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Kettle corn business opens retail store in Wallingford

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WALLINGFORD — In honor of his mother’s love of popcorn, Robin Jackson opened a kettle corn shop called Nutmeg Kettle Corn.

“We lost her eight years ago, but she loved popcorn and loved popcorn,” Jackson said.

Jackson started the company in 2014 after the death of his mother, Ruth Ford.

“We started vending machines. It was a hobby, but then we started getting more orders,” Jackson said. “…it’s been a long and difficult road to develop the store. The storefront is my favourite.”

Kettle corn is popcorn that is often made in a large kettle by mixing oil, sugar, and salt.

Jackson had a cousin who used to work in New Haven, hand stirring kettle corn. He has moved out, so when Jackson started his business, her husband Herb Jackson learned how to make kettle corn and makes it at another location in Wallingford.

“He learned really quickly,” said Robin Jackson. “He used to watch my cousin make it. Then he started practicing, and it turned out to taste pretty good. We’re definitely a small batch small business, so we want to make small batches and make the flavors taste like home.”

Nutmeg Kettlecorn, which opened in March at 2 Chapel Street, Suite 6, had a grand opening on Ford’s birthday, June 4.

“The concept is all my idea,” said Robin Jackson. “What we want to do is be a little local sweet shop, a cute little place where you can pick up little impromptu gifts when you go to a friend’s house or a baby shower.”

Robin Jackson sells 10 Kettle Cone flavors, including caramel, blue raspberry, grape, pink cherry, green apple, salty sweets, chocolate, strawberry, caramel apple, and fireball. With the rising cost of her food and oil, she is concerned about price increases.

“We are suffering from loss of profit. We are not profitable at this time,” Robin Jackson said. “I’m hesitant to raise my prices because if I do, I’ll outpace myself before I can get this business off the ground…but I’m not going to stop. Although I’ve gone too far.” I feel blessed from above to even come this far.”

Robbin Jackson has partnered with other women-owned businesses such as Amy Cakes in Wallingford and Sweet Claude’s Ice Cream in Cheshire. She sells some of their products and they sell some of hers.

Kelly Anne Pearce, owner of Sweet Claude’s, said she made six flavors of ice cream specifically for Nutmeg Kettlecorn.

Robin Jackson said, “I have a beautiful vision of what my store should be like, so when we were making the flavors, she steered me in the right direction and helped me develop a lot of the products she has.” I came up with a few things to complement…at her shop,” Pierce said.

Robin Jackson has garnered a lot of wedding business and has appeared on WeddingWire and The Knot.

“We do a lot of weddings, do a lot of commercial businesses, and work on every occasion in life,” she said.

Nutmeg Kettle Corn is the first step towards what Robin Jackson wants to do in the future. That is to one day expand to more stores and a small business called his NKWed, with a focus on weddings and special events.

“We certainly hope to expand,” Jackson said.

jsimms@record-journal.com203-317-2279Twitter: @jessica_simms99