Corn of plenty
Pop's Kettle Corn comes to downtown Waukesha

By Brandon Anderegg - Freeman Staff

Oct. 3, 2017

Mark Knudsen and his parents, Richard and Terri.
Submitted photo

WAUKESHA — Pop’s Kettle Corn, a family-run kettle corn business out of Muskego, is opening a second location Thursday in downtown Waukesha at 260 W. Broadway.

While the Muskego location is where the company produces their kettle corn, the downtown Waukesha store will be more retail-based, according to owner Mark Knudsen.

“We wanted to bring more corn to people instead of having them come out to Muskego,” said Knudsen.

Knudsen said he hopes to make the new store an experience for customers — more than just a place to grab a quick snack. Each month, Knudsen said, he plans to display the work of local artists. In fact, Knudsen has local artist Pat Sullivan working on an airbrushed, custom-designed Les Paul guitar that will eventually hang in the store front window. Knudsen said inviting artists to display their work in his store is just one way he likes to give back to the community.

“I like that it’s local and that we try and always strive to give back no matter what,” said Knudsen.

Pop’s Kettle Corn flavors range from the sweet like chocolate, cinnamon and caramel apple to the salty like hot taco, cheddar bacon burger and BBQ ribs. In fact, the company has paired up with Soul Boxer, a cocktail company, to create a brandy old-fashioned kettle corn mix.

Along with over 20 flavors of kettle corn, Pop’s Kettle Corn sells different flavored cheese, gourmet style kettle corn and even take-home kernels for family movie nights. In addition, Knudsen said he plans to sell Purple Door ice cream at the new store.

The business, which started in 2009, began when former Pop’s Kettle Corn owner Richard Knudsen turned to his wife Terri Knudsen and whispered, “Kettle Corn,” according the company’s website. The couple, who spent their first year selling kettle corn at over 180 events, would eventually own two brick and mortar locations, one in Wind Lake and another in Pewaukee before closing and handing over the business to their son Mark.

In 2016, Mark opened the Muskego location and carried on the family tradition of cooking kettle corn. His niece, who recently graduated high school and went off to college in Green Bay, still comes back to help with the operation. Mark’s mother Terri is still the lead chef in Muskego.

Mark said he and his two brothers Ricky and Michael were surprised that their father developed a recipe that people grew to love. The brothers have always thought of their father as a “stick a fork in a hot-dog and microwave it kind of cook,” according to Mark Knudsen.

“He wasn’t always a cook and then he found this amazing recipe,” said Mark. “The funny part about it is that it was actually an accident.”

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