Uncle Dave's a poppin new addition

Winterville Chamber of Commerce Vice President Rebecca Caveness, Tonja Alexandre, Rosella Ricks and Wally and Tamara Johnson, from left, cut a ribbon to open Uncle Dave’s Kettle Popcorn on Oct. 22.

WINTERVILLE — Business for Wally and Tamara Johnson was popping so they decided to expand their mobile business and give Uncle Dave’s Kettle Corn a storefront in Winterville. The Winterville Chamber of Commerce celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Oct. 22.

“I’m tickled to death because I love kettle corn. It’s one of the foods you can get at a festival or fair. To have a store right here where you can have it year-round, it’s awesome. He has such a variety of flavors. They are all very good,” said Chamber director Debbie Avery.

The demand to buy their products year-round prompted the Johnsons to establish a brick and mortar location. “We have been doing various events in Pitt County for the past year and a half. With events, we have a mobile set up. We set everything outside and bag it up,” Wally said.

“Being out doing the events, the No. 1 question we were asked was where can we get product when we weren’t doing the events. I figured I would solve that problem.”

Having the businesses located in Winterville was an easy decision especially since the couple relocated from their home in Richmond, Virginia, to Winterville.

“The business will be relatively close to where we will be living, and we are from this area,” Wally said.

Different than regular popcorn, kettle corn is cooked with sugar and has a few more ingredients, according to Wally. Uncle Dave’s offers more than 23 flavors.

“Our classic is always the best seller,” Wally said, adding the next most popular is the Chicago Mix.

“I think all of our products are good. It’s just a matter of coming in and figuring out what your taste is. I feel confident we have something in here everyone would like,” Wally said.

The kettle corn is made in-house with a portion of the store being used to pop and flavor the products that are then bagged.

Other flavors include Lemon Pound Cake, Sriracha, Caramel Apple and Tender Flame with more flavors being added as they are created, Wally said.

The business was welcomed with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.

“It’s extra special since Wally and myself graduated from the same high school and we have been friends forever,” said Winterville councilman Ricky Hines. “Anytime you can support family or friends, especially at this time with the pandemic, you should. It’s always a positive.”

Mayor Pro-tem Veronica Roberson added, “We welcome it to town. It adds variety to our community and we’re really glad to have them.”

Uncle Dave’s Kettle Corn hopes to become a staple in Winterville and has big plans for its future, which including a second location. They aim to become a household name.

“We are so excited to be a of the Winterville community. We are excited to serve Winterville and Greenville. We both went to East Carolina University and I grew up here. Thank you for embracing us,” Tamara said.

Uncle Dave’s Kettle Corn is located at 760 W. Fire Tower Road and is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Call 252-364-8684.

Contact Donna Marie Williams at dwilliams@ncweeklies.com.