Humans of Grand Island: the kettle corn maker

Jim Sniadecki can be found at events, both on and off Grand Island. I’ve seen him at Relay for Life, held in June, and in Paddles up!, held in July. I’ve seen him at the Grand Island Farmers Market, which was held last year at Tom Thompson’s farm on Long Road. Today, I caught up with him at E.H. Enterprises, a nursery on Ransom Road.

Alice: Hi Jim. Tell me about you. What got you into the business of being a maker of this aromatic popcorn?
Jim: Money, fun, being
part of the community, and having a good time.
Tell me more
about having a good time with popcorn.
You can’t have a
fun event without popcorn. Things are more fun with kettle corn in it.
That is right.
Kettle corn makes life complete.
It does.
Tell me why
people should enjoy having kettle corn, instead of some other type of popcorn.
I use two kinds
of popcorn. I use butterfly and giant mushroom, extra fine granulated cane sugar
(a lot of places don’t use cane sugar; they use beet sugar). I use fine salt and
corn oil. That’s all the ingredients there is. I never pop in advance. I always
pop on site. It’s fresher and it’s better. It’s gluten free.
Popped kettle corn is naturally gluten free.
you’re not making popcorn, what do you enjoy most?
I like to take
care of my family… my kids. I’m an older guy with younger kids. I have fun with
the kids. I do yard work. I used to sell real estate until about a month ago
when I decided to retire.
How old are your
Sophie is twelve
and Scarlett is ten.
Do they like
They do. They all enjoy
it. We don’t eat a lot of it. We eat it after an event. We don’t eat it at
What sort of
events do you like to do best?
paint your own cookies!
Farmers markets
and fundraisers.  I’m going to a
fundraiser next week for Cystic Fibrosis in Veterans Park in the City of
Tonawanda, if you’d like to come by. It’s a 5K run/walk event, the sixth
annual. Check in is at 10 a.m., and the walk/run is at 11 a.m.

You’ve come to the Grand Island Farmers’ Market for some time. What do you think of it?

Check out the great variety of
plants, ready for your garden,
at E.H. Enterprises.
Well, I think that it should be supported more by the people on Grand Island. The local paper should give them free press all summer long, and the local politicians should say it at every town board meeting and at every interview that they do about the island. The TV stations should advertise it in the morning in their little blurbs about what’s going on in the community.
What about the other farmers market that you’re involved with: the one at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. What motivated you to want to be part of that farmers market?
My wife works there. It (the farmers market) is a good cause. It supports not only the hospital but also the neighborhood. It’s open to the public. People in the neighborhood there get fresh vegetables. There’s crafts and things like that that’s available to the inner city.

You sell popcorn at Relay for Life. And I see the word “survivor” on your sign. Could you tell me more about that?

I’m a breast cancer survivor. One percent of the male population gets breast cancer, but 98 percent (of that group) die because they don’t know that they have it. My physician, Willard Ruth, here on Grand Island, was giving me a routine physical. He noticed that one of my nipples was discolored and inverted and told me to go for a mammogram, which I did. I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The people at Roswell said that Dr. Ruth saved my life because of his good doctoring.
How long have you been cancer free?
This will be four years on the day before the Ride for Roswell (June 23rd). And I’m looking for donations. Go to the Ride for Roswell site. Type in James Sniadecki and give me the thousands that you have lying around the house. Send me money. Ride for Roswell!

Where do you
Grand Island.
What do you like
best about living in Grand Island?
I like the new
bike path on West River Road.
Me, too! How do
you think that it will benefit you and your daughters?
They won’t have
to dodge traffic on the West River Road itself because the parkway will be the
bike path. It will just be more access to the river itself. You won’t have to
worry about getting run over by a 55-mile-per hour car or anything like that.
That’s pretty
It is.
Is there
anything else that you’d like to say to people who might be reading this blog?
Well… if you
live in New York’s 27th district, go Nate! Nate’s the man!

For more information about Nathan McMurray’s campaign, check out the Nate McMurray for U.S. Congress website.

9 thoughts on “Humans of Grand Island: the kettle corn maker”

  1. I love Farmer's markets. We have them every Saturday morning in diffrent areas. I try to visit as often as I can. And popcorn is always yummy.

  2. Getting the message out about male breast cancer is so important. I blogged about it a while back and I should dust off that post for later this week. If I do, I will also link to this post, Alice. Thank you!!!

  3. I loved going to farmers markets but my daughter is too small so I end up ordering mine online. But will visit soon.


    I make popcorn each day, (OK, not on Saturday.) Not kettle- but I've eaten my share. Great side story about men and breast cancer, too!

  5. The beer selection at this place was great and rotates often. Everyone who works at venues in NYC makes you feel welcome. They remember your favorite drink and you will be glad to tweet about them.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top