Fisher’s Popcorn, a maker of gourmet popcorn in Delaware for 40 years, chose Frankford for a new $4.85 million facility that will more than quadruple space for its manufacturing and wholesale operations.
The company’s current production facility in Fenwick Island totals square feet, and the new 17-acre site on Delaware Route 20 just off the U.S. Route 113 corridor is about 10,000 square feet.
The additional space will allow Fisher’s Popcorn of Delaware to use new equipment – including two kettles and a large packaging machine – to increase production. For example, bag-packing capabilities will rise from eight bags a minute to 30 to 35 bags a minute.
Fisher’s Popcorn of Delaware currently has 22 full-time employees staffing its manufacturing, retail, wholesale and e-commerce operations, all in Sussex County. The company plans to create 20 wholesale jobs at the new site over three years.
“Fisher’s Popcorn has been a part of the Delaware beach experience and the Sussex County business community for 40 years, and we’re glad the company has chosen to expand here for its next phase of growth,” said Gov. John Carney. “Delaware is a great place for manufacturing. This new facility will enable Fisher’s Popcorn to better serve its existing customers and grow its production and wholesale operations.”
Fisher’s Popcorn was founded in Ocean City, MD in 1937, and a branch of the founder’s family began operating Fisher’s Popcorn of Delaware independent from the original company in 1983.
Still family-owned and -operated, Fisher’s Popcorn of Delaware has retail shops in Fenwick Island, Rehoboth Beach, and Bethany Beach. The company also sells its products online and in more than 2,000 grocery stores across the United States, including many Giant, Weis, Food Lion, and Fresh Market locations.
Fisher’s Popcorn officials presented to Delaware’s Council on Development Finance an application for a Jobs Performance Grant of $60,000 and a Capital Expenditure Grant of $145,500 from the Delaware Strategic Fund to support the company’s investment in construction, fit-out costs and new equipment. Distribution of grants from the Delaware Strategic Fund depends on the company meeting commitments outlined to the council, which reviewed and approved Fisher’s Popcorn of Delaware’s request for up to $205,500 in total grant funding.
“We’re very grateful for the opportunity to expand our operations while still being part of our local community here in Delaware,” said Vice President Russell Hall, who runs the company’s wholesale and e-commerce divisions. “This expansion will enable us to bring the classic flavors of the Delaware beach resorts to more people around the country while adding quality jobs in Sussex County. The grant assistance from the state is a key component to making this happen.”
In 2022, yhe private-public Delaware Prosperity Partnership worked with Fisher’s Popcorn to explore how it could continue to grow in Delaware. Bill Pfaff, director of economic development for Sussex County, provided additional assistance throughout the site search and other location processes.
“We are so excited that Fisher’s Popcorn’s new manufacturing facility is calling Sussex County its home,” Pfaff said.