GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A new food option is coming to Grand Rapids’ Wealthy Street corridor.
Popnotch Goods will take over the storefront at 746 Wealthy St. SE, just west of Eastern Avenue. The site was previously home to Root Functional Medicine, which moved and opened a new store on Cherry Street SE last month.
Owner Patrick Avila says Popnotch Goods will mainly focus on gourmet popcorn made daily on site. Avila told News 8 he was inspired by a business in a small Illinois town he visits while deer hunting. The owner makes and brands her own popcorn.
“I think this could do pretty well in a town bigger than 3,000 people,” Avila said.
Avila said the Illinois shop owner helped him with the popcorn basics, which he took a step further “to really give it a gourmet touch.”
Avila expects to offer 10 to 12 varieties of popcorn, including chocolate drizzle, caramel, a caramel and cheddar Chicago mix, dill pickle, classic movie theater, kettle corn with dark chocolate, white chocolate and raspberries, and kettle corn with milk and dark chocolate. He said he’s working with a food scientist from a popcorn company to hone the flavors.
Popnotch Goods will also serve up traditional flavors of ice cream and some nondairy ice cream options. Avila says he’s also trying to connect with a company that offers flavored pepitas, which are keto diet friendly.
Avila is from California but came to Grand Rapids in 2013 to attend Calvin University. When he was furloughed from his previous job during the pandemic, Avila said it got him thinking about job security.
“I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit,” he said.
Avila says an outside investor teamed up with him in August to buy the Wealthy Street retail space. He’s now working with contractor Metric Structures to help design, develop and build out the existing space.
“I’m very excited. I feel like it’s something I’ve always dreamed of doing and having the opportunity to do it now is very exciting. There’s a lot of questions going through my head like economic inflation … but I feel like as a business owner, everything is unknown. I’m just excited to move forward,” Avila said.
The future store is about 3 miles away from where Avila lives. His wife, a graphic designer who created Popnotch Goods’ logo, packaging and the store’s interior design, also works at an office on Wealthy Street.
“You really need a lot of foot traffic for popcorn,”Avila said. “Wealthy Street is kind of the name around town where everybody kind of goes and gets food and shops around. That was kind of the only place that I thought this could take off. People will already be there and I think it’ll be a fun treat to walk around with.”
Popnotch Goods will feature an open kitchen concept so visitors can watch the popcorn making process. The shop is expected to have seating for about 10 people, including a window bench. The space will also showcase a traditional popcorn cart Avila bought from a grocery store in Mount Pleasant.
“It’s definitely just a fun little piece and it’s operational,” he said.
Avila says he had no idea what was coming when he started pursuing this popcorn shop concept about a year ago.
“Talking with other business owners, there’s really a never a good time to start a business. You’ve just got to start it and go for it,” he said. “I wish things were different but, hey, we‘re going to operate in the climate we’re given.”
Avila is hopeful he will obtain the necessary permits in the next couple weeks to begin construction. If all goes well, Popnotch Goods would open in June. Avila plans to post progress updates on Popnotch Goods’ Instagram page.
Avila expects Popnotch Goods to be open Tuesday through Saturday. He plans to capitalize on after dinner cravings with tentative business hours of 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.