By Kirsten Mitchell

NEW HOPE, Minn. (WCCO) — A Minnesota small business that popped up during the pandemic got a boost Monday on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”

Zackary Redmon says his popcorn is like a luxury vehicle, and now he has a commercial to prove it. The ad, voiced by actor Nick Offerman, showed off Redmon’s unique popcorn flavors, such as chili cheese and hot barbeque. On Tuesday, the line at Redmon’s small New Hope shop stretched out the door.

Despite his newfound fame, Redmon’s origins are humble. He started selling popcorn out of his car after he lost his job as a barber during the pandemic.

“I wasn’t making any money, so I was like, alright, let me just do something different,” Redmon said. “I look at popcorn as something that really everybody enjoys. It’s something you can make as bland or as crazy as you want.”

Redmon opened his shop, Redmon’s Popcorn — located at 2738 Winnetka Avenue North — in February, but he has bigger plans. He wants to mentor youth and children with disabilities.

“They said I was dyslexic, they said I had a reading and writing disability, and it was almost like hurdles I had to come over,” he said.

Leading by example, he wants to break down stereotypes and show his kids that hard work pays off.

“I have a rough exterior, you know, I have tattoos, I got dreads,” Redmon said. “Just because someone looks a certain way, just give them a chance.”

The customers did on Tuesday.

Redmon’s goal is to open a bigger store to serve his custom-made popcorn. Above all, he hopes to make enough money to buy his mother a house.

Kirsten Mitchell