Few flavors are off the table at What’s Poppin Popcorn, which boasts more than three dozen popcorn flavors. Many flavors were suggested by customers, and include original recipes such as Bacon Cheddar, Hershey’s S’mores and Birthday Cake.
Co-owner Jobie Anderson opened the business with her husband in September 2013. After spending years as a stay-at-home mom with her three sons, ages 11, 16 and 18, she said she studied the success of a close friend’s popcorn establishment in Dallas.
“[Our kids] are athletes and are very busy, and never had the time to have a job—I wanted them to see what working hard looks like,” Anderson said. “All of my kids have worked here at some point. I wanted them to learn how to talk to people, how to handle money and manage people.”
With a background in social work and a bachelor’s degree in psychology, Anderson’s popcorn venture was off her beaten path, but it has paid off in that the store sees a steady stream of customers daily and never has to throw away a batch of popcorn, she said.
Customers can purchase popcorn in a variety of bag sizes, from tiny to extra-large, as well as popcorn tins decorated in a variety of themes and school logos, both local and collegiate.
Anderson said she closely guards her establishment’s popping methods, including recipes, and requires all employees to sign a confidentiality agreement lest competitors get wind of how she makes her popcorn. She said her staff remains small with six employees, including Anderson’s brother, Chuck Conner, who cooks most of the popcorn.
“Our popcorn is better because of the freshness—I am here cooking every day,” Conner said.
Anderson also arranges custom baskets or buckets for special occasions and holidays. She said she is looking to further her involvement with corporate marketing, in which companies purchase tins of popcorn or other gifts with their logo and distribute them for marketing purposes.
Staffers help customers plan how much popcorn they need to order to feed their guests, and staffers also help pick out coordinating colors and flavors, Anderson said. The staff encourages customers to give feedback on flavors they would like to try because Poppin’s signature taste is not easily replicated at home, she said.
“I always have people tell me they have tried to make some of our flavors at home, and it just never comes out the same,” Anderson said.
Fall: Green Apple, Pumpkin Spice, Marshmallow; customers can choose to add candy corns to any flavor
Christmas: Peppermint, White Chocolate Pretzel with Christmas M&Ms
Valentine’s Day: Cherries ‘n Cream, White Chocolate Pretzel with Valentine M&Ms
Crawfish season: Cajun Spice
Popcones: These cone-shaped bags of popcorn serve as party favors and gifts. Customers can pick colors and flavors. $1/each for a minimum of 20
Tin refills: Customers who purchase a
popcorn tin buy refills starting at $14.95.