Popcorn Palace Testimonial – Tonya, the first-time Fundraiser

29 Sep

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Tonya Sikes was a member of an organization in Memphis focused on keeping youth active and focused. Through the organization of the Memphis Wildcats, a pee-wee basketball group for boys and girls ages 8 to 12, her organization was able to achieve these goals.

Some of the kids who participated in the program were under-privileged, unable to afford uniforms or even the group trip to a local amusement park. Tonya decided a fundraiser would be a great opportunity for these kids to get to participate with the group without having to pay anything out of pocket.

Tonya needed something that was hassle-free, easy and efficient to work with, and had a high profit margin for those participating. After some research, Tonya decided Popcorn Palace was a good fit for her organization’s fundraising opportunity.

One feature that Tonya raves about with Popcorn Palace is the customer service. “It was great and very quick in response,” Tonya said. “The staff is friendly and the service is quick.”

She also said that the popcorn was fresh, a big reason why she said she would use Popcorn Palace again.

“It was great. I have ordered popcorn from other people who did fundraisers from other companies and the popcorn was stale,” Tonya said. “We raised a lot of money and we were able to take the team to a fun event,” Tonya said.

 

Are you looking for a fundraising to benefit your sports team? Popcorn Palace has the solution you have been looking for. Start fundraising with Popcorn Palace today.

Popcorn Palace Testimonial – Michelle and the last-minute fundraiser

22 Sep
This picture was taken when Michelle (treasurer), Johana (president) and Jerri (secretary) presented the middle school principal with a check for the funds raised with the Popcorn Palace fundraiser.

This picture was taken when Michelle (treasurer), Johana (president) and Jerri (secretary) presented the middle school principal with a check for the funds raised with the Popcorn Palace fundraiser.

Michelle Cavazos and the PTSO of Potomac Middle School had a goal: to raise funds for the middle school’s annual end-of-the-year activities. Activities included Field Day, a carnival hosted on campus, and the 8th Grade Graduation Ceremony. She needed something that required little effort, worked within her time frame, and would be a big seller.

Michelle chose Popcorn Palace at the last minute. Even though it was on a whim, she said the process was incredibly easy and the staff was great to work with on her time crunch. With little effort on their part and free sorting options, it took the guesswork out of fundraising organizing and made it easy for Michelle and her fellow board members to work with students to make the fundraiser beneficial to them.

In addition, Michelle really loves the popcorn.

“The popcorn was delicious,” Michelle said. “The gourmet popcorn was different from the typical fundraisers. Popcorn Palace had a great variety of flavors as well!”

Lastly, Michelle states that the 50 percent profit made the decision easy, along with some other factors.

“There was no start-up fee… I think everything they offer to benefit fundraising organizations is awesome. It’s stress free – especially since there was no minimum amount in sales required to participate,” Michelle said.

 

Have a success story like Michelle’s become yours today. Start fundraising with Popcorn Palace today. 

Popcorn Palace Testimonial – Lindsay the Cheer Mom

15 Sep

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Lindsay Wehmer was a cheer mom looking to help build funds for her daughter’s high school cheer team at Parkway North High School. Funds were tight for boosters who were looking to fund uniforms and cheer camp for the members on team. Ms. Wehmer and the other boosters stumbled upon Popcorn Palace as a fundraising option for cheer team members if they were looking to participate to help pay for some of the costs on the team.

“Those who did participate raised at least $100 each. It was phenomenal,” Ms. Wehmer said. “One girl was able to pay (in full for her uniform and camp).”

When asked if she would use Popcorn Palace in the future, Ms. Wehmer replied yes. Her compliments were that the fundraiser was easy to do and that the customer service was on point.

“When we had questions, we were always able to reach a customer service representative. All of our questions were answered right away,” Ms. Wehmer said.

Some things she highlighted about what she liked most about working with Popcorn Palace were the company’s flexibility, promptness, spreadsheet ordering system and the easy uploading process. She explained that the process was made very easy by being extremely efficient and self-explanatory.

What stood out to Ms. Wehmer the most?

