Deanan Gourmet Popcorn
Tucked away on a little back road in Wylie, Texas, you’ll find Deanan Gourmet Popcorn. Founded in San Antonio in 1979 and named after Dean and Nanella Alexander, the company continues to be family owned and operated. Alexander wanted Deanan Popcorn to grow from a small local operation to a generational family business. What began as a single shop inside of a mall grew to five stores which were eventually sold to build the Deanan Gourmet Popcorn factory.
When Dean sold the business to the second generation, they decided to move the factory from San Antonio to the North Central Texas region, where most of Dean’s children resided. San Antonio proved to be a great location to start the business, but North Central Texas presented a more centralized location to distribute their popcorn nationwide.
As Karen Alexander, Chief of Business Development, explains it, making a connection with Workforce Solutions for North Central Texas (WSNCT) provided opportunities Deanan never knew existed. In working with WSNCT and Deanan, the Wylie Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) saw a potential partnership between the two organization that would be beneficial. The meeting proved fruitful, as WSNCT was able to help Deanan create customized training for their employees that was not previously available.
The training was made possible through a Skills Development Fund Grant in collaboration with Collin College. The college, WSNCT and Deanan worked as a team to develop the training program and the curriculum. Susie Davisson, Program Manager at Collin College, connected Deanan to AC Horn, a world-class manufacturer of snack food processing equipment, for training, troubleshooting and maintenance on the AC Horn equipment Deanan uses in its popcorn factory. Not only did Deanan benefit, but this was a new opportunity for AC Horn as well – the company was able to take this new training to other companies that use AC Horn equipment.
Productivity at Deanan is now at an all-time high, fewer errors are being made and the overall workflow for the company has increased tremendously. When asked how working with WSNCT has benefited Deanan, CEO Barbara Hodge was almost at a loss for words: “Every year it gets more valuable,” she said. “I must give kudos – what WSNCT did for us, even getting us training on some of our proprietary equipment, gives us a sense that the company cares about us.”
Hodge is excited about the future of Deanan Gourmet Popcorn. She is looking forward to growing the business in every way possible, including bringing their delicious popcorn to more customers, businesses and additional markets. Hodge knows that if everyone working at Deanan is happy, she’ll be able to build a lasting legacy for generations to come.
Workforce Solutions for North Central Texas is proud to work with Deanan and many other outstanding employers in our region. To learn more about Deanan Gourmet Popcorn, please visit www.Deanan.com. If you are an employer in the North Central Texas region and would like to learn how WSNCT can help your business, please visit www.dfwjobs.com
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