POP On Over!

by Heather Lindsay Sell, ShoutOUT Tampa Bay, September 26, 2016

Disclosure: iPOP Gourmet Popcorn invited me to visit their Tampa location and provided me with several gourmet popcorn samples in order to provide my honest opinion on the experience. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own and based completely on my own thoughts and experiences. 

Wall of Possibilities

Wall of Possibilities

I was excited when one of the owners of iPOP Gourmet Popcorn, Laurie Cinelli, invited me to come sample from over 100 gourmet popcorn flavors at her Tampa store. What an adventure!

The intimate store was bustling with activity the Saturday afternoon we arrived. “You HAVE to try the coconut macaroon!” gushed one of the customers as we walked in. She was patiently, but excitedly waiting for a 5-gallon bag of the flavor. “It’s like crack for your soul!” she exclaimed. I chuckled and then of course had to try it too!

SamplesAs you enter the cozy store, a wall of popcorn satchels to your left in assorted flavors
entices you to sneak closer to explore, beckoning you to taste. Don’t worry! Samples are nestled in mason jars on the shelf below and you can taste to your hearts content. From sweet to savory, fruity to nutty, mild to spicy, single gourmet flavors to unique signature blends, tame to wild, they have a huge variety!

While there, my palate sampled everything from the tame to the more adventurous. A few of my favorites included the Buffalo Bleu Cheese, Cookies & Cream, and the Pumpkin Spice.

Decisions! Decisions!

The Buffalo Bleu Cheese was a blend of blue cheese & spicy cheddar. Now please understand…I relish the intense flavors of buffalo bleu cheese, but I’m a lightweight when it comes to spice. iPOP’s Buffalo Bleu Cheese incorporated all the expected flavors with a manageable nip of spice. Thoroughly enjoyed!

The Cookies & Cream had me melting. A blend of popcorn and Oreos drizzled with white chocolate. I would have snagged a gallon – or FIVE – of this flavor, but unfortunately they sold out right before I had arrived.

The Pumpkin Pie was freshly made and still warm and reminded me of pumpkin spice and fall.

iPOPLaurie and her two partners, her sister and brother-in-law, opened the gourmet popcorn business about 2 ½ years ago and shares a space with her other business, A Piece of Cake. When asked about the story behind their iPOP logo, Laurie explained that each of the 3 popcorn kernels represents each of the 3 owners. How clever is that?!?!

Laurie also generously sent several sample bags home with me to share with my daughter and family and get their impressions. Among my treasures, I brought home the White Cheddar, Peanut Butter Chocolate, Loaded Baked Potato, Caramel, Strawberry Cheesecake, and Blueberry Cheesecake.

The classic caramel with its rich buttery undertones turned out to be my favorite, while my youngest brother decimated the sweet Strawberry Cheesecake and took the fruity Blueberry Cheesecake home as his birthday present. It didn’t take long for my daughter to devour the Peanut Butter Chocolate, popcorn drizzled with chocolate and mixed with crunchy peanut butter.

Party Favors

Party Favors

Are you salivating yet? Flavors are available in sizes from 4 cups to gallons. Select a flavor or mix and make your own. Order in advance for your party or soiree. And let’s talk unique! Party favors, giveaways, and customer and employee appreciation gifts.

Next time I visit, I’m hoping to try the Caramel Espresso Crunch and snag some of the Cookies & Cream to go.

Ready to POP over and visit? You can locate iPOP Gourmet Popcorn at 11284 W Hillsborough Ave, Tampa, FL 33635. Phone: 888-241-0890. Be sure to tell them ShoutOUT sent you!

Many thanks to iPOP Gourmet Popcorn and Laurie Cinelli for inviting ShoutOUT to their store!

*****

BONUS! iPOP Gourmet Popcorn is offering ShoutOUT readers a giveaway! Enter to win one of the two gallons of special blend gourmet popcorn – 1 gallon of the Pumpkin Pie and 1 gallon of the Maple Bacon will be awarded – 2 winners.

To enter the giveaway, first visit iPOP’s website https://ipopgourmetpopcorn.com/pages/shop-by-flavor and then comment below which flavor you would love to try.  Winners will be randomly selected. Open to Tampa Bay residents only and giveaway ends Sunday, 10/2/2016.

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About ShoutOUT

In 2009, I started sharing my experiences, food, travels, and events, along with all of the incredible people and businesses I was meeting and discovering. What began as a fun hobby had such an overwhelming response, ShoutOUT was born! I continue to stretch the boundaries locally, regionally, and nationally, discovering, sharing and connecting as I go.
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