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New popcorn store off to strong start

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Pick your flavour: Deshun Simmons, co-owner of Savory Kernels, and Kamiliah Hassell, store manager, bag up a selection of the flavours of gourmet popcorn on offer (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

A new gourmet popcorn store is offering more than 70 flavours, everything from salt and vinegar and ranch on the savoury side, to coconut, caramel and butterfinger for the sweet-toothed.

In the first few days of business, Savory Kernels has been well received by customers, according to co-owner Wolette Smith.

“Everyone is raving about it. People are excited to come in and they can try a sample before they buy,” she said.

The store is upstairs from Pic a Pet, on Queen Street. It has access from the street even when Pic a Pet is closed.

Ms Smith developed a love for gourmet popcorn when she tried some in Canada more than a decade ago. The idea of running a gourmet popcorn business stayed with her over the years, and it is now a reality.

Planning for the store began in March. The former Daisy and Mac premises were partitioned and then brightly fitted out.

The result is a welcoming shop that displays its weekly range of flavoured popcorns. There are 10 flavours available each week, and they get switched around so there is always something new for customers to try.

Some clear local favourites have already emerged, and they are likely to stay available as regular choices.

“Salt and vinegar is a Bermuda favourite, as are dill pickle and white cheddar,” said Ms Smith. On the sweet side, caramel flavour and coconut are popular.

Other flavours range from cotton candy and vanilla, to banana pudding, birthday cake, and jalapeño cheddar.

Fresh popcorn is made every day, although some flavours stay good for a week or so.

“We pop more every day,” said Ms Smith, who added that the shop’s location was perfect.

“Queen Street is busier than parts of Front Street. The bus terminal is nearby, there is KFC and Mr Chicken, and the cinema across the road.”

Youngsters and adults are equally keen customers. And the shop intends to be more than simply a buy-and-go experience.

A side room is being transformed into a small function space that can be used for groups, such as children’s birthday parties where youngsters can make their own popcorn flavours.

Ms Smith added: “We can custom-make popcorn to meet customer’s preferences.” That goes for flavours, colouring and coverings, such as chocolate.

“If someone is having, for example, a baby shower we can make any colour and flavour of popcorn.”

While Savory Kernels has more than 70 flavours available, it was decided to rotate the flavours, offering up ten per week. Best selling flavours will stay available.

Ms Smith owns the business with her son Deshun Simmons. A second Savory Kernels outlet is in the works. It will be located just off King’s Square in St George, and the aim is to open it next month.

Savory Kernels’ daily opening hours are 11am to 10pm. It has a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/savorykernels/

Treats in store: Deshun Simmons and Wolette Smith, the co-owners of Savory Kernels, with the store's mascot and Kamiliah Hassell, right, store manager (Photograph supplied)
Savory Kernels has opened its new store, selling popcorn with more than 70 flavours. Pictured is Rick Simmons, purchasing a cotton candy and vanilla mix from Kamiliah Hassell, store manager (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Savory Kernels sells popcorn that comes in more than 70 flavours. Pictured is the coconut flavour mix, left, and cinnamon toast (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Savory Kernels has opened its new store, selling popcorn with more than 70 flavours. Pictures is Kamiliah Hassell, store manager (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Savory Kernels has opened its new store, selling popcorn with more than 70 flavours. This is the cotton candy flavoured selection (Photograph by Akil Simmons)