“The timeliness and care of the customer service representatives,” Ms. Wehmer said. “And the popcorn is delicious, too!”

 

Host a delicious and profitable fundraiser for you and your school. Start fundraising with Popcorn Palace today.

 

 

A Brief History of Popcorn

11 Sep

Oldest Popcorn

Scientists have found traces of wild corn pollen as far back as 80,000 years ago, but the archeological record indicates corn was first domesticated in the highlands of Mexico some around 7000 BC (9000 years ago).

According to Popcorn.org, “the oldest ears of popcorn ever found were discovered in the Bat Cave of west central New Mexico.” Archeologists have dated some of the charred ears of corn found in the Bat Cave to 4000-5600 BC.

Corn/Popcorn Historically Popular Throughout Americas

Popcorn was one of the earliest foods eaten by indigenous people in the Americas. Proto-historians believe people harvested wild corn for at least a few centuries before the first domestication of the plan. Domesticated corn spread from central Mexico, and after a couple hundred generations corn had become a staple of the Latin American diet and popcorn was known throughout Central and South America.

Popcorn was an important ceremonial food for the Aztecs, and popcorn gifts were given to the priesthood and the gods. The Aztecs and other groups used popcorn as decorations for ceremonial headdresses, necklaces and ornaments on statues of various gods (in particular, Tlaloc, the god of fertility and rain.

On observing an Aztec coming of age ceremony in the mid 16th century, Bernardino de Sahagun writes: “And also a number of young women danced, having so vowed, a popcorn dance. As thick as tassels of maize were their popcorn garlands. And these they placed upon (the girls’) heads.”

Another early account of a ceremony in honor of the Aztec gods who watched over fishermen reads: “They scattered before him parched corn, called momochitl, a kind of corn which bursts when parched and discloses its contents and makes itself look like a very white flower; they said these were hailstones given to the god of water.”

In describing the Incans of the Peruvian highlands in 1650, Spanish explorer Cobo reported: “They toast a certain kind of corn until it bursts. They call it pisancalla, and they use it as a confection.”

Popcorn in the U.S.

Corn first became a popular agricultural crop in the U.S. in the mid-19th century didn’t really become popular with the American public until the 1890s.

Popcorn remained a popular from the gay ’90s until after the Second World War. Vendors used to follow crowds around in big cities, pushing steam or gas-powered popcorn poppers through fairs, parks and expositions. A few enterprising businessmen introduced the idea of popcorn gift baskets and other popcorn gifts during this period.

Popcorn at 5 or 10 cents a bag during the Great Depression, and was one of the few luxuries low income families could scrape together the money for. In an interesting historical note, despite other businesses failing right and left during the early 1930s, the popcorn business thrived.

There was a sugar shortage in the U.S. during the Second World War, which meant candy production slowed to a dribble. Because of this, Americans ate three times as much popcorn as usual from 1943 to 1945.

Popcorn became less popular during the early 1950s, when television became popular. Attendance at movie theaters dropped and, with it, popcorn consumption. However, Americans began eating popcorn at home again a decade or two later with the introduction of microwave popcorn. Today, the average American consumes about 51 quarts of popcorn.

Popcorn has developed so much since then that it is now considered a gourmet food product. While we added flavors including cheese and caramel to the traditional butter and salt choices a while ago, flavor choices go far beyond these three to include savory options, spicy options, and complex sweet toppings. Popcorn has gotten fancy and stayed popular through the years.

Learn more about our popcorn and fundraising efforts at our Popcorn Fundraising page.

Fall Popcorn Fundraiser

29 Aug

The long, hot days of summer are drawing to a close and fall is just around the corner. People eat popcorn year round these days, but delicious, healthy popcorn becomes even more popular when the nights grow long and the weather starts to turn nippy.

Fall is the perfect time for a popcorn fundraiser.  Moreover, popcorn fundraisers have become one of the most popular types of fundraising events today. Schools, clubs and organizations of types and sizes are turning to popcorn gifts for their annual fall fundraiser because customers love it so much it practically sells itself!

