Popacorn Gourmet Popcorn recently hosted a celebration in honor of its storefront grand opening at 4645 S. King Dr.
Micah Smothers, owner and operator of Popacorn Gourmet Popcorn, which has been in business for nearly nine years, recalled pivotal moments in the growth of his company from the early days of his business when he was working to develop his brand to the purchase of his mobile popcorn truck three years ago, the first of its kind in Chicago; among other milestones. The business owner called the grand opening “exciting,” “a long time coming,” and “a blessing”.
“I started on the ground level going door-to-door selling products, just getting the name out there, and brought it to this level,” said Smothers. “It’s a simple process if you want to grind, if you want to put your heart into something, you can definitely do it. My whole goal with the popcorn business and company is it is America’s favorite snack and it brings people together.”
Inside the shop awaits a “full experience” including lounge chair movie seats made complete with movie screenings, according to Smothers. He said the space will serve as a “safe haven” where visitors will be able to relax and have fun.
Smothers said he thought Bronzeville would be the “perfect” location for his pop-up storefront. He said over his 20 years of living in the neighborhood, he’s grown to love it.
“It’s a family community, it’s a community that needs to be brought up, give some change to the community, the community is changing already,” said Smothers
Smothers said initially the Popacorn storefront will only employ himself and his business partner. However, in the weeks and months to come, he said he wants to be a local employer.
He said he has already set into motion his plan to benefit his community beyond opening his business as he plans to offer entrepreneurship courses for teens and young adults, which he wants to launch on Dec. 1. with 20 participants.
“With the program we’re going to be teaching our youth the steps of owning your own business; the steps of having your own product, branding it, marketing it, and putting your own twist to it, and going out in the world and selling,” said Smothers.
Smothers said he plans to get “bigger and bigger” with the hopes of franchising his business. He said the popcorn truck will continue to roll and will be available for special events.
“I want to change the face of retail; it’s not just about making money but about the client and making the customer comfortable to come back for the service,” said Smothers.
Popacorn Gourmet Popcorn has several distinctive flavors such as:
- The Harold Washington, which consists of caramel, cheese and butter flavors.
- The Barack Obama, a cheesy bacon flavor.
- Chicago Remix, the classic Chicago cheese and caramel flavors with a twist.
- The Windy City, a spicy blend of flavors.
- The 47th Street Crunch, an all caramel flavor adorned with nuts, chocolate, and caramel chips.
- The Lakefront, a BBQ flavor.
For more information about Popacorn Gourmet Popcorn visit facebook.com/Popacorn-Popcorn-181219140325/.