Mountaineer Popcorn may be a small company, but they have always had big ambitions. In April 2015, husband and wife team Mike and Erin Valasek decided that they wanted to create a locally-grown popcorn business from the ground up in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley.
Popcorn makes for a great snack; it’s easy to share and creates little to no mess, which explains some of Mountaineer Popcorn’s most interesting customers – event planners, who purchase the snack to serve guests at gatherings.
Mountaineer Popcorn sells their homegrown, GMO-free popcorn on their web store, at their brick and mortar location, and through wholesale. They wholesale across West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland, putting their products into over 35 retail locations. “During the pandemic, we started listing products all over the place,” Erin says. Their sales channels quickly expanded to include click-to-buy social on Instagram, in-store pickups, and even hand delivery.
Although they’ve never sold through an online marketplace, Mike and Erin are interested in trying Etsy and eBay. They also sell popcorn at school fundraisers. For big popcorn fans, the company also offers four different types of popcorn subscriptions to their customers. And while most of their customers (for now) are locals, they ship their popcorn to any location in the United States.
When Mike and Erin founded Mountaineer Popcorn, they had multiple goals – to create great-tasting popcorn, of course, and to give their four young children the opportunity to see how businesses are created and grown. Today, it’s clear they’ve succeeded on both fronts.