Ky. Popcorn Plant Moves Some Operations After Blaze

Ellis Popcorn owner Ann Kelly Ellis said she bought a popcorn plant in Ridgway, Ill., after a fire destroyed the business's processing and packaging center.

MURRAY, Ky. (AP) — A western Kentucky popcorn plant shifted some operations to Illinois in the months after a fire destroyed the business's processing and packaging center.

Ellis Popcorn owner Ann Kelly Ellis says she bought a popcorn plant in Ridgway, Ill., in December and immediately started operations there. Ellis told the Murray Ledger & Times the first shipments went out about 10 days after the purchase (http://bit.ly/z39KOS ).

Ellis said the October fire caused irreparable damage to the west side of the building in Murray and forced the move.

"The time necessary to rebuild at that site was such that it made more sense for me to locate and purchase an existing popcorn plant so we could more quickly accommodate our customers," she said.

The business's receiving station and bin field were undamaged in the fire.

Landscape, Materials and Design owner John Homa of Hazel bought the damaged popcorn plant. Homa said he hopes to be a distributor of Ellis's Blue Ribbon Popcorn to serve a customer base in northwestern Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana. He also wants to use the building to expand his landscaping business.

"Murray's been good to me," said Homa. "So my intentions are that the demand has been put on me to expand, and so what I'm doing is basically giving individuals what they want."

More in Economics