Popcorn is one of those foods that people often share at the movies, at the fair, or even just at home watching television together. It’s also a food that people often experiment with. There’s the basic salt and butter, but you might also add garlic salt or caramel or even mix it with nuts and chocolate. If you’re eating popcorn, chances are good that you’re having fun with people you love.
It’s fitting, then that Stephanie Philpot, the owner of Irresistible Popcorn and Treats, describes her business as a family business. Her father pops the popcorn, Stephanie, her mom, and Jessica Haynes, the Vice-President and family friend, package, label, and tie the cones of popcorn for selling. The Northwest Detroit Farmers’ Market is one of three markets that Stephanie goes to each week. This is her second year with us. She has also sold her popcorn at community special events like the GRANDpark(let) Grand Opening in May.
MAKING POPCORN A BUSINESS
Stephanie started out selling popcorn at a cousin’s barbershop. The popcorn was in simple sandwich bags. It took little effort to sell out. Then Stephanie’s dad took some popcorn to work with him and he too regularly sold out. At the time Stephanie was in college, “so the extra cash was great,” she says. While the popcorn was a success, Stephanie and her dad thought that they ought to formalize it a bit more, so they came up with a name – that the popcorn was “Irresistible” was clear. They also changed to cone shaped bags and started using labels. They printed punch cards that, once completed, will get you a free gift.
Stephanie has also expanded the choices customers have. Irresistible Popcorn and Treats offers 12 different flavors including sea salt, caramel pecan, chocolate drizzle, and BBQ. Some of these flavors are special orders. If you stop by her table at the Market, check out the binder that lists the many flavors. Stephanie and her dad enjoy experimenting with different flavors and have come up with some unusual and unusually delicious varieties. Like all great chefs, though, they know when a recipe is not so great. “The coffee flavor wasn’t good. I thought adding sea salt might help – it did not.” Caramel is their most popular.
PLANS FOR THE FUTURE
“Business is pretty good,” at the Market Stephanie says. She has hopes for a brick and mortar store one day, and to own her own commercial kitchen to train young people about the food business, but for now, she’s quite happy selling her popcorn at Farmers’ Markets. She’s thinking of making popcorn balls. “I think kids would really like that,” she says. “We could make caramel popcorn balls and add M and M’s.” There are most likely several adults who wouldn’t say no to a popcorn ball either.
Come to the Northwest Detroit Farmers’ Market on Thursdays from 4 – 8 pm at the parking lot of the North Rosedale Park Community House, 18445 Scarsdale through October 4 and stop by Irresistible Popcorn and Treats. Check out the many flavors, get a punch card, and take a bag or two home to your family to share.
If you’d like to special order, contact Stephanie Philpot at 313.826.5546 or Philpotglory@aol.com.