Barrel O’ Fun was founded in 1973 in Minneapolis by Tuffy Nelson and his son Ken. In the beginning, the company had only 10 employees, manufacturing cheese curls, potato chips and popcorn. The name of the company was created by Ken Nelson, who wanted to have a fun name for his company. Barrel O’ Fun quickly became successful. Over the first few years, the distribution was limited to restaurants and bars. The sales of the company skyrocketed by 1980. They expanded distribution to grocery stores and added more products to their product line.
G. Heileman Brewing Co. in La Crosse, Wisconsin acquired Barrel O’ Fun in April 1981, further expanding the company’s distribution network. More products were introduced, and it also started using new packaging. As the manufacturing doubled, the company employed more workers. It had 75 employees in 1982. It also increased the manufacturing space available and added new machinery to increase productivity. Business expanded to other parts of the U.S. More brands and private labels were introduced over the next few years.
In July 1988, Ken Nelson, the founder of Barrel O’ Fun, bought back the company with the help of a new investor and management team. In November 1995, Ken Nelson bought out the investor with the help of two new investors. The company also had 350 employees by that time. Later, Nelson formed a parent company for the multiple companies he owned and consolidated everything under the new KLN Enterprises.
Today, it also has an ‘Allied’ division to distribute the products that are manufactured by other companies. This increased the sales of the company. In 2005, it celebrated its 32nd anniversary. The company also succeeded in maintaining the quality of its snack products, which are available in both single and bulk packs. All the manufacturing plants of the company are approved by AIB (American Institute of Baking) which promotes food supply safety, and all the products are certified Kosher.
Company headquarters: 800 4th Street NW, Perham, MN, USA
Ownership: Private (Owned by KLN Enterprises)
Annual revenue: $2.5 to 5 million
Number of employees: 350
Demography: Natural and Organic
Natural Planet Organics
Tuffy’s Pet Food
Jonny Rapp’s Baked Fries
Vic’s Gourmet Popcorn