By Heather Lusk
Seven years ago when Inga Smith brought her popcorn to the Zionsville Farmer’s Market she had no idea what direction it would take her.
She opened an Inga’s Popcorn location in Bloomington in 2012 then one on Zionsville’s Main Street in 2013.
But now she’s closed the doors of both retail locations, maintaining kitchen operations in Bloomington to supply popcorn to Indiana University football suites, West Baden Springs Hotel and one Main Street shop.
“It’s just time to make a change,” she said.
Her six classic flavors – caramel, cheddar, sweet and cheesy, caramel pecan, snickerdoodle and white cheddar – will continue to be sold at Ballerinas and Bruisers. Owner Steve Schwartz has been a supporter of Smith and started carrying her popcorn last summer when she moved to a new Zionsville location.
“He’s really been the greatest guy to help me get the whole thing started,” Smith said. “He was a vote of confidence for me from the very beginning.”
Specialty flavors will be available on occasion when Smith has time to make them and feels there’s demand.
“If it just doesn’t sell out quickly I don’t want him to have it,” she said. “Then I’ll have to eat it.”
The business began as a family operation, with Smith receiving help from her older children. Over the years her children have moved onto other careers leaving Smith working solo.
“It’s more time than I thought it would be,” she said.
Being able to have popcorn available for customers and still have more time to spend with family is important to Smith.
“It will be a win-win for me,” said Smith, “because I can still get the popcorn out for people.”