Oregon, IL – New popcorn business could lead to theater re-opening in Oregon

posted by ThrHistoricalSociety on October 27, 2016 at 6:58 am

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From The Ogle County Life: Ryan Hopper knows popcorn.

Hopper, who recently opened Hopper’s Poppers in Oregon, said his family has been in the movie theater and popcorn business for decades. And he brought his successful popcorn formulas from Sycamore to Oregon to give locals a taste.

And judging by opening day – Sept. 31 – he has another hit on his hands.

“We had a line out the door waiting for us to open,” he said. “The building inspector was still in here inspecting.”

That opening weekend – the weekend of Autumn on Parade – Hopper said they went through 150 pounds of popcorn.

“Our supplier was surprised,” he said. “I was surprised.”

Hopper has not only opened a new business in Oregon – selling popcorn, candy and other treats – he has purchased the building at 104 N. 4th St., which is next to the closed movie theater that currently houses an appliance repair shop, moved his family to town and is looking at the possibility of renovating and opening the theater. (see sidebar story).

“I really see Oregon as being one of those up-and-coming towns,” he said “That is one of the reasons why we chose to move to Oregon.”

Hopper started his business in Sycamore in 2012. His family has owned the Sycamore State Theater since 2000, and he started his business selling popcorn at the theater. From there he started selling at area farmer’s markets and business boomed.

“It got so popular, I had to upgrade all of my equipment there, to larger equipment,” he said.

Hopper said the secret to his success is how he makes and keeps his product.

“We use high quality food,” he said. “We use coconut oil for our oil. I made my own recipe for the popcorn, so it’s not just generic run of the mill popcorn.”

And once the popcorn is ready, it is held in crispers to keep it fresh. He said it won’t dry out and it won’t get too soft.

And then there are the flavors. There are nine flavors on hand, but different flavors come in and out of the menu all the time. Hopper said he will always have cheddar, carmel, chocolate and cake popcorn. There is also kettle corn and a wide variety of cheese popcorn.

The best seller?

“Carmel is always the best, by far,” he said. “Everyone comes in to try the cake, though. Not everyone has cake popcorn.”

To keep up on what is available, follow Hopper’s Poppers on Facebook.

Story link: http://www.oglecountylife.com/v2_news_articles.php?heading=0&page=72&story_id=4432

ABOUT THEATRE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA: Founded by Ben Hall in 1969, the Theatre Historical Society of America (THS) celebrates, documents and promotes the architectural, cultural and social relevance of America’s historic theatres. Through its preservation of the collections in the American Theatre Architecture Archive, its signature publication Marquee™ and Conclave Theatre Tour, THS increases awareness, appreciation and scholarly study of America’s theatres.

Learn more about historic theatres in the THS American Theatre Architecture Archives and on our website at historictheatres.org

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