“Long ago, the gods of yore bestowed upon the mortal world a kernel-borne treat that would change the lives of millions…this is that treat.”
~The Man Cub
How do I describe the vanilla-y marshmallow smells emanating from the mixer inside of this happy little popcorn shop? I want so badly to lick the air; it is so delightfully rich and delicious. Melted white chocolate drizzles over the coated Oreos-and-popcorn for a heavenly Cookies ‘n Creme creation. Trained at Chicago’s Gold Medal of Central Illinois, Jen Kirn is definitely in her element as master chef here.
As a little girl, she recalls gazing at her family’s giant country garden and learning to bake from scratch with her mother atop a yellow and green linoleum-tiled kitchen floor. She remembers her mom’s pocketed kitchen smocks and hours of her patient teaching.
Originally, Jen wanted to open a bakery but soon realized the local market in her city was already flooded with boutique shops filled with cookies, cupcakes, muffins, and bread. Two years ago on vacation in Ft. Lauderdale, FL she says her family found “a really cool, upbeat, and fun popcorn store. We went back and visited every day!”
The many flavors and the colorful sugared and savory delights hit them in all the right places. They were hooked.
The seed was planted and began to take root. Last winter, she and her family found the perfect building on her city’s Maine Street. Jen saw the vision for her new store: Popp’n on Maine.
It’s said a family that works, eats, and prays together stays together, and Popp’n on Maine is truly a family affair. Jen’s teenaged daughter, Emme, not only works in the shop but is filming their first commercial as I write this in their store. Her husband, Chris, is helping direct it while mixing up some Cheddar popcorn in the back. Teenaged son Griffin also works and helps a lot with the taste-testing!
My Man Cub and I are sampling flavors: (newly created) Cookies ‘n Creme, Ranch, Cheddar and Caramel (the Maine Mix), Wasabi, Cheesy Pizza, Birthday Cake, Caramel, Kettle Corn, American Mix (cherry, blueberry and vanilla)***, Healthy Pop, Healthy Pop Mix, and Movie Pop.
(***The American Mix is for the 4th of July week only! Click HERE to visit the website for weekly offerings.)
Be sure to check out sixteen-year-old Man Cub’s perspectives and descriptions at the end of the article. That kid is just so funny!
Jen tells me that most teenaged boys like the savory flavors best, but the girls usually get the Healthy Pop after trying the all the other super sweet ones. Man Cub liked the Maine Mix the best in all its sweet and salty aspects. I think mine might just be the Cheddar, especially the little “scrunchies” at the bottom – the flavor gets all concentrated there in the remnant but it’s still crunchy and substantial!
How does Jesus in tie into our post today? Look at the many flavors of popcorn, the colors and textures, the different ways the flavors can hit our taste buds. Sweet, salty, sour, crunchy, biting, smooth, creamy, and on and on. Funny how my taste preferences are different from Man Cub’s.
But here’s the thing: Like popcorn recipes at my friend’s shop, all the many flavors of people are made by one Creator. However, unlike the popcorn, all of us are made in the Creator’s image and He loves every single flavor, color, and texture. He designed and made us all, which means He has designed and made you and me, and He loves us even when we have broken pieces at the bottom of the bag.
Starting 1 August 2018, you can order 2-gallon (3.785 Liter) tins online at www.quincypopcorn.com. Popp’n On Maine is happy to ship anywhere in the world.