Business is Popping for Oswego Shop Featured on Food Network
Sep 08, 2015 06:44PM ● Published by Steven Jack
Page's Popcorn owner Kelly Page constructs a Pop Cone with Carnival Cravings host Anthony Anderson. (Photo from ScreenGrab)
For a small business owner, free exposure on a national television program can be the Holy Grail of marketing.
And that's just what happened for the owners of Page's Popcorn last week when the store was featured for over two minutes during the Food Network show Carnival Cravings with Anthony Anderson, which filmed at PrairieFest earlier this summer for an entire episode called Bacon-Wrapped Heartland. The episode debuted last week.
"Since the show aired, we've seen kind of an explosion in our online orders," said owner Kelly Page. "We've had orders from as far away as Ohio, Mississippi and Tennessee."
The premise of Carnival Cravings is to feature unique food items for sale at carnivals around the country. The show was drawn to Page's through its one-of-a-kind Pop Cone — a ball of melted marshmallow-coated popcorn formed into an ice cream scoop shape and placed upon a cone filled with candy. The cone is then capped off with a drizzle of chocolate and other toppings.
CHECK OUT VIDEO OF THE PAGE'S POPCORN SEGMENT BELOW
Page demonstrated the building of a Pop Cone with Anderson, who raved about its delicious flavors, and joked the idea for it must have come during a 3 a.m. snack craving.
"Actually, we came up with it during the first year we were open in downtown Oswego to try and get people into the store during the summer."
Thanks to the national exposure, Page said she's sold out of both the mini and regular-size variety of the Pop Cone, which sell for about $3.50 a piece.
"I feel awful about that," she said. "But everyone has been so supportive, and I think people really root for small businesses. We've had so many people coming in saying they saw us. It's been great."
Another business featured on the show was Oswego's Tap House Grill. Anderson learned to cook the restaurants's Root Beer-Braised Beef and Gouda Sandwich with sassafras au jus, which was created especially for PrairieFest by chef Dave Overstreet.
Since Carnival Cravings, Oswego Tap House manager Alex Thomas said sales of the sandwich have been brisk. Overall, the downtown staple also has seen a pick up in business since the premiere party hosted last week at the restaurant.
"A lot of people have come in saying they were excited to see us on the show. We had a great week last week," Thomas said. "It's not very often that you see Oswego on national TV.
One other local group featured on the show was the Oswegoland Optimist Club. Anderson sampled the club's cinnamon sugar bacon-wrapped corn on the cob, conceived by and served up by club member Billy Burnette.