. I know you can get started with a little kettle corn rig and tent for under $10,000, but I want to set distinguish myself from other vendors and don’t want to cut corners. Ahh… But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Sign up for my newsletter if you want to keep up to date on the progress of my venture. I’ll be sharing everything that happens there for anyone that’s interested. Let’s dive into the name ideas I’ve got so far.

Names I Love

Awhile back, I did a podcast interview called How to Start a Profitable Part-time Kettle Corn Business with Velma’s Wicked Delicious Kettle Corn. Needless to say, I love this name.

There’s something about the name Velma that makes this distinct. You can imagine what Velma looks and acts like. Velma has attitude. No doubt about that. And she probably makes some deliciously crunchy kettle corn to boot. I envision her being my great aunt.

“Wicked” Delicious is a fantastic description too. Wicked is one of those words I only hear when I’m on the East coast, which isn’t very often. The business operates around suburbs of Boston.

Another brand I need to mention is Angie’s Kettle Corn (better known these days as Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP). The story of Angie’s Kettle Corn is extremely inspiring to me. If you’re not familiar with the story, Angie Bastian and her husband started a little kettle corn business and began selling bags of popcorn outside of Minnesota Viking football games in 2002.

The goal of the little business was to raise money to pay for some of their children’s college education. Well… The business ended up paying off a college tuition and then some.

This little snack business continued to grow each year and ended up being sold to Conagra Brands in 2017. Today, you’ll find Angie’s Boomchickapop brand of popcorn flavors in national retailers like Target and Walmart. The company reported producing over 80,000 bags of popcorn daily and $50 million in annual sales before being acquired.

The Angie’s Kettle Corn story teaches us that even if you start small there’s the potential with a hard work and some luck to grow a globally recognized brand with over 100 employees.

Catchy Popcorn Name Suggestions

Here is a list that I thought could be recognizable, memorable, and unique. All of these are characteristics of a proven brand.

  • Professor Popcorn
  • Snowstorm Popcorn
  • Top Chord Popcorn
  • Billy Popped Corn and I Don’t Care
  • Hot Hot Corn
  • The Popcorn Unicorn
  • First Born Popcorn
  • The Collective Kernel
  • The Country Stovetop
  • The Jumping Kernel
  • Movie Theater Munch
  • Popcorn, Please!
  • Pimp My Popcorn
  • Tribal Taste
  • Magical Morsels
  • Corn-Fed Boys
  • Cinema Snackers
  • Lend Me Your Ear of Corn
  • Stuck in Corn Stalk
  • The Popcorn Dragon
  • Stovetop Carmel Corn
  • Kettle crack

Regional Names

Look to the places and attractions around you for inspiration. I like this approach because it establishes that you are small-batch producer and local. These are both appealing attributes to a growing segment of customers.

  • Temecula Valley Poppers
  • Idaho’s Iconic Pop
  • SoCal Poppers
  • Longhorn Popcorn
  • Yankee Corn
  • West Texas Kettle Company
  • The Country Stovetop
  • Three Rivers Poppers
  • Sunset Delights
  • Seattle Popcorn Balls
  • West Coast Pops
  • Buffalo Popcorn
  • New York Style Popcorn
  • Nevada Style Popcorn Dealers
  • Las Vegas Popcorn Company
  • Up North Black Kettle
caramel corn

What should I name my future popcorn business?

Unique Attributes and Flavors

Another proven way to come up with a product name is to include special ingredients or unique attributes of the food item.

  • Raw Corn
  • Organic Kettle Corn
  • Garlic & Herb
  • Buttery Bliss
  • Small-Batch Popcorn
  • Candy Corn Popcorn
  • The Sweet Corn
  • Traditional Indian Corn
  • Native Corn
  • Perfect Popcorn
  • Salty & Sweet
  • The Spicy Kernel
  • Old Fashioned Candy Popcorn
  • Salted Carmel
  • Three Cheese Popcorn
  • Cotton Candy Popcorn
  • The Big Bag
  • Lemon & Pepper
  • Old Bay Kernels
  • Butter and Truffel
  • Bacon Kernels
  • Mouth-watering Kernels
  • Popcorn and Nuts
  • Triple Peanut Poppers
  • Organic Popped Corn
  • All-Natural Caramel Corn
  • Old-Time Popcorn Balls
  • The Super Fancy Popcorn Company

Personal Name

Sometimes the easiest and best way to name a new business is to include your God-given name. There’s an added benefit in that your customers will personal connection with you as well since you literally put your name on the product.

  • Kyle’s Kettle Corn
  • Chevy’s Chicago Mix
  • Pat’s Pops
  • Captain Popcorns
  • Grandma’s Popcorn Balls
  • Aunt Velma’s Traditional Kettle Corn
  • Dave’s Delicious
  • Mike’s Munch
  • Mannie’s Popcorn Trailer
  • Peter’s Kettle Corn Tent
  • Grandpa’s Secret Recipe
  • Pattie’s Popped Corn
  • Amelie’s Eats
  • Uncle Bob’s Serious Snacks
  • Grandma’s Soft and Chewy Delights
  • Nancy and the Cob
  • Freddie’s Hot Sauce Popcorn
  • Carol’s Mixed Bag
  • Stan’s Kettle Corn Buckets

Related Reading: How We Started a Handcrafted Nut Butter Company

My Choice

So what are the names on my short list? Drum roll please….

Temecula Popcorn Company: Temecula is the town where I live in and where I’ll operate the business. The city is also a weekend destination of sorts in Southern California where people go to visit 40+ wineries so I think it will be appealing to visitors.

I also feel like this name has an attractive old-time feel to it. I believe I could leverage the name to help me gain access into city sponsored events like fairs or park events. This name is simple and memorable, which I like.

There’s a downside to this choice though. It’s going to be difficult to grow the business into a nationally recognized popcorn brand with this name. If you don’t live in Southern California, odds are you’ve never heard of this town. I’m okay with this, however, since the goal of operating this business is not to grow it into a major conglomerate.

Aunt or Grandma: This idea is less specific than the one I listed above. But, I really like funky titles like Auntie Egbert’s Popcorn or Grandma Gertrudes Corn Kettle. I feel like there’s a certain nostalgic element to both these names. I also think there’s a positive trigger that both of these names evoke.

These ideas also standout, which is another benefit. They are slightly peculiar in nature. They make you tilt your head curiously to the side in a good way.

Anyway, I’ve got some noodling to do before determining my final choice. I hope this little manual of sorts helps you find an original name for your business too.

If you have a name you like best, let me know in the comments. I’m eager to read your feedback on this one and have you following along with this adventure.

Want to start your own food business?

Hey! 👋I’m Brett Lindenberg, the founder of Food Truck Empire.

We interview successful founders and share the stories behind their food trucks, restaurants, food and beverage brands. By sharing these stories, I want to help others get started.

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