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A Minority-Owned Investment Firm Is Taking Over Detroit Popcorn Company

The snack business was embroiled in controversy last week over statements made by the former owner

Golden caramel popcorn closeup. Diana Golysheva/Shutterstock
Brenna Houck is a Cities Manager for the Eater network. She previously edited Eater Detroit and reported for Eater. You can follow her on the internet at @brennahouck.

In a rapid turnaround, minority-owned investment firm Harris Financial Group has signed a letter of intent to acquire the Detroit Popcorn Company, per a release.

The business was embroiled in controversy last week after supporters of demonstrations against police brutality in black communities called for a boycott of Detroit Popcorn Company over then-owner Evan Singer’s Facebook comments. Singer had suggested in posts made under the name “Even Sangria” that protesters who damaged businesses deserved knees on their necks. The post was an allusion to George Floyd, a black Minneapolis man who was killed in police custody when an officer pressed a knee into his neck for more than 8 minutes. Detroit Popcorn Company initially denied that Even Sangria was associated with the company, but later Evan Singer admitted to making the statements.

Due to the Detroit Popcorn Company controversy, a previous owner David Farber temporarily came out of retirement to take over the business and oust Singer. Farber confirmed plans last week to transition the company to a black investor.

“We’re very much looking forward to personally introducing ourselves to every employee and connecting with its diverse community in an inclusive way that brings inspiration and joy to those we encounter,” Harris Financial’s managing partner Ken Harris says in a statement. “Our minority company members, including Reggie Kelley, bring vast corporate and entrepreneurial experience to the Detroit Popcorn Company that will take the business well into the future,” he says.

The resolution comes at a time when many industries — not just police — are facing a cultural reckoning. Last week, the Detroit community began calling out business owners including Sean Harrington of Hot Taco and Town Pump Tavern. Holiday Market in Royal Oak also faced social media backlash for its handling of a uniform incident among employees showing support for the Black Lives Matter movement. The company has since committed its support to the cause.

Detroit Popcorn Company’s Former Owner Comes Out of Retirement to Buy the Business Following Boycott [ED]
Detroit Popcorn Co. Faces Backlash Over Owner’s Alleged Social Media Posts About Police Brutality Protests [ED]