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Siouxland foods to take center stage at USS Sioux City commissioning banquet

November 14, 2018

SIOUX CITY -- One Fun Place is popping with activity because the American Pop Corn Company will be donating theater-style poppers and plenty of Jolly Time All-In-One popcorn for a tailgate party, prior to U.S. Navy vs. Tulsa Golden Hurricane NCAA football game in Annapolis on Saturday.

The Sioux City-based popcorn company will also be serving its popular snack item during Taste of Sioux City, a banquet following the commissioning reception of the USS Sioux City at 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning.

In addition to Jolly Time, products from several other Siouxland-based food makers will be featured at the banquet, which will be held in the historic Dahlgren Hall on the U.S. Naval Academy campus. The companies donating food include Beef Products Inc. (BPI), Tyson Fresh Meats, Seaboard Triumph Foods, Smithfield/Curly’s Foods, Wells Blue Bunny, Palmer Candy, Sioux Honey Association/Sue Bee Honey and Steck Wholesale Foods/Bimbo Bakeries.

“There was already a Taste of Annapolis banquet set for Friday,” Siouxland Chamber of Commerce president Chris McGowan explained. “We knew it was important to host a similar Taste of Sioux City banquet, since agribusiness and the food industry has been so important to our local economy for generations.”

Even more importantly, Sioux City will get plenty of national name recognition between the 30,000 - 40,000 sports fans attending the football game as well as the more than 5,000 people expected to attend the USS Sioux City’s commissioning.

“Sometimes, Sioux Cityans take for granted how significant (companies like) Jolly Time or Sue Bee Honey or BPI are on the national and international marketplace,” McGowan said. “We lead the world because we feed the world.”

“Wow, I really like that phrase,” he said, chuckling as Siouxland Chamber of Commerce event director Katy Karrer nodded her head in agreement. “I can totally see ‘We lead the world, we feed the world,’ on a banner.”

Karrer is part of an advance team assisting in the logistics of transporting perishable food product from Siouxland to Annapolis in a timely manner.

“Not only does the food have to be transported safely but it also has to pass inspection by the U.S. Navy,” she said. “I give complete credit to (BPI research and development specialist) Ryan Dial who is an expert at getting things from Point A to Point B.”

McGowan also gives props to U.S. Naval Academy executive chef Eric Lindstrom for creating a menu featuring so many Sioux City products.

“Eric took the ball and totally ran with it,” McGowan said.

Among the foods available at a Taste of Sioux City will be ribs from Smithfield/Curly’s Foods made with Sue Bee’s Honey BBQ Sauce; sliders featuring beef patties from Tyson and buns from Steck Foods/Bimbo Bakeries; plus plenty of dessert options ranging from ice cream novelties from Wells Blue Bunny and Palmer Candy Company’s Twin Bings.

“I am so proud of our local businesses,” McGowan said. “Even after the commissioning, the USS Sioux City will receive shipments of Blue Bunny Ice Cream, Jolly Time Popcorn and Palmer Candy on a regular basis.”

This means that the USS Sioux City personnel will enjoy a Taste of Sioux City for many years to come.

“So much of our local economy is based around food,” McGowan said. “Events like Taste of Sioux City allow us to showcase what our community has to offer to the world.”

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