PITTSTON — The Klobeck family business recently popped into downtown.
Pittston Popcorn Co. and Cups relocated from the Pittston Commons to 8 S. Main St./8 Cron St., next to the Purple Squirrel Pastry Company, a month ago. The business will hold a grand opening Friday, June 10 as part of the city’s Second Friday Art Walk.
“We wanted to be on Main Street and be a part of the city more,” owner Reba Klobeck said. “We’d like to be more Pittston-oriented and be involved in the event and activities. There’s more foot traffic here.”
The grand opening will feature a ribbon cutting at 4 p.m. Any purchase at the business will get a free bag of buttered popcorn.
Kolbeck and her husband, Stephen, own the business, which is entering its fifth year. In 2012, Pittston Popcorn Co. and Cups opened in the Pittston Commons where the business was renting space from Savo’s Pizza and Family Restaurant. The business originally started as Popcorn Etc. in Tunkhannock.
Five years ago, the Kolbecks wanted to purchase an ice cream shop when they came across Popcorn Etc. Six months after purchasing the business in Tunkhannock, the move to the Pittston Commons was made. Six months later, the name was changed, too.
Kolbeck said the business started with about 35 to 40 different flavors of popcorn. Now the business produces nearly 100 different flavors, including best-sellers White Cheddar Jalapeño, Buffalo-n-Ranch, Berry Blast and Brownie Batter.
The flavors are broken down into four categories: savory, sugar, glazed and specialty. Customers can purchase a bag, tub or in bulk. There are also popcorn tins available in different designs and styles.
“Sometimes we add chocolate to (the popcorn), or nuts,” Kolbeck said.
The business also offers handmade chocolates, fudge, ice cream, ice cream cakes, ice cream pies and “popcakes,” in which popcorn is formed in the shape of a cake and covered in chocolate. Specialty popcakes include a layer of homemade fudge.
The gourmet popcorn business has been booming over the past several years. According to The Popcorn Board, a non-profit organization funded by U.S. popcorn processors, Americans consume 13 billion quarts of popcorn annually, which breaks down to 41 quarts per person. In 2014, popcorn sales in pounds totaled more than 1.1 billion.
One of the reasons popcorn is becoming more popular, Klobeck said, is because of its nutritional value. Most of the savory flavors she offers are healthy, she said. When it comes to the glazed flavors, however, the nutritional value goes down.
“The savory popcorn is really good for diabetics because it can raise or lower sugar,” Kolbeck said. “Some of the seasonings are healthy for you. That’s played a big part in it.”
The main entrance to the business is at 8 Cron St. next to the entrance to the Greater Pittston YMCA. There is also access to Pittston Popcorn from Main Street next to Purple Squirrel.
In the future, the business will also have a location at the Steamtown Marketplace in Scranton. The plan is to make the popcorn in Pittston and transport it to Scranton.
Pittston Popcorn is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information about Pittston Popcorn Co. and Cups, visit the company’s Facebook page at Pittston Popcorn Co.
Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick