Ep 52. Livia Townsend, Vice-president of Ontario Popping Corn shares insights behind their popping corn farm

At Ontario Popping Corn, everything from storage and cleaning of the corn to packaging and shipping is state-of-the-art, immaculately clean and efficiently organized. Their warehousing and shipping area is climate-controlled, eliminating any need for fumigants to keep the product free from pests. Nothing is wasted. Both the large processing, packaging and distribution area and the shop where the equipment is maintained are heated by corn furnaces. Kernels that are sorted out as either too large or too small for their products are sold to bird food producers. Any remaining by-product is taken to the woodlot to feed the deer.


Livia and Blair, president, bought the company from Blair’s father and three associates, and took over in 1988, while they were still growing tobacco on their farm, with popping corn providing only secondary income. Slowly but surely, with effort and increased marketing savvy, popping corn overtook the tobacco until, in 2007, they made the decision to make it their main business (although they do now grow soybeans in rotation). Because of growing demand, ten to 15 percent of their popping corn crop is now organic. From the initial single type, the selection has grown to eight different varieties of popping corn, and Blair and Livia ship it all over. Although they sell some to larger snack food companies who market it under their own labels, much of their product goes into bags labelled ‘Uncle Bob’s Popcorn’, a name with 26 years of history attached. It was named after Blair’s late father, who was known to everyone as Uncle Bob.

About Interview Host View all posts Author website

Olivia Maeder

My name is Olivia Maeder and I am an interview host at behindthebiz.org interviewing leaders, authors and inspirational speakers.

I go to Ryerson University taking a passion in interviewing, broadcasting and meeting new people. Although heels and business woman attire with broadcaster “Ron Burgundy” hair while reading the news in my main interest and passion, I am a huge outdoor girl who would jump in any lake, climb any tree or sit under the sun in any temperature of weather.

I take great passion in peoples stories and will go to many lengths just to find the true news or heart in any story. I am sensitive and respectful when it comes to personal interviews and with great pride I am eager to get to the bottom of anything and bring out the truth, making it a great story.

Anyone I meet I absorb it as a great opportunity that I am lucky to have.