Americans love their snacks and popcorn is one of their favorites. Popcorn usually pops up where there’s fun-the movies, ball games, amusement parks, parties or in just front of the TV. Adults like popcorn because it beats many other snacks in nutritional value and kids love it because it just tastes great.
Toni and Paul Loftus have tapped into the popularity of popcorn by bringing this all American snack to Mountaintop with the opening of the couple’s new business, the Kettle Corn Shop, Inc., on May 27. But popcorn isn’t your average snack at the Kettle Corn Shop; the old-fashioned snack is also available in 40 gourmet flavors!
“We thought Kettle Corn was a unique idea,” says Toni. “Everyone loves popcorn.”
“And it is something in Mountaintop that’s different from what we have here,” adds Paul.
It certainly is and with so many new flavors from which to choose, there is something to suit everyone’s taste. In addition to the perennial favorites like popcorn with butter, caramel corn or cheese popcorn, the Kettle Corn Shop offers popcorn with a fruit glazes, like Pina Colada, Watermelon Delight, Banana Anna, and Sweet Strawberry; spicy flavors include Hot & Spicy, Pepper Pop, Cajun, Barbecue and Loaded Baked Potato. Or you may want to try a specialty flavor such as Banana Split, Wild Zebra, S’Mores, Chocolate Covered Strawberry or Butter Scotchies.
Can’t decide? Well Toni and Paul have got that covered. You can try a sample of the flavor you may be considering before making a purchase. Sizes range from small, medium and large bags to three sizes of beautifully designed gift tins or gift boxes. The Kettle Corn Shop ships orders both here and abroad.
Toni points out that shop will feature seasonal favorites, presently orange creamsickle and black cherry, but in the fall, cinnamon apple and pumpkin flavors will be available. She also points out even though popcorn is enjoyed all year long, “popcorn season” is actually the fall and winter when sporting events are in full swing.
With the Fourth of July just around the corner, The Patriot is presently a feature flavor and it’s not surprising since Toni is a Lieutenant Colonel in the U. S. Army and recently served as Assistant Chief Nurse for a combat support hospital. She also received a Doctorate in Nursing Practice from Wilkes University and is undergoing the transition to being a civilian. Paul has also served his country as a member of the National Guard.
The 1200 sq, ft. shop itself has a distinctive Americana theme. Toni relates she recently shipped tins of popcorn to her comrades in Afghanistan and explains popcorn is actually a “war food”. She explains that in World War II, growers of popcorn were allowed to continue to manufacture this energy food that could be sent to the troops and enjoyed here on the homefront.
The popcorn at the Kettle Corn Shop tastes so good because of the quality of the product. The popcorn is freshly made with the highest quality ingredients and prepared in spotlessly clean conditions. Toni has been certified as a Safe Serve Manager. Paul does all the cooking and works behind the counter. “It’s a learning curve,” remarks Paul.
Toni notes she and Paul have been doing all the work themselves until they “know the business from the ground up”. Toni is an experienced entrepreneur, having owned and managed four other businesses.
“At the Kettle Corn Shop, we have a lot of items that are being developed and our menu will change every six months,” explains Toni, who teases that people can look forward to a cookbook in the future. Toni is also planning to involve the business in fundraising campaigns for schools, organizations, clubs, or sports groups.
The Kettle Corn Shop Inc, located at 71 N. Mountain Blvd., is treat to visit, bursting with the aroma and colors of its gourmet offerings. The shop is open six days a week: Monday through Friday from 11 a. m. to 6 p. m. and Saturday from 10 a. m. to 4 p. m. Orders can also be placed online at www.kettlecornshop.comso you can call ahead and stop for pickup or sent a gift tin. The shop’s number is 570-474-5678.
Today, the average American eats nearly 70 quarts of popcorn a year. You can get started on meeting your quota by visiting the Kettle Corn Shop or placing an order online.