We Love Local: Bjorn Qorn

Hands down, one of our most popular items at HFFC is Bjorn Qorn, a popcorn treat seasoned with nutritional yeast, made right here in Ulster County. Not only is Bjorn Qorn super local, it’s popped by harnessing the power of the sun! We love that! Bjorn Qorn is owned and operated by two guys named Bjorn and Jamie, former college roommates who turned turned their favorite dorm room snack into a successful business. We recently spoke with Bjorn to find out a little bit more about his and Jamie’s delicious and nutritious ‘qorn.’

First things first, how did the guys come up with the recipe? “Well, my dad is a corn farmer,” Bjorn tells us, “so the recipe is a combination of how my family made popcorn, and how my childhood neighbors flavored popcorn. They introduced us to nutritional yeast as seasoning. The rest is history.” Indeed. In college, Bjorn’s popcorn recipe became a hit among his fellow students at Bard College. Jamie dubbed the treat Bjorn Qorn, and that set the wheels in motion. 

“After college, Jamie and I went our separate ways,” Bjorn says. “I always knew that I wanted to start this popcorn business, but it wasn’t until about 10 years later when Jamie and I reconnected that it got off the ground. It’s great to have a business partner. Being able to share responsibilities helps to make things work. In 2012 we officially started Bjorn Qorn.” 

Bjorn Qorn popcorn is currently popped directly by the heat of the sun using enormous mirrored reflectors to collect the sun’s rays and focus them on their kettles. Bjorn and Jamie keep their kettles on Kelder’s farm in Accord, NY. They use a mix of kernels grown at Kelder’s and kernels grown back in Minnesota on Bjorn’s dad’s farm. “We’re not certified organic, but we use the best growing practices we can. We use organic fertilizer, we’re non-gmo, and we don’t spray or use any types of herbicide.” 

We had to know, now that Bjorn Qorn has taken off, what are the fellas plans to expand the company? “Well,” Bjorn tells us, “we’re transitioning into a new space! The red barn on Queens Highway just down the road from Kelder’s. We’ll be using all solar electric to power our poppers and our business; and we’re going to hire a staff! We’ve been doing everything ourselves up to now, so we’re pretty excited about assembling a team.” And any new flavors??? “Well, the demand is high for the classic Bjorn Qorn, but we will be able to have test kitchens in our new space, so we’re considering it. We’ve been thinking of salty and spicy flavors for a while now, so you’ll just have to wait and see!”

Thanks so much to Bjorn for taking the time to talk to us. High Falls Food Co-op is beyond pleased to be able to carry Bjorn and Jamie’s exceptional snack. If you haven’t tried it, you simply must. Bjorn Qorn is truly a jewel of the Rondout Valley.    

First things first, how did the guys come up with the recipe? “Well, my dad is a corn farmer,” Bjorn tells us, “so the recipe is a combination of how my family made popcorn, and how my childhood neighbors flavored popcorn. They introduced us to nutritional yeast as seasoning. The rest is history.” Indeed. In college, Bjorn’s popcorn recipe became a hit among his fellow students at Bard College. Jamie dubbed the treat Bjorn Qorn, and that set the wheels in motion. 

“After college, Jamie and I went our separate ways,” Bjorn says. “I always knew that I wanted to start this popcorn business, but it wasn’t until about 10 years later when Jamie and I reconnected that it got off the ground. It’s great to have a business partner. Being able to share responsibilities helps to make things work. In 2012 we officially started Bjorn Qorn.” 

Bjorn Qorn popcorn is currently popped directly by the heat of the sun using enormous mirrored reflectors to collect the sun’s rays and focus them on their kettles. Bjorn and Jamie keep their kettles on Kelder’s farm in Accord, NY. They use a mix of kernels grown at Kelder’s and kernels grown back in Minnesota on Bjorn’s dad’s farm. “We’re not certified organic, but we use the best growing practices we can. We use organic fertilizer, we’re non-gmo, and we don’t spray or use any types of herbicide.” 

We had to know, now that Bjorn Qorn has taken off, what are the fellas plans to expand the company? “Well,” Bjorn tells us, “we’re transitioning into a new space! The red barn on Queens Highway just down the road from Kelder’s. We’ll be using all solar electric to power our poppers and our business; and we’re going to hire a staff! We’ve been doing everything ourselves up to now, so we’re pretty excited about assembling a team.” And any new flavors??? “Well, the demand is high for the classic Bjorn Qorn, but we will be able to have test kitchens in our new space, so we’re considering it. We’ve been thinking of salty and spicy flavors for a while now, so you’ll just have to wait and see!”

Thanks so much to Bjorn for taking the time to talk to us. High Falls Food Co-op is beyond pleased to be able to carry Bjorn and Jamie’s exceptional snack. If you haven’t tried it, you simply must. Bjorn Qorn is truly a jewel of the Rondout Valley.