The owner of a local, family-owned business has found a new revenue stream and greater efficiencies by embracing e-commerce during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jeff Gamble, owner of What’s Poppin’ Popcorn Factory in Windsor, has been popping kettle corn by hand since 2007. Prior to the pandemic, the business generated most of its sales from hosting fundraisers and attending festivals and local events.

Their mobile trailer could be found at regional events such as Lasalle Strawberry Fest, Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Foundation’s annual fireworks fundraiser, Wheels on Wyandotte Car & Motorcycle Show, Ruthven Apple Fest and Bright Lights to name a few.

“Our fundraising side of the business has helped dozens of non-profit organizations collect money from the sale of our kettle corn and other specialty popcorn flavours,” stated Gamble, adding, “In its simplest form the organization would collect orders from parents, neighbours, coworkers … and then we deliver the orders upon completion.”

At the onset of COVID-19 both sales streams ran dry with all festivals, events and major fundraising campaigns being cancelled for the year.

Soon after the shutdown, Gamble received an email with information about Digital Main Street, a government-funded program which facilitates technology adoption among small businesses. Digital Main Street provides businesses owners access to training, webinars, technology resources, grants and individualized support from a local Digital Service Squad. Gamble filled out the Digital Main Street information form and was contacted immediately by the Small Business Centre’s Digital Service Squad who has worked closely with him ever since.

Read the full story on the Windsor-Essex Small Business website.

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