MOROCCO, Ind. — The last day of the season for Bieser’s Pumpkin Patch back in 2018 is bittersweet in the memories of owners Joe and Amy Bieser. They didn’t imagine that would be the last time the popular attraction, which was just in its second year, was open, however, it was during that day they realized how popular their kettle corn was. A lasting memory the couple would fall back on a couple of years later when they would start Bieser’s Gourmet Kettle Corn.
“When we started the pumpkin patch we had no idea what we were getting into,” said Amy. “As our second season came to an end, everyone told us that they could not wait until we opened back up next fall.”
The third season would never get started for the Lake Village attraction as their permit was denied for its current location.
“We were devastated,” said Joe. “We then sold all of our equipment but selling the kettle corn machine really bothered me. That last night of the pumpkin patch I saw the potential. We hand popped 250 bags of kettle corn and sold out in an hour and a half.”
Fast forward to 2020 and like many others the Biesers felt the impact of COVID-19.
“When the coronavirus hit things slowed down for me at work as a truck driver,“ said Joe. “It worried us and I reflected back on the last day of the pumpkin patch and remembered how much people enjoyed our kettle corn. We had to do something, so we got another machine and started it up again.”
It didn’t take long for Bieser’s Gourmet Kettle Corn to gain momentum.
“On July 25, 2020, we started making kettle corn for one store in Lake Village, and then the demand grew and we were adding new stores left and right,” added Joe. “Now we are in 60-plus locations from Gary down to Lebanon and as far east as Kokomo.”
The demand for their product grew so much that Joe quit his job in December to focus purely on the growth of their gourmet kettle corn.
“My job thought I was crazy, but this is hard work and it’ just me and my wife doing everything,” Joe said. “It was the only way to keep up with the demand and allow us the opportunity to grow.”
The growth didn’t stop there, as the Biesers set up online purchasing on March 1 for its top three flavors (Sweet and Salty, Salted Caramel, and Carmel Apple). The online sales have been great as the couple started shipping out their tasty treats to all over the country including Texas, California, Boston, and even Puerto Rico.
“The online sales was all new to us,” added Amy. “It can be completely overwhelming at times, but we are so humbled by the response.”
The increased demand for their kettle corn is now taking the Biesers to a completely new location soon, as they have recently purchased a building in Downton Morocco. The building will be called Biesers Gourmet Kettle Corn Factory and the new facility will allow them to increase production and distribution.
“I was making a delivery in Morocco and I took a different street than I usually do and I stumbled upon the building,” said Joe. “Then I ran into Tim Myers (Newton County Economic Development Director) who had the keys to it and he gave me a tour of the building and the entire area. It is just a great opportunity for us and exactly what we needed. It will be our factory where we can just grow without too many restrictions.”
The plans for the building include putting in a new bagging machine to speed up distribution, while still allowing for the kettle corn to be hand-popped. There will also be a small retail area upfront to purchase the kettle corn on certain days and times.
“We are hoping that within three months in we will have the machine up and running,” added Joe.
Currently, the Biesers are shipping out 1,100 to 1,300 bags of kettle corn a week. With the new machine, that capacity will grow to 10,000 bags a week.
“We are maxed out right now, the new machine and the new building will allow us to take care of a lot more items,” Joe added. “We were selling so fast, we couldn’t keep up. The new building, it will be amazing I can’t wait.”
The Biesers are hoping to be up and running in the new building by the end of May.
“Our whole goal is to be able to mass-produce more and more kettle corn while also giving back to all the people in this area who helped us out,” Amy added. “The Morocco Town Board has been amazing and everyone has been so friendly. We have been humbled by the community’s support for the pumpkin patch and now our kettle corn.”
While the Biesers’ kettle corn production will be moving from Lake Village to Morocco, they will not be forgetting their roots as the new bags will say “Established in Lake Village and made with pride in Morocco.”