BjornQorn gets its name from cofounder Bjorn Quenemoen, son of Minnesotan corn farmers, and gets its solar mirror technology from other cofounder Jamie O’Shea. The two met at Bard College, where Bjorn was popping through the night to make popcorn with his family’s recipe. One very productive game of catch later, the two agreed to put food and technology together, and the rest is history. Now they strive to provide that same solar-cooking technology at “dirt cheap” prices, in Jamie’s own words, in places where energy is scarce, in partnership with those communities.
What sets BjornQorn apart isn’t just its seasoning of safflower oil and nutritional yeast, though its nutty, almost cheesy flavor and its high vitamin and protein content are certainly a big part of that. BjornQorn isn’t popped like any other popcorn, with kettles of organic corn swung out over mirrored basins on sunny days in upstate New York, no matter the season. It makes for crispier kernels thanks to the even heat of the sun; with no need for fuel, it keeps costs low, and with zero emissions, it keeps environmental impact even lower.