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Opportunity Knocks at Popped!

Popped! owner, Gwen Rosenberg discusses the reasons behind the expansion of her popcorn shop in Acorn Alley II, and what it means for the future.

Very soon Popped! will have a lot more elbow room upstairs of the shop. This expansion has been in the works for several months and I'm looking forward to it with the same cheerful trepidation that I had when opening the shop a year ago. I spent much- ok, all of last year behind the counter rather than hiring a team of employees, specifically so I could reinvest in the business. I just hadn't decided how I wanted to reinvest.

The opportunity to rent additional space coincided with a decision I made regarding the direction I'd like to drive this popcorn ship- basically I have no interest in exploring additional Popped!'s or franchises outside of Kent. The thought of having a handful of little Popped!s around that I would have to manage, staff, and fret over, sounds about as much fun as moving piles of rocks. Moving piles of rocks in the freezing rain while being stung by bees.

Popped! is doing very well by my estimation. During the holidays the shipping orders were plentiful and I was jammed between wanting to order ingredients and supplies in larger quantities, but I was being squeezed out of space inside the shop. Sometime during the summer I had anticipated this outcome and spoke with my landlord, Ron Burbick about the possibility of finding extra storage. Instead of just storage, he had space directly above the shop.

Opportunity knocks all the time in business and in life in general, and here it was again rapping on my door. I thought it may have been a little too early to talk expansion, but I was feeling bullish about the business and downtown redevelopment, so I snatched up the space and signed a nice long lease. Opportunity knocks, but it won't make itself a drink in the living room while I perform a risk assessment.

Now that the holidays are ancient history in the minds of most shoppers, I need to look to the future. The expansion will be finished very, very soon and I'll take on the added financial weight of the rent and utilities. Now's the time for me to hustle up some more business to make that opportunity glad it stopped by. I've started aggressively pursuing some wholesale accounts with businesses that I feel are a compliment, and the website is about to get a lot more attention to draw more traffic. I have some ingredients that I've been experimenting with that I'd like to introduce soon too. Bottom line is that with opportunity knocking, I'm going to spending this spring hustling to the door.

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matthew fredmonster February 21, 2013 at 07:45 AM
very happy for you popped! but the popcorn always gets stuck in my teeth? what would ann landers do?
Gwen Rosenberg February 21, 2013 at 01:26 PM
Thanks! I'm so glad you like the popcorn Mr. Fredmonster! To answer your question, I really think Ann Landers would strongly advise a regular habit of brushing and flossing.
Teresa K. February 21, 2013 at 02:06 PM
congrats on the expansion : ) On Small Business Saturday, we went downtown to all the new businesses with hopes of being able to do more local shopping. And the only place we bought anything was Popped ! I think Popped! will be one of the few "new" businesses downtown that has the ability to stick around. I highly recommend the Firehouse Caramel popcorn.
julie brandle February 21, 2013 at 05:10 PM
So glad to hear of your expansion! Which awesome commercial construction company did you hire again?
Gwen Rosenberg February 21, 2013 at 05:20 PM
I hired Metis Construction for the buildout upstairs for a couple good reasons: they did a great job on the original retail shop construction which involved quite a bit of electrical work to accommodate my equipment, and also because as you may already know, Metis is a local and certified woman-owned business which I happen to think is pretty cool!

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