Making An Environmental Difference
Being an environmental scientist and owning a gourmet popcorn store is a huge leap for some, just not for me. When I decided to leave my “Environmental Scientist” desk job at a mid-sized company to open my own business, bringing the easy-to-implement items, like repurposing, recycling, waste diversion, as well as healthful and local ingredients were a must.
If you have visited Funky Monkey Corn Company’s® retail space in Gladstone, Missouri, you’ve already experienced our store environment: laid-back island music, vibrant colors, cool local art and micro-businesses – plus the comforting aroma of delicious gourmet popcorn constantly being hand-crafted just a few feet from you.
What you may not realize is that everything you see in our space was saved from our landfill. Our hand-crafted gourmet popcorn is displayed in would-be discarded drawers and a few wine boxes we painted and cut to fit. Our cool floor-to-ceiling cabinets were a great find at our local Habitat for Humanity Re-Store, as well as all of the colorful paint. Even our shopping baskets are hand-made from old fencing salvaged in our nearby neighborhood. When the Missouri weather allows it, you can let a game of checkers or tic-tac-toe settle any popcorn flavor disputes, which are played on reclaimed cable reels while you sit on our 5-gallon concrete bucket stools (legs of which are also reclaimed.)
Funky Monkey Recycles Everything
Recycling was almost as easy to introduce. As you seasoned recyclers already know, it takes a while to educate ourselves and those we share our space with as to what can be recycled and how to sort it all. At Funky Monkey Corn Company we made our bins color-coded to help our team and our guests understand what goes where and why.
Green is recycling (paper, cardboard, cans, eligible plastics)
Yellow is for popcorn (all loose corn from tasters and whatever hit the floor ends up here each night.)
Blue is for glass, mostly from our bottled sodas (In our area, we deliver any glass to Ripple Glass bins located throughout our city.)
These stacked bins are duplicated throughout our space. This ensures that no one ever needs to travel too far to put an item in the right bin.
But, the big issue to overcome for everyone is what does not belong in those easy-to-use bins, aka: waste. For us, it’s popcorn – sometimes it’s stale or it’s a training batch – or worse yet, the rare, yet heartbreaking crystallized caramel. So we applied the same concept of “recycling” to our popcorn and worked hard to find outlets that foster our triple-win mentality (triple win = community, environment and funky monkey).
Funky Monkey Giving Back to the Kansas City Community
All of our gourmet popcorn is certified non-GMO. Therefore, any of our naked popcorn is a great source of nutrition for all animals. We use our stale naked corn in three different ways: to feed our own suburban birds, sell small bags in our retails space as bird feed, and we use it as fill in our retail and online packaging for others to use as feed. This allows our customers to decrease the waste associated with their gift or purchase, too.
Finally, we had the issue of our candy and cheese coated corns, which are not suitable for all wildlife. After a bit of thought and visiting with local goat and pig farmers, we found that this waste could easily be turned into feed, saving our landfills, our need to rent a trash receptacle and help our local farmers offset their own livestock feed needs. This would be another great example of a Funky Monkey Triple Win!
Now, make no mistake, this little stuff adds up to be a lot of work. But we think it is worth it. This is another reason it’s great to be a small business with a small team as dedicated to providing the highest quality gourmet popcorn as we are making sure nothing goes to waste.
And that’s our promise to you: At Funky Monkey Corn Company you will receive the most wholesome and funky flavored gourmet popcorn possible from a local business passionate about the community we share.