Strawberry. Cinnamon red. Buffalo Chicken. Cajun. French Toast. Caramel Apple. What do all of these thing have in common?
Believe it or not, these are all popcorn flavors found at Creative Kernels, located at 131 E. Hydraulic, Yorkville. I must admit to being a bit apprehensive about some of the flavors. Buffalo chicken popcorn? Really? But one bite and I was sold. And my kids were fascinated by the colors of the popcorn. The Blue Raspberry? It’s bright BLUE!!!!!! Caramel apple? Turns out the green of the apple really “pops” next to the caramel kernels.
The store is located right on the river, at Bicentennial Riverfront Park, and the small space is packed full of popcorn. Small bags are $2.50, large bags are$6.00. The small bags were plenty for my 8 and 9 year old girls. My 12 and 15 year old boys? Large bags for those growing boys, but even with teen appetites there was a bit left over for Mom.
I was in the store one afternoon recently and talked to Kim McGuire, owner of Creative Kernels. This truly is a “family business”, as I also met Kim’s sister, the newest member of the family to become part of the business. Phil’s Famous popcorn is the “house specialty”, and the popcorn that started it all. Owner Kim McGuire perfected the recipe with her son Phil, and during his teen years he and his friends would come to their house to tweak the recipe and enjoy the results. Phil’s is fantastic right out of the bag, but for a real treat, warm it in the oven first. Incredible!
A unique aspect to this business is that both the storefront and the online store are easy to find and navigate through. The storefront is brightly colored, with bins of popcorn lining the store and old fashioned bottled sodas for sale along one wall. Gift baskets are easy to order both in person and online, and make a unique gift for both friends and business associates. I ordered two gift baskets last week, and got rave reviews from the recipients, along with requests for how to order additional popcorn. Gift tins are also very affordable, and at $6.99 the small tins provide an inexpensive but unique way to thank teachers, babysitters, and others during the holidays. Gift certificates are also available.