“It’s about the experience. I hope you get taken back to your childhood,” Carol said.
Before opening Crave Popcorn Co. in February 2014, the couple worked for a wholesale nursery owned by Carol’s parents. Carol and Blake soon decided they wanted to start their own business, so the couple consulted a business broker and considered several opportunities.
“We researched other businesses for sale, and I looked into franchises. [But] we decided that’s not what we wanted to do,” Blake said.
Interested in the concept of an old-fashioned shop, the couple chose a popcorn store after visiting one, opting for something that would allow them to create the kind of homespun store they were hoping for.
“It’s a family-friendly shopping center. We didn’t want mall hours, and a lot of the stores close on Sunday,” Carol said.
Crave Popcorn Co. offers 30 flavors of popcorn prepared daily from mushroom seed corn, which is known for its large fluffy size and soft texture when cooked.
Flavors are grouped into three categories: savory, sweet and signature. Each flavor is individually produced by Blake daily, with the occasional help of his son and daughter. No premixed ingredients, seasoned oil or imitation flavors are used, and only Imperial Sugar, 100 percent vanilla and high-quality chocolate are added to a recipe.
New flavors are developed through trial and error. Some work and some do not. Wasabi is an example of a rejected recipe, Blake said.
“Flavors that work on meat don’t work on corn,” he said.
This summer, habanero caramel and maple bacon have been popular, and scorpion chili is on its way. New flavors for fall and to celebrate the store’s planned expansion include pumpkin spice, caramel apple crisp and gingerbread, followed by seasonal holiday flavors.
In addition, the store offers personalized popcorn flavors, colors and packaging for special events. Corporations, schools and wedding planners are frequent customers for the shop’s variety and appeal to children of all ages, Carol said.
“We can do logos on tins, gift boxes and tags. Lots of teams come in and want their team colors,” she said.