YOW Popcorn Co. - Michael & Fiona

YOW Popcorn Co. - Michael & Fiona

YOW Popcorn


65 Bentley Ave Unit 13, Nepean, ON K2E 8B4 (by appointment) // (613) 851-8525

Interview: Nikki Gillingham, Blue Whale Communications

Photography: Marianne Rothbauer, Rothbauer Studio


Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got started.

Michael has been in the car business and I (Fiona) am a nurse. We both always had a dream of owning our own business and both of us has always loved popcorn. When a friend of ours opened a similar popcorn business in Boca Raton, Florida, we both fell in love with the concept and the rest is history!

You're siblings who run a business together. How important is family to you? Any pros or cons to being business partners with your sibling?

We are from a family of 5 children. Michael and I are the youngest and are fortunate to have always been close. For us there are only pros to being a business partner with our sibling. We trust each other implicitly and want each other to be successful and happy working together.


How are popcorn sales in Ottawa?

Great! It is amazing how many different venus our popcorn fits well into. 

What makes YOW popcorn different than other popcorn? You mentioned you use a special kernel?

Yes, we use a Mushroom kernel which has a larger round circumference than regular popcorn. This allows our cheese and special seasonings to adhere to the kernel which is part of reason it tastes so good!


You worked in the Automotive industry before becoming an entrepreneur. Why popcorn?

We LOVE popcorn and we were sure the same type of business our friend had in Florida would do very well up in Canada. 

What advantage do you think you have by having a sibling as a business partner?

We knew each other’s strengths and weaknesses and we know there will never be issues with trust.

Since YOW Popcorn Co. launched last November you have made your way into a number of Craft Breweries, a bakery, downtown hotspots and even The University of Ottawa’s Pivik. Was this a difficult feat? Any place you would absolutely love to see your popcorn?

We would just like to continue to grow our number of accounts…Craft Breweries, Events, Cafes, Bars, Gourmet Grocery Stores etc. We are currently making plans to start selling throughout Ontario.


When you aren’t making the most amazing snack food of Ottawa what do you do for fun?

We both have 2 teenage children so most of our free time these days is spent with them!

Michael, I understand you are on the Operating Committee for Red Pine Camp. Tell us a little about that and why it’s important to you?

I have been going to Red Pine Camp since I was a child. I love to help out because it is important to me to give back to a place that has meant so much to me. 

What is the largest number for bags of popcorn sold in one month?

We received our first 1000 bag order in June, and then a 2000 bag order in July!

Can we get OttawaNeighbours branded popcorn? :)

Sure! Send us your logo!


We got to try the maple flavoured popcorn which is amazingly Canadian. Are there anymore flavours to keep an eye out for? And what would be your favourite popcorn flavour?

Have you tried Sweet Cinnamon? That is my favorite (Fiona’s) One of our top sellers is Truffle Parmesan (great if you like Truffle!) We experimented with a Maple BBQ Bacon the other day and it was fantastic!

Are there any businesses in Ottawa that have helped with the success of YOW Popcorn?

Anabia Cupcakery Cafe in Barrhaven was our first regular account. Beyond The Pale was our first Craft Brewery. The Westin Ottawa has also ordered many times for their events. This summer we started with Tavern On The Hill and Tavern On The Falls…Both beautiful spots to enjoy our popcorn with a beverage!

If you could send a bag of popcorn to one Canadian celebrity who would it be? 

Sandra Oh….Michael went to school with her many years back.

Finish this sentence: "The best time to eat popcorn is ____”

Michael says “Anytime", I say "With a glass of wine!"

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