Popped! is Newest Acorn Alley II Business to Open
Owner/Kent Patch blogger Gwen Rosenberg had a busy 'soft opening' first day Tuesday.
Kent Patch readers have been following Gwen Rosenberg's entrepreneurial adventures since her first blog post Sept. 27 announcing her intention to open Popped! at Acorn Alley II. On Tuesday, her popcorn dreams became reality.
Rosenberg whipped up batches of caramel, caramel with peanuts, firehouse caramel, white cheddar, kettle corn and "real butter popcorn" for opening day at Popped! on Tuesday.
(The firehouse caramel, featuring a touch of cayenne pepper, is named in honor of Kent Fire Department members who test-tasted it for Rosenberg last May.)
It was an unadvertised "soft opening" for Popped!, as Rosenberg wanted a few slow days to "iron out all the little details" involved in running a business. She didn't even post it on her Popped! Facebook page.
But a hearty reception from fellow Acorn Alley business owners who embrace social media made for a busy first day.
"The outpouring of support from all the other business owners was remarkable. They made it fun," Rosenberg beamed. "I had put an update on my Kickstarter page, which someone then posted on Facebook. Plus, a lot of other business owners who came in posted (the opening) on their Facebook pages and on Twitter."
The end result was that Rosenberg sold more than 30 pounds of popcorn – all made from scratch using her own time-tested recipes and Ohio ingredients – during her first day of operations.
Each flavored popcorn variety can be purchased in five different bag sizes and four different tin container sizes. Shipping is available for popcorn connoisseurs who can't get to Popped! in person.
It will be a couple weeks, though, before Rosenberg is ready to sell something to wash that popcorn down with. She will be offering craft sodas made in-house, with honey ginger ale serving as a menu mainstay. Other soda flavors likely to be offered include chai cola and cream soda.
The hours of operation for Popped! aren't yet set in stone, as Rosenberg wants time to study customer traffic. She knows the store will be open every day but Monday, at least through winter. Experimental hours are 12:30 to 6 p.m., or later, depending on business.
Popped! will have a great location once Acorn Alley II construction is complete, as the shop will front on Acorn Plaza. Right now, though, it's a little tricky to find. From Erie Street, take the outdoor steps (or the elevator just inside the door to the right of the steps) up one level. The shop is on the right once you enter the future plaza area.
Rosenberg's business website – www.ShopPopped.com – won't be operational for another week, but Popped! does have a working phone number: 330-678-1893.
Want to follow Rosenberg's entrepreneurial odyssey from her Popped! dreams to opening day? Check out her blog posts, arranged here in chronological order: