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Inspiring Conversations with Ronier Golightly of Motor City Popcorn

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ronier Golightly. 

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
My journey into gourmet popcorn began in 2012 when I was visiting Chicago and came across that well-known popcorn store. After witnessing a line that stretched down the street, I envisioned the same concept happening in the city of Detroit. At the time the city was going through bankruptcy and morale was low. So… my idea was to create a product that many enjoyed and that could help the city regain a positive image. 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I began the business with $500. I bought a basic starter kit type of equipment and began to attend many pop-up vendor events. Originally, I didn’t have a clue as to what I was doing, but I reached out to various snack and concession businesses around the country to get insight. 

As with any new business you make a lot of mistakes along the way. Hiring the right people and knowing how to market and promote the business has been a challenge along the way. We’ve experienced challenges that most small businesses have but we keep working to stay alive! 

We’ve been impressed with Motor City Popcorn, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Motor City Popcorn is a gourmet popcorn brand based in Detroit, MI that began in 2012. We operate a storefront location on 7 Mile Rd near Livernois Ave, known as The Avenue of Fashion. We also wholesale our products to a variety of locations such as Motor City Casino, Holiday Market, Meijer, The Foundation Hotel, The Detroit Shoppe as well as locations across the US such as The D Casino in Las Vegas and more. We also work with companies such as Ford, United Wholesale Mortgage, Quicken Loans, and others. 

Some of our flavor names include Detroit themes such as The Motor City Mix, The Belle Isle Blend, The Big 3, The 8 Mile Mix, and others. Our popcorn is available in bulk and snack size which is typically used for weddings, birthdays, graduation parties, etc. We also offer fundraiser opportunities which go over well with schools and churches. 

Past clients have included GM, Detroit Metro Airport, Henry Ford Museum, Hennessy Moet, and The NFL to name a few. We offer a wide variety of flavors that include favorites such as cheese, caramel, butter but also include flavors such as green apple, strawberry, jalapeno, dill, pizza, kettle, barbecue and we have seasonal flavors such as chocolate-covered strawberry, pumpkin spice, peppermint bark and flavors for Christmas and Halloween. 

We love surprises, fun facts, and unexpected stories. Is there something you can share that might surprise us?
Before I was into the popcorn business, I was into the music business. My career as a DJ has spanned over 35 years. I was a radio DJ with WJLB in Detroit, plus I was one of the original mix show DJs with XM Radio before the merger with Sirius. After XM, I actually used to have a show on Sirius radio on channel 42. I have toured the US and overseas as a DJ. I also have worked with record labels Arista and MCA in radio and retail promotions. 

Pricing:

  • $4.50 Retail Bags
  • $40 3.5 Gallon Tins
  • $25 X-Large Butter Bulk
  • $10 Fundraiser Size
  • $1.25 Snack Size

Contact Info:

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