Bell Creek Middle School student Avery Carter has a unique way to spend his free time. The 13-year-old Lithia resident recently started his own business making and selling kettle corn and other types of popcorn which he produces in a commercial kitchen in Tampa.
Avery began his business, The Kettle Kid, last summer and is now selling corn online and at local events, including the FishHawk Farmers’ Market which takes place at Park Square once a month.
According to his mom, Zakia Carter, Avery has always loved cooking but was inspired to start The Kettle Kid when he was diagnosed with a series of allergies last year that stopped him from eating many of the treats he previously enjoyed.
“He is a foodie and he was frustrated when he couldn’t eat a lot of his favorites,” said Zakia. “He started experimenting in the kitchen and quickly perfected a recipe for kettle corn that inspired him to start his own business so others could enjoy it too.”
The popcorn, which is produced in a space the family leases from a commercial kitchen in Tampa, contains no GMOs or additives and is made from only natural ingredients.
“Everyone is looking for healthier ways to eat and enjoy food, so he was really excited when he found the perfect recipe,” said Zakia, who described her son as a young entrepreneur.
Avery came up with the name for his business while joking around with his 14-year-old brother, Zachary Carter, a freshman at Bloomingdale High School. “It is funny because even his friends at school have started calling him Kettle Kid all the time now,” said Zakia.
In addition to the kettle corn, Avery has developed other flavors of popcorn and offers a featured flavor every month on the company’s website. This month, the flavor is caramel. He spends at least four hours three times a week at the kitchen working on and making the popcorn.
When he is not working on his business, Avery enjoys taking classes at The Rolling Pin in Brandon and watching shows on the Food Network.
Check out The Kettle Kid on the first Sunday of each month from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the FishHawk Farmers’ Market located in the community’s Park Square. To order from The Kettle Kid online, visit www.thekettlekid.com.