Popcorn Gifts from Popcorn Palace Offer Unbeatable Quality and Value

Popcorn Palace is the premier gourmet popcorn gift provider. The Popcorn Palace offers more than 18 varieties of nutritious tasty popcorn, all available in resealable bags or seasonal decorative tins.

Any popcorn aficionado will tell you Popcorn Palace has been all about flavor for 15 years. We use only premium ingredients – U.S. Grade AA butter, C&H brown sugar, roasted nuts (including whole macadamia nuts), real fruit oils, and even genuine Oreo® cookies. Moreover, all of our flavors are perfected by the toasty crunch of our freshly popped gourmet popcorn.

Popcorn Palace has been featured on Unwrapped, $40 a Day with Rachael Ray, Roker on the Road with Al Roker, on the Food Network and as a part of Modern Marvels on The History Channel. We have also been ranked as one of the fastest-growing in the Inc. 500 list eight years in a row for the U.S.-based, privately held independent food & beverage company category.

Halloween or Thanksgiving Theme Popcorn Fundraiser

Thinking about popcorn fundraising events a month or two before a fall-themed holiday is a great idea as everybody is starting to think about their favorite autumn and holiday foods. Family members, friends and neighbors are simply more likely to be enthused by the thought of gourmet popcorn this time of the year.

Getting started on a popcorn fundraiser is easy. Just request Popcorn Palace’s free information kit and you’ll have everything you need to get the ball rolling. With our fundraising program you will enjoy:

  • No upfront costs
  • 50% profit on every sale
  • Friendly support staff
  • No minimum orders

You can’t go wrong with a fall fundraiser with Popcorn Palace. Our flexible fundraising program is perfect for organizations of all sizes, and everybody loves our sweet or savory gourmet popcorn!

Fun Popcorn Facts

20 Aug

Almost everyone loves popcorn. What’s not to like about an inexpensive whole grain that can be combined with virtually any flavoring to create a delicious, healthy treat?

Popcorn is almost as American as apple pie. Popcorn originated in North America, hit the big time in the late 19th century, and exploded in popularity with the advent of the microwave oven in the mid-1970s. Popcorn was no longer just a treat at the movies. Suddenly popcorn was in every living room, office break room and school. Popcorn gifts, popcorn fundraisers, you name it, the American public had become totally enamored with popcorn.

As the number one popcorn consuming nation, the U.S. consumes more than 16 billion quarts of (popped) popcorn annually. That means every American consumes close to 52 quarts of popcorn a year.

Popcorn Facts

  • The corn that popcorn comes from is a member of the grass family, and is scientifically known as Zea mays everta.
  • There are six major types of corn—pod, sweet, flour, dent, flint and popcorn—but only popcorn pops completely when heated.
  • The moisture content of popcorn is ideally between 13% and 14.5%. Popcorn will not pop properly with much higher or lower moisture levels.
  • The two main types of popcorn relate to the typical shapes when it’s popped: snowflake and mushroom. Snowflake popcorn is commonly found in movie theaters and stadiums because it pops up bigger. Mushroom popcorn, on the other hand, is used for popcorn confections and popcorn gifts because it is stronger and won’t crumble as easily.

How Popcorn Pops

Popcorn has a thicker hull than most other types of corn kernels. The thick hull means pressure from the internal water will build when heated and the kernel will eventually burst open. The inside starch becomes gelatinous during the heating process, and when the hull pops, the gelatinized starch is forced. The starch almost instantly cools into the familiar popcorn shape we all know and love.

Popcorn Production Statistics

Popcorn is grown on almost 1,000 farms on more than 201,000 acres in 29 states (2007 data).  The biggest popcorn producing states today are Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska and Ohio.

Popcorn production in the U.S. has almost tripled over the last four decades. According to the Popcorn Board, the U.S. produced around 350,000,000 pounds of popcorn in 1970, and broke the billion pound barrier for the first time in 2013.

Of note, the vast majority of U.S. popcorn production is contracted in advance with processors.  Given these contractual arrangements and generally thin markets, popcorn is usually grown under irrigation. According to IbisWorld market research, the U.S. popcorn industry brought in more than a billion dollars in revenue in 2013.

