To most, kettle corn is a sweet treat to be enjoyed at fairs and carnivals. But for UNH sophomore Scott Michael Brockelbank Jr., kettle corn is a way of paying for college.
Brockelbank popped his first batch of kettle corn when he was only 8 years old. Friends and family said his popcorn was the perfect recipe: just the right amount of salty and sweet. After much encouragement, Brockelbank eventually mapped out a business plan, researched kettles, read health regulations and opened up his own kettle corn stand — Kensington Kettle — on July 31, 2014, at Yankee Homecoming, a festival in Newburyport, Massachusetts.
Today, Brockelbank, a business administration major at UNH’s Paul College of Business and Economics, is applying the skills he’s learning in class to help grow his business.
“The Paul business school has furthered my bookkeeping skills and improved my overall knowledge of Excel applications,” he says. “I've been able to create spreadsheet models to figure out at what unit sales level events become profitable and other pricing strategies for my business.”
"I love this business because I am able to connect with people in the community at each event I attend."
Balancing a full course load, coaching gymnastic and running Kensington Kettle is hard work, but passion for his business keeps him going.
“I love this business because I am able to connect with people in the community at each event I attend. It is a great feeling when someone comes over to tell me that they love my kettle corn,” he says.
Brockelbank has paid this year’s tuition in full and continues to pop so he can save up for the next tuition bill in August.
Brockelbank’s stand pops up at several festivals and fairs in New England, including the Small Business Showcase in Exeter, New Hampshire, and Market Square Day in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He also sells his corn in several stores.