Many residents of DeKalb County, Indiana are familiar with the small building that sits on West 9th Street in Downtown Auburn. For many years, it has been the home to the small town treasure known as Martha’s Popcorn Stand!
As one might assume, the name of the popcorn stand derived from a women named Martha Falka, who had the idea to open the business 76 years ago!
Today, however, this historic popcorn stand is owned and operated by Kim Randinelli and her mother, Ruth. Many events have taken place from the beginning of Martha’s Popcorn Stand to the present day, and Kim was able to share stories about its history.
In 1940, Martha, an employee at the Auburn Automobile Company, decided to act upon her desire to open a popcorn stand in Auburn. She went to the Savings & Loan Office, but was unable to receive a loan for her idea. Amos Adams, Kim’s grandfather and a loan officer at the time, decided to help Martha and give her a personal loan!
Her original popcorn business sat in a store next to Carbaugh Jewelers on 7th Street in Downtown Auburn. Eventually, Martha wasn’t able to keep her stand there and a local car salesman donated his small office building to her. This is the building of which Martha’s Popcorn Stand has called home for over 70 years!
When Martha was no longer able to operate her popcorn stand, a friend of hers began watching over it and inherited the business when she passed. In his will, the popcorn stand was given to a man named Mike. Mike ran the business for one year, and after, he sold it to Kim’s father, Jack Randinelli!
In 2004, Kim and Ruth lightheartedly spoke about taking over operation of the cherished popcorn stand around Easter time. Jack took them serious, and 12 years later, they are still making delicious popcorn and selling it to the residents and visitors of Auburn, Indiana!
Kim said that Martha would make her caramel corn in a large kettle over an open flame, and would only make small batches, so she would sell out often! Kim and her mother have kept many elements just the same as when Martha managed the popcorn stand, but certain changes were made for safety reasons and efficiency.
Stop by Martha’s for some delicious butter popcorn, caramel corn, or Kim’s Krazy Korn, which is a salty and sweet combination of both types of popcorn with added butter! Not only will you get to enjoy a fresh bag of delicious popcorn, but you will also be able to savor and appreciate the history and memories that surround the popcorn stand itself, too!