Made in Arizona: Brothers grow Kettle Heroes popcorn business while helping local communities
TEMPE, Ariz. - Two Arizona brothers have built a business centered around popcorn.
The popcorn, hand-seasoned in Tempe, comes in all different flavors.
"Everything is made in small batches," said Rudi Sinykin. "We really wanted to represent Arizona flavor, Southwest flavor."
Popcorn, which is easy for on the go, is the perfect snack.
"We had a small fleet of food trucks that we operated around the Valley."
Sinykin founded Kettle Heroes artisan popcorn with his brother, Aaron, in 2013.
"Kettle Heroes was kind of like a call to action to remind ourselves to be heroes and to be more selfless and give back to the community," said Sinykin.
Their food trucks have been seen at Arizona Cardinals games and farmers markets around the Valley.
"We were fortunate to be discovered by the Bashas family at the Gilbert Farmers Market, and they had asked us to create a packaged popcorn to sell in Bashas stores," said Sinykin.
Sinykin calls it their lucky break. From the food truck, to store shelves, getting their tasty and healthy popcorn to more people was always the goal.
"People of all ages really, once they taste kettle corn, a good kettle corn, it really changes their perception of what popcorn can taste like," said Sinykin.
There's a flavor for everyone, as the business features flavors like cinnamon sugar churros, kettle corn, prickly pear kettle corn, and hatch green chile cheddar. The company's offerings are non-GMO, gluten-free, nut free, and kosher.
In addition, there's also a popcorn offering that is flavored with Himalayan salt.
"Anybody that has a new years resolution that wants to lose weight, which I'm trying to do myself, the Zen is going to be our best option for that," said Sinykin.
The popcorn is all made fresh to order.
"As it comes out of the kettle over here, he's going to be adding any kind of seasoning to create the flavor that we're currently working on," said Sinykin. "Each batch is going to take about three to five minutes."
They package about 2,000 bags a day, and for the Sinykin brothers, the focus has always been supporting the local community first. Since 2013, Kettle Heroes has donated more than $30,000 to support different charities, including the Pat Tillman Foundation.
"For all of us to get better, we need to support each other, and it's through networking with other local companies, and that's how I think we all move forward," said Sinykin.
Kettle Heroes has come a long way since those food truck days.
"Film festivals, home loan mortgage companies, even Netflix ordered popcorn from us last year," said Sinykin.
Their goal is to continue growing, working into shops in other states, and expanding their customizable options.
"We know if we continue to focus on making an amazing product for people, we hope it will continue to grow into the future," said Sinykin.