RIVERSIDE, Wash. — Elvis Presley rings out across the Riverside Market parking lot, coming from the yellow pop-up cart in the back corner.
Kettle corn popper Rusty Dormaier has been playing tunes and popping kernels with his cart for ten years.
The 72-year-old said his popping passion project started when he forgot to put a lime in his Corona.
"One too many beers and I bought the kettle, sight unseen," he said.
That kettle sat in storage for years, collecting dust, until Dormaier lost his job. He took retirement head on and built the generator-run yellow cart from scratch.
"It was a joke. I didn’t think it would work," Dormaier said.
But it did work. Now Dormaier pops kettle corn a few times a month, traveling to towns around the Inland Northwest with his Cedarhaven Kettle Corn stand.
He's known to many as "the old fart with the yellow cart."
Dormaier parks in grocery store lots because people there are looking to buy food and get out of their cars. He makes anywhere from just a couple batches to a few dozen batches every time he sets up. Each batch takes about ten minutes to pop from start to finish.
“There’s nothing fancy about it. It’s just good people,” Dormaier's daughter Jodi said.
Jodi Dormaier joined her dad in the Riverside Market parking lot to learn the craft of kettle corn popping. She is planning on taking over the original cart because Rusty is building a second one.
“I was just a little girl who wanted to be in the shop with my dad, but the girls place was in the house baking pies. So, I don't know, this is my way of following my daddy around,” Jodi Dormaier said.
She said the business is a family endeavor now. If everything goes as planned, the Dormaier family will be popping their kernels for years to come.
"As long as they come back. If they come back, you did it right,” Rusty Dormaier said.
To this point, it looks like Dormaier has been doing it right.