After being overseas with her family of five for 13 years, Julie Staubo said she was shocked at the growth in Katy when she moved back two years ago. Despite many new businesses moving into the area, she saw one facet that was missing.
“While I thought Katy had almost everything to offer, I kept driving to Houston for balloons, party favors, candies—things like that—and I really found a niche,” Staubo said. “I think it’s an attractive market for the big guys—the chains, the big restaurants and things like that—but I wanted something a little more personal.”
After securing retail space in November 2015 at a strip center that was under construction at the intersection of Westheimer Parkway and Greenbusch Road, Staubo opened The Popcorn Shop on June 28.
She said she likes to think of the store as a gift shop specializing in gourmet popcorn. She carries nearly 40 popcorn flavors in addition to other items, such as candy, balloons, stuffed animals and decorative tins.
Staubo, who has a background in advertising, said she chose to build the business around popcorn because it can complement a variety of gift packages.
“Popcorn lends itself so well, whether it’s the colors or the flavors, to go with all the other gift baskets,” she said.
Staubo makes all of the shop’s popcorn in a commercial kitchen area located in the back of her retail facility. Top sellers include White Chocolate and Pretzel, Oreo and Chicago—which is a mixture of cheddar cheese and caramel that creates a sweet-and-salty combination, she said. Sizes range from Mini, or the equivalent of 3 cups, to Party Bag, or the equivalent of 275 cups.
In addition to her brick-and-mortar location, Staubo said she has recently begun offering shipping services from the store and selling her products through The Popcorn Shop’s website at www.thepopcornshops.com/online-store. This web presence has allowed her to offer gifts corresponding to various occasions, including birthday party favors, baby shower items, college care packages, sports team merchandise, teacher presents and get-well baskets.
Staubo said she wants to continue to serve a niche in the Katy community as well as expand the store’s products and services.
“Whether we open additional locations or if we were to franchise it out, we’re sort of keeping our options open,” she said.
25757 Westheimer Parkway, Ste. 170, Katy
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-7 p.m., closed on Sunday