Those who thought the legendary Watertown snack shop Popcorn N More a community fixture that started out as the KarmelKorn Shop in the 1940s was dead are in for a surprise loaded with flavors.
It turns out the shop at 118 Court St. wasnt closing for good in December 2011. When couple Jeff D. Osbourne and Jaime L. Ocean noticed it was for sale, they purchased it in May, renovated the space and added about 30 flavors to its menu. In addition to the Court Street location, which will open Monday, the couple launched a location last week at the Salmon Run Mall in the former Borders Cafe spot near Sears.
Customers who visit the mall store can sample a range of 42 homemade popcorn flavors from the classic caramel recipe to zany favorites such as green apple, jalapeno cheese, tomato soup with grilled cheese and peanut butter drizzle. The 3,000-square-foot store also sells a range of merchandise supplied by local businesses, including childrens books and toys, jewelry, homemade jams and windcatchers.
The mall stores menu will feature homemade pastries, muffins, bread and sandwiches. At the downtown location, Popcorn N More will share space with a small eatery, the Wedge, which will offer sandwiches and artisan-style pizza.
One of their main goals in reviving the shop, the couple said, was making sure their recipes matched the originals as closely as possible. To decide on the right recipe for the caramel popcorn, for example, they prepared six samples and conducted a survey among longtime customers whove been stopping by since their youth.
We hear stories from people every day about when they used to visit Popcorn N More as kids, Ms. Ocean said. Theyll say they remember when they were small and their parents used to drop them off at the store and pick them up in the back.
The couple, who met in Las Vegas in 2004, moved to Watertown in 2009 when Mr. Osbourne landed a position as a construction consultant.
Both have extensive backgrounds in the restaurant industry, as Mr. Osbourne has managed four small restaurants and a bakery, while Nevada native Ms. Ocean has worked at a broad swath of restaurants during her career. They said theyre excited to be breaking new ground as entrepreneurs together.
The solarium dining space at the mall store is envisioned as an ideal spot for people to socialize with snacks and coffee or read a book.
Its a quiet space, unlike the food court, Mr. Osbourne said. And people can bring their lunches here.
Thirteen employees have been hired to staff the locations, Mr. Osbourne said, with the prospect of hiring five more.
The mall location will be open during regular mall hours while the Court Street location will be open from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, call Popcorn N More at 782-3056.