Fun Foods Success Stories
See How Others Have Succeeded in the Concession Business
When you’re just starting out in a business venture of any sort, it can be helpful and inspiring to see how others followed a similar path and became successful. Here are three examples of how ordinary people found their calling in the concessions industry and have gone on to run profitable businesses.
From Near Bankruptcy to Multimillion-Dollar Success
Charlie Cox started out in manufacturing. His company built concession food vehicles, but when the recession hit in the 1960s, he struggled. As Charlie watched his business suffer, he noticed that concession stands themselves were still doing well. He decided to switch his focus.
After Charlie had begun selling concessions, he happened to visit the Columbus Zoo, where he approached Jack Hanna, selling lemonade with his daughter, and offered his card. From there he was offered space at other important events like the Dayton Air Show and NASCAR races.
Concessions by Cox, Charlie’s business, has now expanded into full-service catering and special event services and production. He has had stands on the White House lawn, at the Olympics and many other high-profile venues.
Starting a Popcorn Shop from Scratch
Husband and wife team Heidi and Wiley Plummer decided in 2009 that running their own business would be fun. They thought a popcorn shop sounded like a great idea, so they began their research.
Thinking their shop, Kernel Cody’s, would be a fun hobby, they started out with a 48-oz. popper and caramel corn mixer. Before long, between word of mouth and a feature on local public television, demand increased so significantly that they had to purchase additional equipment.
Business continued to boom, and the Plummers eventually sold their store to a young couple who is continuing Kernel Cody’s, so that they could move to Florida and be closer to their grandchildren. But the business itself was so much fun that they are now looking for a new location for selling gourmet popcorn in the Sunshine state!
The Largest Indoor Playground in Chicago
Greg Kukuczka had a bright idea one sleepless night and decided to change the course of his life: he went from plumbing to running the largest indoor playground in Chicago, with 40,000 square feet of fun for kids. He’s built his business on crowds and returning guests. And what’s a key part of his business? Concessions!
Greg knew he needed to fuel hours of play for kids and parents. He started out with the basics: hot dogs, burgers, pizza, popcorn, and nachos. Later, he expanded to menu items that created a buzz: caramel corn, funnel cakes, churros, and more. Families love it and keep coming back.
More than just a thriving concession stand in his business, though, Greg has achieved his dream through hard work and ingenuity. He recommends that others follow their hearts, and if concessions are in your future, partner with Gold Medal for profitable advice.
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