Tanesha Sims-Summers never thought she’d be in the popcorn business, but, in the end, she says it wasn’t up to her.  

“I always say God, Number 1,” she told REV. “He gives you vision and purpose. Also, my aunt. I was raised by my aunt in Fredericksburg, Virginia, for a portion of my life. She knew of my passion and desire to one day have my own business. 

Kettle corn is very popular in the Virginia area. My aunt was working for an older gentleman who said people would travel from the tri-state area to get this kettle corn. She was like, ‘People just love it!’ She suggested that I look into it.” 

Her vision led her to start Naughty But Nice Kettle Corn Co. in 2014 and eventually to a storefront in Woodlawn.  Visitors can stop by her First Avenue South location—that formerly housed Piper and Leaf— by appointment only.  

“Kettle corn is cool,” “It was just straight to the point —fun and delicious.”   

What should a first-time taster try? 

The answer is EVERYTHING. 

“The great thing about us is that we don’t have an exorbitant number of flavors that overwhelm you. We have just enough to keep it interestingly different. All of our signage says to start with a free sample. Start with the classic kettle corn; it builds up to all these amazing flavors. If you ever stop in, we want you to try everything that we have available to try!”   

Sims-Summers says the community of Woodlawn holds a special place in her heart. Naughty But Nice has been a Woodlawn Street Market vendor since the market’s beginning. She also spent time with REV’s Business Growth team for Biz 1.0 and other business coaching services.  

Moving into the Piper and Leaf space with the help of REV’s Ben Wieseman made sensfor her personally and professionally. 

For us, it was originally between downtown, UAB and the Southside area,” she said. “But Woodlawn is not far from where I live, and my children attend school in Avondale. When I started thinking about owning a business and that work-life balance, it made sense. 

When asked about Woodlawn, she said that like all historic communities, it’s gone through cycles.    

I think it’s full of support. It’s a good community that has great growth potential,” she said. “Even with whatever stigma people had in the past, you see growth in diversity, business and in culture and raceAll of those things are important to build healthy communities where everyone can live, work and play together.”     

Naughty but Nice is open Tuesdays-Thursdays from 10:30 a.m.- 2:30 p.m. by appointment at 5363 1st Avenue North. Call 205-915-2528 to make an appointment to stop by!  

Related News

  • Why your voice on historic preservation is essential

    Filed Under: Front Page, Get Involved, Historic Preservation, Residential

    President and CEO of REV Birmingham David Fleming writes about the importance of historic preservation and highlights the advocacy efforts that saved the French Quarter in New Orleans and the Forest Park neighborhood in Birmingham. The article concludes with a call to action, urging for new leaders and the implementation of various strategies to protect and celebrate Birmingham’s historic buildings and places.

    Read More

  • It's show time at the Woodlawn Theater!

    Filed Under: Filling Vacant Spaces, Front Page, Small Business, Woodlawn, Yaysayers

    Lights, Camera, Action! The rebirth of the Woodlawn Theater is happening this weekend in the heart of Woodlawn. The theater is opening its doors to the public with two extraordinary opening events that are FREE to the public. The 1400 square foot venue has a wide range of amenities and even has a full-service bar. Because of the Mason Music Foundation, this venue is filling a much needed resource for local musicians to perform. Keep reading to discover how the theater came back to life and its impact on the community.

    Read More

  • What Stallions cornerback, Brian Allen loves about Birmingham

    Filed Under: Downtown Birmingham, Events, Front Page, Yaysayers

    Brian Allen, a talented cornerback, has made the remarkable transition from a small town in Texas to the vibrant city of Birmingham. Choosing Birmingham for his football career for two consecutive seasons, Brian’s unwavering dedication and exceptional skills have made him a standout figure in the world of football. To dive deeper into Brian’s journey and discover his genuine appreciation for the city, watch this video with the link below!

    Read More