Posted by Heather Rutz on Jan 29, 2018
Shirley's Popcorn is a growing franchise network.
Nearly everyone in the room had at least tried Shirley’s Gourmet Popcorn. They may not, however, have known the story behind its success or the company’s philosophy that has it growing.
Dan Stanowick, communications and brand manager with Shirley’s, spoke to Lima Rotary Club for a belated celebration of National Popcorn Day.
The company opened its doors in 2009 and started its first franchise location in 2012. Today, the Bluffton flagship store remains strong, while there are franchise locations in Toledo, Findlay, Westerville, Lima, Harrisburg, Va., and Goshen, Ind.
The company has six priorities for success, Stanowick said: relationships with customers, employee development, innovation, quality, integrity, and being market-driven, not profit-driven.
Every employee receives 40 hours of training initially, and every employee, including every member of the leadership team, can do every job in the store. That employee will greet you as you enter the store, and be with you until you check out. No assembly-line style customer service and no grab-and-go popcorn bags, Stanowick said.
The company’s signature charitable cause is reading and literacy. Last year alone, the Lima and Bluffton stores donated $9,000 to the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. And the company has created its own children’s book, “Timothy Troyer Tries Toast,” a story about a child entrepreneur. The book is not sold, but only given away at certain times and special events.
“We’re committed to growing the same way we always have — carefully, slowly, and with quality,” Stanowick said.
In other Rotary business:
  • So far, the club has raised $5,800 for Polio Plus.
  • Shelly Diepenbrock and Tasha Shepline exchanged their red badges for their earned blue badges.