Made in South Dakota: Kimball Popcorn Ball - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Made in South Dakota: Kimball Popcorn Ball

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This November KSFY is featuring home-grown products from all over the state in our Made in South Dakota Segment. Every Tuesday morning at 6:30 KSFY news reporter Bridget Bennett will feature these products on the KSFY morning show.

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This month's Made in South Dakota segment begins in Kimball with a popcorn ball that's putting this rural South Dakota town on the map.

"Kimball's about 750 people…its a very close knit community," said Kimball's Mayor Wayne Tupper.

Now this small community has become the name sake for a product making its way all over the country.

"Right now we're in about 18-20 states....we also sell the popcorn balls over the Internet... we've sold to every state in the union except for Hawaii, so it's catching on," said David Olson, one of four business partners who created the Kimball Popcorn Ball.

It all started at the local gas station.

"In this gas station, we had employees that made popcorn balls, and because we're on the interstate...there was a lot of requests for these popcorn balls, I mean a lot," said Olson.

That's when the four owners decided to take this delicious popcorn ball to gas stations and grocery stores all over the country.

"Right now we're doing about four to five thousand balls a week and that's basically operating half time," said Olson.

That means some new jobs for the Kimball community.

"There's always going to be this human element here," said Olson of the Kimball Popcorn Ball production line.

"I love it—it truly is fun to be a part of a start up company," said long time employee John Weisflock.

"We're all very excited about it," said Mayor Tupper. "You have the opportunity to have people work and have new jobs."

The new product is also helping other businesses in the area. Kimball Popcorn balls are largely made with local products.

The Honey Popcorn Ball is made with honey from a nearby producer. The popcorn comes from Lakota Food Company in Lower Brule, making the Kimball Popcorn Ball a truly South Dakota Made product that people can't seem to get enough of.

"There's a lot of people that come in and first thing they say is—you've got the popcorn ball, the Kimball popcorn ball is here," said Connie Fatland, a long time employee at the local gas station.

For many people who love the Kimball Popcorn Ball, it's all about the original flavor, but the company also has some other great products. Right now the company has a Honey Popcorn Ball, and starting this month a new caramel popcorn ball will be hitting the market.

"I get nothing but good comments, and that's probably the best part of the whole job is just to hear people say, "O I love your popcorn balls," said Weisflock.

"I travel in Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, and I walk into a gas station in Montana and the first thing I see is the Original Kimball popcorn ball, and of course I say, hey, that's from our community, I know the people that make this," said Mayor Tupper.

It's why the Kimball popcorn ball is stirring some major home-town price.

"I think it's a great thing for the community to have the famous Kimball popcorn ball here in the community," said Fatland.

The Kimball popcorn ball can be found at grocery stores and gas stations all over the region.

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