TROY — The downtown district is soon to be flourishing with flavorful fluff as its newest business, Poppin’ Off Popcorn, prepares to open its doors on Friday at 4 p.m.
The new shop, located at 125 S. Market St., spawned from proprietor Liz Smith’s love of the culinary arts, as well as a shared interest with her husband, Mike, to engage in personal entrepreneurship.
“My husband and I wanted to do some kind of business project together,” Smith said. “I’m originally from Sandusky, and I took him home one weekend in 2016, and there’s a popcorn shop there in a neighboring city. We went there, and he said, ‘This is it. This is the business that Troy needs.’
“That Christmas, he got me a popcorn popper and a 50-lb. bag of popcorn. The whole next year, we started playing around with flavors and developing recipes.”
Poppin’ Off officially opened for business in November 2017, after the Smiths perfected a variety of flavors.
“We started the business out of our home, just to see how well it would do and how it would be accepted,” Smith said. “It was crazy how much the community embraced it.”
Marketing their product on Facebook Marketplace, Liz and Mike sold popcorn out of 3 Weird Sisters and the Downtown Troy Farmer’s Market throughout 2018, as well as pop-up sales at Lunch at 4 W. Main St. As sales began to increase, particularly through custom orders for large groups, the Smith realized they needed a storefront.
“We live in Troy, and wanted our shop here, but the downtown real estate is very competitive,” Smith said. “We found this space after coordinating with Troy Main Street, and we just thought it was perfect.”
The shop will begin with 20 regular popcorn flavors available for fresh purchase in the shop, with approximately 100 flavors to choose from for custom orders.
Regular popcorn flavors will include movie theater, old fashioned, caramel, cheesy cheddar, Chicago-style, salted bourbon caramel, rainbow, Troy mix, salt & vinegar, strawberry, white cheddar, “It’s a Big Dill,” buffalo wing, backyard BBQ, cheesy bacon, jalapeno cheddar, Cincinnati chili & cheese, birthday cake, Buckeye, caramel nut cluster, turtle, cookies & cream, lemon cream pie, and salted peanut butter.
In addition to popcorn, the Smiths will offer a dozen flavors of scoopable ice cream from Toft’s, a dairy parlor from Smith’s native Sandusky.
“I thought it would be fun to bring a little piece of my hometown to my new hometown,” Smith said. “I want to be able to have something available in the shop for everyone. Sometimes, I do get the little boy who can’t have popcorn because he has braces, so there’ll be something available for him to eat as well.”
Starting ice cream flavors will include vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, rainbow sherbet, peanut butter cup, cookies n’ cream, rocky road, mint chocolate chip, moose tracks, brown butter bourbon truffle, salty caramel fudge truffle, and peanut butter cheesecake.
Poppin’ Off will also feature a small selection of craft sodas and other miscellaneous beverages. Smith also voiced an interest to sell other delectable assortments on a seasonal basis.
“We’re all about variety here at Poppin’ Off, and I have lots of ideas on items to bring in,” Smith said. “I’d love to do caramel apples in the fall, and around the holidays, there’s a ton of fudge recipes I’d love to offer. We’d be interested in trying truffle-style treats or chocolate-covered pretzels. We’ll see how everything goes.”
The Smiths also own a property in Vandalia where they hope to open another location in the coming years.
“Troy’s where we wanted to be, because it’s where our market it is and our customers are, but we it is a goal to expand one day,” Smith said. “When we first started, I thought, ‘How am I ever going to get customers?’ It’s amazing how far this has already come. It’s been a long process, and we’re so excited that it’s finally here.”
Regular store hours will be 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
In addition to their regular store hours, Liz and Mike intend to be present at the upcoming Miami County Food Truck Rally at the fairgrounds on Saturday, May 18, and will continue with pop-up sales at Lunch at 4 W. Main St. during events in the Public Square.
For more information, visit www.poppinoffdayton.com.