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RAMSEY POPCORN EXPECTING GROWTH FOR COUSIN WILLIE'S BRAND
Reporter - Business First
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LOUISVILLE, KY — February 8, 2013
At Wednesday’s meeting of Louisville's Venture Connectors, I ran into Wilfred E. Sieg Jr., the president of Ramsey Popcorn Inc., the maker of Cousin Willie’s popcorn.
It sounds like some good things are happening at his business.
Sieg told me that Ramsey Popcorn has grown its revenue every year for the past five years by an average of 10 percent, and that the company expects growth of at least 10 percent this year as well. He declined to say exactly how much revenue the company had in 2012 but said it was between $28 million and $32 million.
Based in the town of Ramsey, Ind., a 30-minute drive due west of Louisville in Harrison County, the company employs 42 full-time and as many as 30 part-time, temporary workers during the fall popcorn harvest. The company added five full-time employees last year, Sieg said, adding that he isn’t sure if it will hire more this year.
The company does four things: it sells the Cousin Willie's popcorn brand in retail stores, with The Kroger Co. being its biggest customer; it sells raw popcorn to other manufacturers, such as PepsiCo Inc.’s Frito-Lay division, for them to use in their products; it sells packaged popcorn to nonprofits, such as the Boy Scouts of America, to use in their fund-raising work; and it makes some private-label products.
All of its lines of business have grown over the past five years, Sieg said, with the fund-raising and private label businesses showing the most growth.
Next month, the company plans to introduce a new retail product, Cousin Willie’s cinnamon-toast flavored microwave popcorn. It’s intended to taste like buttered toast with cinnamon and sugar, Sieg said.
He doesn’t expect the company to expand its production facilities this year, but he said that might happen in two or three years.
Kevin Eigelbach covers these beats: Financial services, residential real estate, property and casualty insurance, construction, unions, engineers, architects, agriculture, South End, Southwest County, Bullitt County.