After years of going to Fenway Park and enjoying different ballpark snacks, Rhode Islander Steve Gilman developed an affection for kettle corn. He loved the bags he’d get at the games so much that he decided to go home and start making his own. On behalf of anyone who’s ever had the pleasure of tasting Poppy’s Gourmet Kettle Corn or visited their food truck: Thank you, Fenway, for the inspiration.
Gilman started up his kettle corn business in 2009, serving Rhode Island style kettle corn to customers in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Gilman, with his family, wanted to create a business that emphasized giving back to the community as well as serving delicious snacks. He succeeded. I warn anyone interested in Poppy’s kettle corn: The sweet and salty mix makes this treat borderline addicting. If you possess the self-control to take a few bites of this crunchy, sugar-filled goodness without devouring the entire bag in one sitting, I applaud you.
Starting in 2017, Gilman moved on to his next venture, gourmet waffles. A twist on your everyday food truck, Poppy’s Waffles Truck was created, selling Poppy’s Gourmet Kettle Corn and several original waffle creations. Poppy’s Waffles distinguishes itself from the average food truck by creating dishes you cannot find anywhere else.
There are a lot of places where you can go to a food truck and get the trademark greasy burger, soggy french fries and microwaved hot dog; but how many places can you go to on your lunch break and enjoy a diner-quality waffle smothered in cream and chocolate sauce and topped off with crushed Oreos?
They serve everything from savory meals like classic chicken and waffles to more innovative sweet creations such as the s’mores waffle or the aforementioned cookies and cream waffle. And just like everything else in life, it gets better in the summer, too! As the weather starts to warm up they expand their menu to include waffles topped with ice cream and other seasonal favorites. All waffles are made to a very generous size and loaded with toppings.
Poppy’s moves around, normally sticking to Warwick and Providence, but they intend to expand to Pawtucket in the near future. Check their Facebook to see where they will be each day. They travel to events all year, regardless of the temperature. They attended the latest Christmas Stroll in Scituate and braved the frigid weather to provide their services to the inaugural Skyline New Year’s Eve event in Providence. But don’t worry, if you would prefer to eat your gourmet waffles in something other than arctic temperatures, they can occasionally be found by Oakland Beach in Warwick during the summer.
As a family-owned and operated business, Poppy’s tries to keep strong connections to the community and give back when possible. They have participated in numerous charitable events, including recently going to the The Kings Cathedral Church where they donated food to the homeless. Poppy’s adds variety to the food truck scene, and their dedication to the community gives them an enjoyable atmosphere to match the food. Gilman describes his affection for what he does: “I take pride in what I make — I feel like a carpenter. It gives me great pride to see customers’ eyes light up and they give me a thumbs up.”
To see the current locations of local food trucks, visit motifri.com/food-truck-locator, brought to you by FoodTrucksIn RI (foodtrucksin.com), a Providence-based company allowing users to find local food trucks or food trucks in over 1,300 cities nationwide.