Naughty But Nice Kettle Corn Co. – Foodies 2022

There is something kind of magical about popcorn. Popcorn equals fun and fun is the basis of Naughty But Nice Kettle Corn Co.

Tanesha and Clem Summers in the Naughty But Nice Kettle Corn Co. truck.
Photography by Mary

THERE IS SOMETHING KIND OF MAGICAL ABOUT POPCORN. The sound of it popping, the smell of it roasting—it all just kind of goes hand-in-hand with fun. You might say that this mentality of bringing people together in a happy state of mind was the “kernel” of how Tanesha and Clem Summers created Naughty But Nice Kettle Corn Co.

We donate up to 10% of our annual revenue to causes that work to create change.

You’ve inspired a fan group who call themselves Popheads. How did you inspire legions?

We wish we could say that it was always our dream to own a kettle corn shop. Instead, what we have always had a passion for is community and bringing people together in a positive way. Kettle corn does that! After 15 years in the corporate world of banking and digital marketing, I (Tanesha) was ready for something different and tapped into my entrepreneurial side to launch the company in 2014.

Why kettle corn?

Initially, I (Tanesha) wanted to spend more time being a wife and mom and was looking to start a business that would make that possible while still allowing me to give back to people. While we specialize in selling small-batch, artisan-style kettle corn blends, we also use this product to help communities. We help people celebrate life’s sweet moments while keeping social responsibility at the forefront of our operations.

What does it mean to call Birmingham home?

Birmingham is a unique city with lots of opportunity and growth potential. It welcomes innovation and creativity. Community support makes it ideal for small businesses to thrive if they embrace the resources. We’ve been the proud recipients of so many local awards—the 2019 Les Dames d’Escoffier new entrepreneur; the 2020 Birmingham Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40; and the 2015 PNC Bank’s Big Pitch, to name a few—which show how much this city supports people with vision who work hard.

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Do you have a mantra?

Grow where you are planted. I also tell people that success is where preparedness meets opportunity. Never stop learning. Enjoy the process, and be sure to focus on your mental well-being.

Where can readers find Naughty But Nice Kettle Corn Co. and become the next generation of Popheads?

Customers can order online for local pickup or shipping. Or see our events page to find Mr. Poppy, our kettle corn food truck. He makes appearances all over town!

Learn more about Naughty But Nice Kettle Corn Co.

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