Well over three-quarters of U.S. popcorn production is consumed domestically.  Although it’s difficult to measure exactly, most sources agree that away-from-home popcorn consumption represents less than one-third of overall popcorn consumption.

Healthy Food Fundraisers You Can Be Proud to Be a Part Of

13 Aug

New FDA rules aimed at removing junk food from school have banned many types of fundraisers such as candy, chocolate, and cookies. They won’t be allowed to be sold during school hours. All too often, fundraisers today revolve around these super-sweet foods. There’s nothing wrong with a tasty sweet for dessert or an occasional pick-me-up, but regular snacking on sugary food is unhealthy, especially for kids.

One of the best ways to make sure children are eating reasonably healthy is to provide them with healthy snacks. A couple of servings of apples slices, carrots or popcorn can make a big difference in the nutritional status of pre-teens who try to live on burgers, fries and pizza.

Healthy Food Fundraisers

Fruit Basket Fundraisers

Fruit fundraisers replace unhealthy candy and cookie dough fundraisers with fresh fruit delivery. Offering your friends and family delicious fresh fruit is a great new way to raise money, and you have lots of options and price levels to choose from for your fundraiser.

You can sell seasonal fresh fruit year round or just once or twice a year for special campaigns. Fruit is healthy and tastes great, and fruit basket gifts are unique and fitting for any occasion.

Meat and Cheese Fundraisers

Another healthy alternative for fundraising is selling meats and cheeses or meat and cheese gift baskets.  Gourmet food products are one of the fastest -growing categories of gift baskets, and you can order a bewildering array of delicious domestic and imported food items in gift baskets today. Traditional food gift basket items like summer sausage and cheddar cheese remain popular, but olives, pates and savory jellies are also hot items for fundraising food baskets.

Popcorn Gifts and Popcorn Gift Basket Fundraisers

Premium popcorn and popcorn gift baskets have become a hot fundraising idea today. How can you go wrong with a healthy, delicious product like popcorn in a variety of tasty flavors?

Working with an industry leader like Popcorn Palace for your popcorn fundraiser means less work, more money and happier customers. Your friends and family can select from more than a dozen lip-smacking good flavors of premium popcorn when they participate in your fundraiser. Moreover, there are no upfront costs and your organization clears 50% net profit on every sale.

There is no minimum order at Popcorn Palace, and best of all, you’re selling a delicious product that practically sells itself.

We’ve Got Spirit!

8 Aug

Two, four, six, eight! Who do we appreciate? Cheerleaders are the lifeblood of a sports team, providing pep, excitement, and team spirit to any game.

The Brunswick Area Youth Football League (BAYFL) was originally started by a group of individuals to get middle school aged children prepared for high school football. As the league grew in size and scope, a group of moms put together a cheering program so the girls could be involved as well.

Over the past 12 years, the cheering program has grown from just sideline cheers at football games to a year round program that does a minimum of six competitions in the winter time. They also started a summer program to keep the girls going year round. All of the coaches are on a volunteer basis. BAFYL Cheer“It’s unfair to ask these hard-working girls to pay for everything themselves. It can be tough to find the money for uniforms, travel expenses and equipment, says Amanda Griffin, “ We do not want to turn away anyone with a passion or desire to learn the sport of cheer. “

The profits from the fundraiser will go to the squad and to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

For more information on BAYFL, visit http://www.bayfl.org/cheering/

For more information about Popcorn Palace’s fundraising program, visit http://popcornpalace.com/Home/Fundraising.

Have a Game Plan for Popcorn Sales

25 Jul

We can’t emphasize enough just how important preparation and planning are to a successful fundraiser. Knowing your audience, setting goals and seeking out opportunities are key to meeting and exceeding your sales goals!  Before launching your popcorn fundraiser, take a look at all the potential ways you can sell popcorn, and weigh the pros and cons of each to determine which ones best suit your group. Use the following suggestions to help come up with a solid game plan for popcorn sales.

