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Entrepreneur Acquires One Of Portland’s Oldest, And Most Beloved Businesses Joe Brown’s Carmel Corn

Dillon Kivo

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Entrepreneur Acquires One Of Portland’s Oldest, And Most Beloved Businesses Joe Brown’s Carmel Corn

David l. Ferguson is asserting himself as one of Portland, Oregon’s standout businessman as he enters the realm of Confectionary sales.

Ferguson, a seasoned commercial real estate consultant, recently acquired Joe Browns Carmel Corn retail and wholesale under his Ferguson Consulting/Publishing LLC. umbrella. Ferguson, who was recently acknowledged for his record-breaking sale of a large charter school in NE Portland, says he has “always had a love for popcorn,” and that the acquisition was “one of passion and due diligence.”

The legend of Joe Brown’s Carmel Corn™ began in 1932. George Brown and his son Joe founded Joe Brown’s, Carmel Corn. Their first retail store was in downtown Portland, Oregon next to the old United Artist Theater on Washington Street. In the mid-1930s two other locations sprung up on SW Broadway Street near the Paramount Theater, and on Sandy Boulevard near the Hollywood Theater.

It was at the Hollywood location where Betty Brown, sister of Joe Brown, would help run the store after classes at Grant High School. When Betty started in 1937 wages were $0.20 cents per hour and the daily sales for the store would average between $6.00 and $20.00. Through the mid-1930s and early 1940’s George Brown also oversaw the operations of a Seaside, Oregon location, where he would visit by riding the train on the weekends and in the summers. During the same period, a concession space was maintained at the Multnomah Kennel Club in Gresham, Oregon. Due to economic difficulties created during World War II, Joe Brown’s Carmel Corn™ was forced to close all of its operations in the mid

1940’s. However, the store and its legend were revived in 1960 when the Lloyd Center shopping mall in Portland, Oregon was built. The former Betty Brown and her husband opened the new Joe Brown’s Carmel Corn store in what was then, the largest outdoor mall in the United States. The store continues to thrive in the exact same location serving roughly 100,000 customers per year, and in 1999 a wholesale operation was created to sell to retailers and distributors across the country.

In the future, Ferguson says he plans is to continue to grow the wholesale division of Joe browns Carmel Corn and says he expects to cater to a totally new customer base as he plans to launch joebrownscarmelcorn.com in the first quarter of 2020. Ferguson also relays that he has added selections from a popular Portland Food cart, “Hana’s Authentic New Orleans Snowballs” in the Lloyd Center retail location.

Joe Brown’s Carmel Corn is clearly in good hands as it enters its 60th year of operations in the Lloyd Center location. Ferguson laughs as we part, and he adds “Don’t be surprised to start seeing Joe Brown’s Carmel Corn pop up everywhere you look.” We won’t be.

Founder & Editor-In-Chief of Kivo Daily Magazine

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