How does one describe the vanilla-y marshmallow smells emanating from the mixer inside of this happy little popcorn shop? It’s so delightfully rich and delicious, you want to lick the air. Jen Kirn is definitely in her element as master chef here.
As a little girl, she recalls gazing at her family's giant country garden and learning to bake from scratch with her mother atop a yellow and green linoleum-tiled kitchen floor. She remembers her mom's pocketed kitchen smocks and hours of her patient teaching.
Originally, Jen wanted to open a bakery but soon realized the local market was already flooded with boutique shops filled with cookies, cupcakes, muffins, and bread. Two years ago, on vacation in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, she says her family found "a really cool, upbeat, and fun popcorn store. We went back and visited every day!"
The many flavors and the colorful sugared and savory delights hit them in all the right places. They were hooked. The seed was planted and began to take root.
Desiring to offer a truly mom-and-“pop” experience, the Kirn family found the perfect location on Maine Street and restored a charming historic building in Quincy, Illinois. Popp’n on Maine launched Spring, 2018.
It's said a family that works, eats, and prays together stays together, and Popp'n on Maine is truly a family affair. While Jen is the master chef and creator of all new flavors, husband Chris is the marketing maverick, as evidenced by the clever catch-phrases you’ll find on products all over the store and the brilliantly distinctive black-and-yellow logo heralding fun for all!
However, it’s not just parents who are involved in this endeavor. Being family owned and operated runs all the way down to the next generation! Wanting to equip them with real-life work skills in areas that interest them, the Kirns are teaching their kids business skills many entrepreneurs struggle to learn.
Teenaged son Griffin loves math, so Mom and Pop put him to work behind the scenes tracking inventory, checking and ordering supplies, and rendering cost analysis for products. He can be found chowing a bag of his favorite “Movie” popcorn anytime—day or night.
Jen and Chris’ youngest, Emme, heads up all social media and loves spending time popping with Mom on production days. Emme bites into her favorite “Birthday Cake” to satisfy her sweet tooth.
What flavors do Jen and Chris pop in their mouths at the end of the day? Like her son, Jen loves her “Movie” popcorn while Chris spices it up with “Cheesy Pizza”.
Store Manager Angela Van Dyke, is the newest addition to Popp’n on Maine. Make no mistake, though; she is absolutely considered family, too! Friends for almost decade, Jen and Angela have watched their kids grow up together. Rumor has it, when Chris asked Jen what she needed to help her in the store, she cried, “Hire Angela!”
Detail-oriented with years of retail experience, Angela is in charge of all catering for weddings, graduations, anniversary and birthday parties, baptism celebrations, student homeroom parties, employee or teacher appreciation events… You name it. If there’s a celebration, Angela can help determine how much to order to make your party pop!
If you would like to book an in-store event like student field trips or tours, Angela’s your girl for this, too!
To put a smile on your face, Angela goes the extra mile to please a person. She leans in to meet your every need (and even some you don’t realize you have!).
Her favorite flavor? “Maine Mix”. “I just like the sweet and salty together!”