In downtown Kirkwood, Missouri, a new shop offers more than a dozen different types of sweet and savory popcorn, including a selection of rotating flavors that are generated by customer suggestions. Kirkwood Pop Co. debuted in November, featuring gourmet popcorn, with a specialization in fundraising.

The concept comes from 24-year-old first-time business owner Anna Carr and family friend Richard Daniels, who also owns Amigos Cantina. Carr graduated from the University of Missouri - Columbia two years ago, where she studied hospitality management, with a minor in marketing.

“When Rich mentioned that he bought this building and wanted to get something started here, my dad knew I’d be great for this,” Carr says. “My dad owns One 19 North Tapas and Wine Bar, my uncle owns Mike Duffy’s Pub & Grill and another uncle owns 4 Hands Brewing Co. It’s in the family.”

“I grew up right up the street,” she adds. “I went to Mizzou and came back just to live a few blocks away from here. Kirkwood raised me and now I want to help raise Kirkwood to what it could be. Everyone is just so great here.”

The storefront previously housed a shoe store, retaining its shelves for displays and repurposing leftover wood for the shop’s countertop. The contemporary, clean space features refinished floors, brick walls and art by Carr’s elementary school art teacher Laura Genovese.

In the kitchen, Carr works with Gold Medal equipment and supplies to create her treats. Flavors range from standards including butter, caramel and Cheddar to more off-the-wall options such as a visitor-suggested Bomb Pop flavor with blueberry, cherry and vanilla-flavored corn.

“A kid also suggested cookies and cream and later saw it on the shelves. That element makes it so exciting,” Carr says.

Pink vanilla is another highlight that Carr says tastes like Lucky Charms marshmallows, and her personal favorite is chocolate-covered chocolate. Savory options include rotating options like spicy barbecue as well as sour cream and chive.

Popcorn is available in a variety of sizes including small (four cups) and large (10 to 12 cups). Mini bags, five-gallon bags and various sizes of customizable tins are also available for special events and orders. Free samples are always available of all the popcorn options on hand. The shop also offers spice blends such as churro and sea salt and black pepper.

Carr is constantly looking for ways to help with local fundraising, whether it be door-to-door sales for youth groups or profit share days where a percentage of daily sales benefit charities. Organizations she has worked with include TinySuperheroes and Stray Rescue of St. Louis.

“I’m most excited about people experiencing Kirkwood Pop Co., being part of it and giving back,” Carr says. “We’re all about bringing people together in the community to help serve others.”

Kirkwood Pop Co. is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11am to 6pm.

Kirkwood Pop Co. , 108 N. Kirkwood Road, Kirkwood, Missouri, 314.287.6331, kirkwoodpopco.com

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