With all of the talented students in the marketing major at Ashland University, it is hard to showcase each and every one of them, but one particular student and her family “popped” out at me. Mara Holcomb and her family make and sell delicious kettle corns and nuts at fairs and festivals in Ohio from May to the end of October each year. They also receive and ship online orders for their popcorns and nuts on their website to their loyal customers that live out of state and for families who like to ship their college kids and other family members their amazing treats. Mara is currently a sophomore at Ashland University double majoring in Marketing and Finance.
The Holcomb Story
Mara’s family started Holcomb’s Classics around thirteen years ago. They became interested in the kettle corn concession business after seeing a vendor at a state fair popping kettle corn. Now, they were not quite sure how to break into the concession/popcorn business, so they started by doing some research. They were intrigued by the way Gary Mann and his family popped their popcorn. Gary and his family resurrected an old way of popping popcorn in large kettles while adding something sweet such as honey, molasses, or sugar. Mara’s family thought that Gary had a great idea and they decided that the kettle corn would be a great way to break into the concession business. Their products have expanded over the years and they now include caramel corn, cheese corn, cinnamon roasted nuts, and the basic classic kettle corn.
The Family Support
Now, Mara just doesn’t sit back and let her family do all the work. She actively assists in the family business in multiple ways. Besides going to fairs and festivals with the family to sell their products, Mara also assists by helping in the digital marketing of her family’s products. She helped to design and market the Holcomb’s Classics website with her dad, which was launched this past April. She also helps to maintain the website and the Holcomb’s Classic Facebook page as well.
Once a year, Mara also brings some of her family’s popcorn to Ashland University. She and the Girl’s Ashland University Club Basketball team sell her family’s delicious popcorn to the students here at AU. The sales of the popcorn are used to help raise money for the girl’s club team and are divided between the girl’s club team and the Holcomb family. But no matter where the money goes, the real beneficiaries are the students and faculty receiving the amazing popcorn.
The Holcomb family is considering attempting to grow their product line and their customer base by appearing and selling their products at more fairs and festivals among the surrounding states. But as of right now, Mara and her family are happy where the family business stands and are enjoying providing delicious kettle corns and nuts to their loyal patrons.
If you want to learn more about Holcomb’s Classics, visit their website at: https://www.holcombsclassics.com/
Or Like their page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HolcombsClassics
Josh Gullett is a senior double major in Marketing and Supply Chain Management. He is a member of Enactus and is currently the head coach of the Women’s Club Basketball team.