If you’ve been to a Farmer’s Market or Festival in South Texas in the last four years more than likely you’ve either eaten or smelled some Fulton Kettle Corn. I’ve seen the owner, Daniel Fulton, around town for years and he’s always ready to greet you with a smile.
The other day I decided I wanted to know how one gets in to the popcorn business so we sat down at the commercial kitchen he shares to chat. Daniel is a born and raised South Texan. Like many though, Daniel wanted to spread his wings a bit so in the early 2000’s Daniel moved to Virginia where he had some family. Daniel spent the next 9 years in Virginia working with his cousin in the kettle corn world. They would hit up festivals and farmers markets all over the east coast and it was a good life.
In 2015 though, South Texas was calling him home. Daniel, you see, is a descendent of the Fultons, (as in Fulton Mansion and Fulton, Texas). When I asked him why it was so important for him to get back to South Texas he said, “Well, my ancestors came from Ellis Island to Philadelphia and then down to South Texas during the Mexican-American War. I figured if they could make a living in this region, I could too”.
And that is just what Daniel is doing. He’s been operating his business for 3 years now. He’ll tell you it’s been a learning experience but one he would not trade. Over the years Daniel has expanded his flavors beyond the classic kettle corn. I can tell you from personal experience I love the white cheddar and pickle flavors. I bought a bag of toffee popcorn but it disappeared from my home before I was able to try it…weird…but others in my household say it’s pretty good, apparently irresistible.
One of the most exciting evolutions for Fulton Kettle Corn happened just last year when Daniel started selling his popcorn wholesale. This allows Daniel to sell via multiple locations and continue to expand his brand and exposure. You can purchase his popcorn at Joint Venture, Urbana, Shoreline Sandwich and Lazy Beach Brewing Company or from the counter at Cool Sips Beverage Bar & Grill.
Not to worry, though, Daniel said he’s not leaving the farmers market and street festival scene any time soon. You can still find him there selling his goods to the people he loves most, his people, the people of the Coastal Bend.