by Joanna King
What does Yoder popcorn and mint gum have in common? As it turns out…they have quite a history.
Did you know?
What started out as an accident soon became one of the most iconic names in chewing gum history… and it all started here in LaGrange County.
South of Shipshewana just before you get to Topeka, there’s a family business that raises and sells popcorn. Before there was popcorn in the 1930’s, the Yoder family raised mint in the 1910’s. This was a cash crop for many farmers in LaGrange County.
Here’s the rest of the story…
The year was 1936 when Tobias Yoder and his son Rufus who had been raising mint, started planting popcorn for their family enjoyment. They shared their popcorn with neighbors and family. It didn’t take long for word to get out that Yoder Popcorn was excellent popcorn.
Soon the Yoder’s were selling popcorn and mint. Years earlier Mr William Wrigley would come to the farm to buy the mint oil. One day, just before Mr Wrigley arrived it was discovered that the Yoders had inadvertently mixed the spearmint and peppermint oil. Tobias was nearly in a panic as mint was a cash crop and the family depended on the income from selling mint oil. Upon hearing about the mixup, Mr Wrigley’s response was “Well, I guess we are going to make a new kind of gum!” In 1914, Wrigleys Doublemint gum was introduced to the world.
Yoder Popcorn Today
Today, you can visit the Yoder Popcorn farm and store and purchase many different varieties of popcorn and popcorn oils.
My favorite popcorn
Take it from me… Yoder’s Tiny Tender is my favorite and second to none. I pop mine with Peanut Oil, and finish it with sea salt and Lawry’s seasoning salt. Just YUM! www.yoderpopcorn.com