Mark McMillan


Uncle Charlie’s Tastes of Country is an indigenous popcorn business birthed from a desire to build familial relationships and family honour. Uncle Charlie Evans was Mark Nan’s brother who loved going to the movies, hence the connection between Indigenous foods and popcorn. Like all Aboriginal businesses, culture is at the centre of what they do and how they do it.

Uncle Charlie’s Tastes of Country delivered its first product in April of 2022, and they are still in business. An e-commerce site and an exclusive distribution partnership with Gourmet Brands have been established. Mark is currently finalising contracts to begin exporting in the US, and distributors in the EU are showing interest in his products.

An initial challenge that Mark faced as a new entrepreneur was starting the business was moving the concept and story to processes, systems and production of things worth selling. There were also daunting challenges with price-setting as there is nothing like it in the market. Packaging orders remain an Achilles heel. Nevertheless, Mark has remained persistent. His background as an academic researcher has allowed him to work through the numerous required regulations and structures with patience and ease. He also credits the overwhelming support and goodwill from other businesses. The serendipity of meeting amazing people has been the salve to any complications.

In 2-3 years, Uncle Charlie’s Tastes of Country hopes to expand its export markets to the EU and NAFTA economies.

Growing our Indigenous business has been awesome – but not possible with amazing non-Indigenous business allies. The world now understands Indigenous issues are part of the global narrative. I am excited that there is a place where we can make a contribution.

Mark McMillan

Mark McMillan, Australia