Students Selling to Student

This might be the easiest way to sell popcorn because kids are always looking for something yummy to snack on, and they’re impulsive buyers. The downside of this is kids don’t often have a lot of cash on them. When students are selling to fellow students suggest reaching out to them before lunchtime, when they might have more available cash on hand.

Selling to Family

Selling popcorn bags to family is a no-brainer. Our families are often our best resource because they want to support us in all endeavors. However, because of this, family can often get over-utilized. When setting your fundraising dates, be aware of any major family events, such as a wedding, which may limit your results. However, you can sometimes turn obstacles into a blessing. Savvy sales people will know how to take advantage of having their family members all together in one room.

Parents Selling to Co-Workers

Co-Workers can often be great for fundraising, but because of this people can get sick of being asked to participate in fundraisers. Make sure to give yourself a good window of time before launching the fundraiser so you can start planting seeds. Start telling people about the popcorn fundraiser – get them excited about Popcorn Palace’s signature flavors. This is also a great time to start telling everyone about how the funds will be used. If the funds are for a school or church group, start talking them up and make sure to personally invite co-workers to upcoming games or events.

Selling at Sporting Events & Other Venues

Selling at sporting events and other storefronts, such as grocery stores, can be a fantastic way to rack up the sales! You’re exposing the group to a new market and endless resources. However, this means there are a few more hoops to jump through. First and foremost, you need to request permission from the venue. Make sure to give them plenty of notice because scheduling can be difficult. Remember, they deal with non-profit organizations regularly.

The downside of selling at a venue to folks who may be unfamiliar with you is that they may not feel comfortable giving you money up front. Therefore, if this is part of your business plan, we recommend you order the popcorn first and sell the actual snack bags, signature jars, value bags and even gift sets on-site. You may also want to hand out business cards just in case people decide they want more, because it’s likely they will after they taste that first heavenly kernel!

Good luck and get poppin’!

Five Great Fundraising Ideas for Sports Teams

7 Jul

Have you exhausted all of your creative fundraising resources for your son or daughter’s sports team? Take a look at these fresh concepts to spark some innovative ideas for your next fundraising adventure!

Sports Night Out

Take advantage of your sports-loving family and friends and organize a sports night by partnering with a local restaurant. Kid-friendly ones with a lot of TV’s are best. Plan the evening around a popular game or sports event and then promote it via Facebook, email and word-of-mouth. A pre-arranged percentage of the profits from that evening will go towards the team. You can even sell merchandise at the event, such as t-shirts, buttons and hats with the team logo.

Professional Photo Sessions

Find out if there’s anyone on your team that has a friend who is a professional photographer, and ask if he or she would be willing to donate their time on a weekend day or weekday evening. Next, book time slots for families, individuals or couples at the school or even outside of the school. Have your group reserve time slots using SignUpGenius.com, which is an easy way to manage scheduling and other information.  Besides the cost of printing, your organization earns 100% of the profits.

Create a Calendar

Print a calendar with team photos and sell them at games or other school-related events. To produce a professional–looking product can be a bit time-consuming but also extremely fun. Put each member in charge of something, such as costumes, locations and equipment. Make sure to do your research to find a place that will print inexpensive but good quality calendars. Online is a good place to look, but you might also find a local business willing to donate a percentage of the cost to help support the team. You’d be surprised what you can get for free if it’s for a good cause and you’re willing to ask!

Host a Tournament Event

This is an exciting way to promote healthy competition and get your fans involved. Other teams will have to play to pay, and you can sell tickets to the event. If you want to bump it up a notch, you can even create a theme around the tournament and plan mini competitions throughout the day. Find vendors willing to sponsor food for a concession stand and brainstorm other merchandise that can be sold throughout the day. The profits go directly to the team. Make sure to let people know what you’re using the funds for to get them excited about their contribution!

Flavored Gourmet Popcorn

If you’re looking for a fresh idea, there’s nothing fresher than fundraising with flavored gourmet popcorn. No more chocolate or cookie dough!  Popcorn Palace has an array of delectable flavors from Brown Sugar Caramel to Spicy Cheese and Fruit Rainbow that kids, parents and friends will love. Check out our fundraising page for more details on how to organize your popcorn fundraiser today!

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