Popcorn Company Gives Boy With Down Syndrome Valuable Life Experience

A local teen is making his way around Reno with his mobile popcorn business.

Popcorn Flying

RENO, NV - Popcorn is not only tasty, but it's easy to make. That's why Dave and Diana Rovetti thought it would be the perfect business model for their son Jack, and decided to open a Doc Popcorn franchise. The 15 year-old Reno High sophomore has down syndrome, but he doesn't let that get in the way of the things he wants to do. He stays actively involved in school while juggling the responsibilities that come with his new job.

"I make a little money, and I do my popcorn. I'm really busy right now," he says.

The business not only gives Jack work experience, but it also helps him in school. For example, counting money is something that he can relate to his learning in the classroom and it's a valuable skill that will always come in handy. Jack's mom says she wants the business to be something he can do on a more permanent basis.

"Our hope is that this will be a long term business for him so that he can be self-sustaining and be out in the community having fun and making money for the things that he needs," she says.

Dave and Diana are firm believers that people with disabilities should be a part of the community, and that's why they try to get jack out to public events as much as they can. Doc Popcorn is currently mobile, but the Rovettis hope to find a place that the business can call home year-round.

"Our long-term goal is for Doc Popcorn to be in a permanent location here in Reno so that Jack will have a place to go to work everyday, not just in the summer time," says Diana.

Jack already has a lot of people in his corner, receiving support from his teachers and peers at school. While Jack's parents want him to have long term job security, he says he is just enjoying the opportunity. Doc Popcorn will be at Wingfield Park on Monday and Friday nights during Artown.


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