Tidbit: Quinn Popcorn

Popcorn lovers Kristy and Coulter Lewis kept waiting and waiting for a decent popcorn — one without hydrogenated oils, additives, and preservatives — to appear on grocery store shelves. All they wanted was something they could feel good about eating. When no such popcorn appeared, they decided to take matters into their own hands. The day after they brought their newborn son Quinn home, they turned their Arlington attic into a home office and opened a Kickstarter page. On September 1, the first bags of Quinn Popcorn will hit the market.

“[Popcorn makers] can say natural flavors, but that doesn’t mean a one-hundred percent natural product,” says Kristy. “It’s important that I create a pure product that I feel comfortable giving to my son and friends and family.”

Pure to Kristy means five ingredients or less and a popcorn that “tasted like you were making it at your own house.” And to stay true to their mission, Kristy’s been extremely picky about where those ingredients come from: non-GMO kernels from a family farm in Nebraska, organic dried rosemary, and aged Parmesan.

The bags were just as important to the fledgling business as the ingredients, which is why the kernels are packaged separately from the oil and seasoning packets in compostable bags without the plastics and Teflon patches found in the typical microwave bag. Free from chemicals, the kernels pop with a slightly nutty flavor and can be seasoned to taste.

Kickstarter gave them the support they needed (supplied by friends, family, and a whole entrepreneurial food-start up community) to roll on production of their first three flavors: Vermont maple and sea salt, lemon and sea salt, and Parmesan and rosemary. Kristy promises more to come once they sign a lease in a larger space – a feat they might just be able to pull off thanks to those Kickstarter donations.

In the meantime, they have a lot of handwritten thank you notes, T-shirts, and boxes of popcorn to send before Quinn Popcorn hits the Amazon marketplace and local Whole Foods and specialty stores in September. Hannah Sawyer

Quinn Popcorn, quinnpopcorn.com.