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History of the Sycamore Popcorn Stand


Our business actually started way back in 1893 when a local Sycamore man by the name of James Elliot, purchased a horse drawn popcorn wagon. Elliot went into business selling popcorn and roasted peanuts. He operated the stand by pulling it with his gray horse up to the town center. Elliot owned and operated the popcorn wagon from 1893 to 1921, when he moved to California due to health issues. The wagon was stored for 2 years in the livery stable just two blocks away from its current location.

In 1923 a couple of bankers heard a story about an Edward Lobaugh, from Sycamore, that was injured in an accident and could no longer provide for his family. The two bankers decided to help the family by purchasing the wagon for the Lobaugh family . They took it out of storage, had the wheels removed, and placed it on the corner of State and Maple in beautiful downtown Sycamore where it has remained to this day. Edward and his wife, Mattie, ran the stand for 20 years.

In 1944 it was sold to Irving and Gertrude Fothergill. The two of them expanded the business to include selling gum and candies of all kinds. We still have a few of the old timers come to the stand who remember the Fothergill family. They operated the stand for 18 years.

In 1963 the little stand on the corner was sold again to Cecile Kartchner. Cecile made a few upgrades to the stand. She installed an electric popping kettle. She also added a neon sign that read Karmel Korn. Introducing caramel and cheese corn was a big hit in the community. The stand was open 6 days a week. She would open in the late afternoon and stay open until the customers stopped showing up. In early 1982 Cecile took on a business partner, Jolinda "Jody" Mattison.

In 1983 Jody bought out Cecile and became the 6th owner of the little stand on the corner. Jody and her mother-in-law, Eleanor "Granny" Mattison, ran the stand during the 1980's. On occasion Jody's mom, Millie Lee, pitched in and greeted the townies with a smile. Jody kept all the little stands secret recipes and continued to keep the town of Sycamore happy. During the 1990's Jody's daughter, Cassie, started to fill in when needed. Sometime after the year 2000 Cassie introduced her daughter's to the popcorn customers. Some evenings all 3 generations were serving the tender little white kernels to the public. After 28 years in business Jody handed over the reins to her daughter and son-in-law, Cassie & Troy Oltman.

In 2011 Cassie and Troy added 6 more gourmet popcorn flavors to the stand along with the weekly specials. In 2012 a second location was opened in the neighboring town of DeKalb. They have also brought their tasty treats to local festivals. Cassie provides gift baskets and tins for all occasions, including corporate gifts. They plan on growing the business while still providing the best products and customer service in the business.

Would you like to ask us a question? Email us or stop by and visit one of our stands!


Sycamore Stand Hours:

Closed for the Season!

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