by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi
Pop into Kilmarnock’s newest business for a tasty treat of savory, sweet and candy-flavored popcorn.
With over 30 flavors, Northern Neck Popcorn Bag has something for all palates. In fact, it’s hard to pick just one.
Owners Terri and Kevin Crowder of Fredericksburg have stocked their store at 50 Irvington Road with 34 different flavors of gourmet popcorn. There’s a veritable smorgasbord of flavors, from the usual kettle corn and buttery white cheddar to the unusual southwest jalapeno and banana cream.
The Crowders, who own a second home in Burgess, wanted to open a popcorn store in the Northern Neck and were eating at Northern Neck Burger Company in Kilmarnock one evening when they realized “this is where we need to be.” They opened Northern Neck Popcorn Bag next door in the former Dixie Deli on November 18.
“We love this area,” said Kevin. “It’s a great place, a special place.”
Terri, a native of Colonial Beach, commutes to the Kilmarnock store daily from Fredericksburg. Kevin is a chaplain at Mary Washington Hospital but is on-site at the Kilmarnock store as much as possible.
They have purchased recipes from the Northern Neck Popcorn Bag’s sister store, The Popcorn Bag, in Fredericksburg, which has about 60 varieties of gourmet popcorn in stock. The Fredericksburg store has some 200 recipes, according to the Crowders.
Northern Neck Popcorn Bag’s savory flavors include loaded baked potato, wasabi soy ranch, buffalo ranch, crabby corn and garlic parmesan. Some have quite a kick, including the southwest jalapeno, said Kevin.
On the sweeter side, there’s salted dark chocolate caramel, white chocolate pretzel, cinnamon roll, cranberries in the snow and apple pie a la mode.
The candy flavors include rainbow, key lime, strawberry, cotton candy and cheesecake.
“Our big sellers will stay the same year round, while we’ll rotate the seasonal flavors,” said Kevin.
Turkey with stuffing and pumpkin pie flavors will be replaced with holiday flavors like elf munch, peppermint munch, gingerbread man, gingersnap, candy cane and eggnog.
In January, football lovers can pick up a bag of chili flavored popcorn. There will also be popcorn in team colors for the Super Bowl.
“We’re anticipating our business will reflect the number of cars that pass by outside,” said Kevin. So the store’s flavors and target market has to change with the seasons.
Northern Neck Popcorn Bag offers fundraising opportunities for local athletic teams, school organizations, clubs and non-profits.
“In the fairly near future, we anticipate maybe a third of our business will be corporate or business and special events like weddings and parties. We’re already networking,” he said.
The store offers specialty and custom labels for businesses, weddings and parties.
“We have sizes from small to large,” including a 25-gallon bag of popcorn, he said. “We can accommodate any size and any budget.”
Snack size bags of three cups range from $1.15 for naked popcorn to $5.15 for speciality with prices in between for candy and savory. Popcorn can also be purchased in small (six cups), junior (nine cups) and family (26 cups) sizes. Tubs are also available.
Northern Neck Popcorn Bag already has an online presence with a Facebook page and a website, where customers can order and have their popcorn shipped, just in time for the holidays. A full list of flavors and pricing can be found at NorthernNeckPopcornBag.com.
The Kilmarnock store is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.