DETROIT (FOX 2) - Motor City Popcorn has made quite the name for itself. With flavors like The Motor City Mix, The 8 Mile Mix and the Belle Isle Blend the company is beaming with city pride.
Owner Ronier Golightly has a lot to be proud of - and he says it all started with a visit to Chicago.
"I was in Chicago and we came across a popcorn store that everyone was talking about, and I saw a long line down the street and just asked, 'Hey, what's going on?' and it was just people standing outside for popcorn. So we stood in line, got popcorn; it was good. Came back to Detroit and told everybody about it, and I wanted to bring that same experience to Detroit."
In 2012 Golightly took his idea and ran with it. He knew he could bring great tasting popcorn to Detroit - but it wasn't going to be as simple as throwing a bag of kernels into the microwave.
"I thought the popcorn business was going to be easy. The first set of equipment, I spent about $500 and I just went out and started making popcorn. Kind of took a real big loss, didn't know what I was doing," he said. "So I bought another set of equipment and kind of got going. And as the product kind of got out there I finally got the third set of equipment, which is definitely commercial grade and everything I have now. So, by far - not easy."
But now - things are, well, poppin'.
And as a black business owner, Golightly wants to inspire up and coming enturenuers to not only take pride in their history, but pride in their business.
"When I was young I had a great uncle who had a bar that was actually called Golightly's in Pittsburgh. So everything I would go to Pittsburgh, just to see the name Golightly on the marquee it meant something for me. So here it is, 30, 40 years later - I'm trying to get that for my nephews and my niece, and my grandkids."
And he stresses education first and doesn't stop after the business is up and running.
"One of the main things I tell people about any business you want to get into, is educate yourself first. You have to know every aspect of the business, in and out. That's why I took so many different classes; it's about learning.
"I got on the phone and I called popcorn stores literally all over the country and I would just talk to them on the phone, what works what doesn't work. Anytime I go out of town to this day, I Google a popcorn store; I go by there; I buy their product; I see what they got; I see what makes them tick and I bring it back here and see if it works for me. Education is just the most important thing."
So what does the future hold for Motor City Popcorn?
Golightly says one of the things he wants to get into is teaching younger folks about business.
"You don't have to be in the popcorn business, but even if you want to be in business, you know. That's my goal is to just teach more, to be self sustained. So they can go out and do their own thing."
Motown City Popcorn's location is in Laurel Park Mall. You can also order on their website: motorcitypopcorn.com.
Golightly says, surprisingly, dill pickle has become one of his most popular flavors.