A new gourmet popcorn shop has popped up on the West Side

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – You can find almost any flavor imaginable at What’s Pop-In Gourmet Popcorn- except for plain butter.

“We have a lot of people who ask us for that and we send them elsewhere,” co-founder Stefan Coker laughed.

Instead, popcorn seekers can opt for flavors like salt-and-vinegar, Buffalo wing, maple, honey mustard, s’mores, and lemonade. The gourmet popcorn shop opened over the weekend at 418 West Ferry in Buffalo.

Coker and co-founder David Whelan own the business, which they say started out as a joke.

“I was executive chef at Larkin Square sending out popcorn on tacos and black truffle popcorn as a side salad,” Coker said. “As we continued to play with the concept, I started falling in love with crazy flavors, and I said to Dave ‘why don’t we create this corny, quirky popcorn business’.”

Though the brick-and-mortar location has only been open since last weekend, the What’s Pop-In team has been at work all summer, bringing product to events in Western New York and outside of the state.

They also worked for months to get the West Ferry location ready to open.

“There was a lot of anticipation,” Whalen said. “You could definitely tell by the turnout on Saturday.”

Coker, who is originally from the West Side, said they chose the location to give his kids a connection to that part of the city.

“Mainly, I wanted my kids to see all demographics, the different way of life,” Coker said. ‘At the end of the day, it’s all about building work ethic for my kids and making sure they watch us grow.”

What’s Pop-In offers classic flavors for $5 per bag and specialty flavors for $6 a bag.

They will rotate specialty flavors regularly- Coker said they currently have about 250 flavors to choose from.

“We’re just showcasing them little by little,” he said. “It’ll keep us fresh- we’ll never get stagnant.”

An online shop will be up and running soon, and What’s Pop-In is also available for events, weddings, and more.

Five-course wine-popcorn pairing dinners are also planned for the shop.

Upcoming specialty flavors include “California roll”, “stir fry” and “chips and dip”, Coker said.

“We’re all over the place- the flavor list will never be over,” he added.

What’s Pop-In Gourmet Popcorn is located at 418 W. Ferry. Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

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