Popcorn: Not Just for Flicks

By Laura Dildine (Email Laura at: lmd3517@live.esu.edu)
SC Editor-in-Chief

Tubs of freshly popped and seasoned popcorn awaits. Photo Credit / Cassandra Stephen

College students are used to going out to the bar, but what about going out for popcorn? In a new store, located only a few miles from campus, Craig Campeotto and Tanya DeMaria offer over 60 different varieties of popcorn—and the popcorn is delicious. Walking into the store, shoppers can view popcorn being made, if they are lucky to arrive at the right time, or head into the bright, yellow painted room to try some popcorn.
Often, Craig or Tanya will be standing behind the counter, ready to offer samples. “We want people to feel welcome here,” Tanya says. Shoppers are more than welcome to try all the flavors on the menu; although they don’t recommend it. Their goal is to enlighten customers to the flavor possibilities of popcorn—hence the name Popcorn Buddha.

Craig got the idea for the store while watching the Food Channel’s Kid in a Candy Store when he saw a gourmet popcorn store and thought, “I can do this.” Within a half hour, he had Tanya on the phone, and the two of them were hooked on the idea. Soon enough, the two, who had been unemployed, went all in to get this business started.

They opened up in October of 2011, and through word of mouth, they have been gaining business ever since. As Craig said “We never have to sell you on how wonderful our popcorn is.” The popcorn speaks for itself. People have been driving to Popcorn Buddha weekly from places like Hopatcong, NJ and Pocono Summit, PA just to get more of Craig and Tanya’s popcorn.

They have 7 different sizes of popcorn, ranging from 3 cups of popcorn up to 275 cups of popcorn. Different types of popcorn have different price scales, with the butter starting at $1.00 for a mini-size bag and the chocolate varieties, being the most expensive, starting at $4.95 for a mini-size bag. They also offer tins that function great as thank-you gifts and the like, especially for corporations. In the future, Craig and Tanya hope to offer Popcorn Buddha tins that customers can buy and bring back for discounts on their popcorn “fix,” so make sure to watch out for that.

Craig and Tanya also suggested using the popcorn to cook with. Craig stated that the “final frontier with popcorn is cooking with it.”  For example, someone could use Popcorn Buddha’s Parmesan & Garlic popcorn, instead of breadcrumbs and seasoning, in meatloaf.

With over 60 varieties and new ones popping up all the time, it’s hard to know where to start! With flavors like Mountain Blackberry, Dill Pickle, and Butterfinger, besides traditional butter or caramel, there is certainly something for all palates. Favorites include Puppy Chow, which consists of rice chex, pretzels and popcorn covered in chocolate, peanut butter and powdered sugar, Cornfetti, which is comprised of all the different fruit flavored, sugar coated popcorn varieties, and caramel corn; although, Peanut Butter Chocolate is also absolutely scrumptious.

When it comes to popcorn, Popcorn Buddha certainly knows what they are doing. And once you try it, you’re sure to be enlightened about the world of popcorn. Do however try their fudge or old-fashioned soda (the pineapple one comes highly recommended).

For more information, check out www.popcornbuddhausa.com, call 570-476-Korn, or head over to the store located at 266 River Road, East Stroudsburg, next to Inti Peruvian Cuisine, during their hours of Monday-Friday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s a popcorn experience to always remember.