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Friday, April 12, 2024

Family Affair

A glimpse of Kristy Wintner’s cell phone would likely show a recent call to “The Mistress.” Kristy’s husband Chris spends 11 to 12 hours a day, six days a week with The Mistress. She says The Mistress has brought out Chris’s tenacity like she’s never seen.

The Mistress is the couple’s code name for their gourmet popcorn business, Autumn Barn Farms.

“When you have a business, that’s your life,” says Kristy. “It literally becomes a part of your family.”

Formerly named Hoosier Daddy Popcorn, Autumn Barn Farms opened its brick and mortar store at 1442 N. Green River Road in January. Previously, the business served its popcorn at craft and trade shows. The store also sells primitive décor.

Chris handles customer service and advertising. He arrives early each morning and makes the popcorn, mixing each flavor with his special concoctions of spices, extracts, and food coloring. Kristy, a marketing manager at MasterBrand Cabinets in Jasper, Indiana, is responsible for Autumn Barn Farms’ social media.

The couple also involves daughters Madison, 10, and Kennedy, 6. Madison often can be seen taking orders and running the counter, while Kennedy enjoys cleaning and putting out new merchandise. They also are responsible for many of the unique popcorn flavors.

“They come up with [flavors], I go back there and try to cook it,” says Chris, noting Kennedy comes up with sweet flavors, while Madison is responsible for savory. “Sometimes it works, sometimes it’s pretty bad. But we have a lot of fun trying it.”

The store has about 27 flavors for purchase daily, with caramel the best seller. Savory flavors include pizza, white cheddar, sriracha, honey mustard, creamy dill, and bacon cheddar. Sweet flavors are cherry, grape, piña colada, watermelon, orange, and blueberry. Chris is currently working on a caramel apple bourbon flavor that will be available this fall.

Customers can fill bags or tins with the flavor or combination of choice. Tins can be brought back for a discounted refill. The store’s newest campaign allows customers to bring any tin they have at home to be cleaned and filled with their pick of Autumn Barn Farms popcorn at the discount refill price.

Chris and Kristy put great emphasis on giving back to the community. Both Army veterans, they often donate to local veteran and law enforcement organizations. Every decision is made with the community in mind, including their storefront.

“People don’t like to leave,” says Kristy. “But we want to make them feel like a part of our family.”

The Wintners are excited to see how Autumn Barn Farms grows, but add they are taking it one day and one purchase of popcorn at a time.

“We’re really patient and we recognize the need to grow organically and not rush,” says Kristy, noting she’s trusting two important people in her life. “Between God and my husband, they haven’t steered us wrong yet.”

For more information about Autumn Barn Farms, call 812-550-1085 or visit facebook.com/autumnbarnfarms.

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