Market Matters: Matt’s gourmet popcorn is a big hit in Bury St Edmunds

Matt Davis of Famous Davis on Bury St Edmunds Market
Matt Davis of Famous Davis on Bury St Edmunds Market
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Former school teacher Matt Davis has brought a welcome taste of America to the Bury St Edmunds marketplace.

A relative newcomer, having only opened his handmade gourmet popcorn stall two and a half months ago, Famous Davis is already proving a big hit.

Shoppers’ favourites include sweet and salty, cinnamon, salted caramel and blueberry – which does have a blue tinge – while salted butter and toffee apple are also popular.

Matt is originally from Florida so was keen to share a part of his culture – the enduring popcorn snack – with the town that has given him and his wife, Leah, such a ‘friendly’ welcome.

The 27-year-old, who lives in Bury, said: “I’ve always made popcorn – I used to make it with my mum on the stove. She passed it on to me and seeing as we’re lucky enough to live and experience the culture here, I thought why not share our culture too.

“I know I sweeten it up a bit but in itself it’s a wholegrain so it beats eating crisps and what not.”

He added: “One of the reasons I like it so much is because it’s so simple, but at the same time it’s a cool food because it takes on the flavour of anything you put with it. There’s such a wide variety of things I can do – I don’t think I’ll ever run out of ideas.”

Past inventions have included curry popcorn and a spooky sweet ghost pepper variety, while November will see the introduction of a multicoloured ‘fireworks’ product and a red and green-coloured apple cinnamon flavour will be available at Christmas.

It takes Matt seven minutes, start to finish, to make up a fresh batch and it is not unheard of for people to place orders and return after getting their shopping, though the show itself – which includes Matt wearing a welding helmet to protect him from popping kernels – makes hanging around worth while.

He sells genuine kettle corn, imported from the USA, which he says is about three times bigger than the stuff people can buy in English stores or at the cinema.

He is confident of quality and strongly encourages passersby to take him up on his offer for free tasters.

“I taste all my batches and, if I’m not happy with it, it’s gone,” he said.

Famous Davis can be found at a number of local events, including Ickworth Wood and Craft Fair this weekend, Lakenheath Holiday Bazarre from October 17-19 and the Round Table Firework Display in Bury’s Abbey Gardens on November 1.