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Plenty of Popcorn Prizes

Cover Story

January 16, 2022

Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO

Owner Andrea Tournis-Vagenas poses with a variety of Island Popper’s offerings.

With National Popcorn Day popping up on Wednesday, Jan. 19, Island Popper Gourmet Popcorn is celebrating with an array of flavorful in-shop specials and promotions.

Take a guess at how many popcorn kernels are in the jar, and the customer who is closest to the actual total will win a premium gift set including three extra-large bags of Island Popper popcorn, a Hawaii Theater Bundle (including a one-year year membership, two tickets to Tarzan and the winner’s name in lights!), a $25 Netflix gift card, and some “adorable gems” from Eden in Love (including a cooler bag, four coasters and two mouse pads).

Popcorn chef Matthew Gadziola pours freshly crafted original furikake gourmet popcorn out of the caramelizer.

“Seriously, you’ve gotta get in on this raffle,” says Island Popper owner Andrea Tournis-Vagenas.“Just stop by the shop to make your guess.We are located at 1549 Colburn St. in Kalihi, right behind the Dillingham O’Reilly Auto Parts. We have plenty of free parking right in front of the shop, and you can look for the big red ‘Popcorn’ flag.”

The Island Popper crew has also crafted a brand-new featured flavor in honor of National Popcorn Day:

Lemon Peel Li Hing Crunch. This delicious new popcorn variety features a thin, salty sweet shell with the lemon peel and li hing stuck to it. Island Popper is also offering a promotion for one free single-flavor cup of popcorn with any purchase of $10 or more (one per customer per visit).

Kitchen manager/head chef Nelson Gaspar separates the finished product by hand.

When Tournis-Vagenas and her husband moved to Hawaii from Chicago a decade ago, a kernel of the Windy City was missing. Tournis-Vagenas was craving Garrett’s Popcorn, hand-crafted Chicago-style popcorn that is famous for its caramel and cheese mix.The blend of tangy cheese and rich caramel popcorn and its familiar sweet aroma inspired Island Popper, which celebrated its second anniversary at the brick-and-mortar location last fall.

Island Popper continues to offer special savings, including three large bags for just $23, and customers may mix and match with single-flavor bags or mixes, as well as add kakimochi for $1 per bag.

Three extra-large bags may be purchased for only $46, and all single flavors and mixes are included in this popular special — and guests may add kakimochi for $2 per bag. Island Popper’s cups are also on special: four for $10, and just 25 cents more for kakimochi, per cup.

Customers may view the menu and order online for in-store or curbside pickup via islandpopper.net, which makes getting one’s popcorn fix simple, as orders can be placed months in advance. At island-popper.com, orders can be placed for shipping directly to customers.

“We are so excited for 2022! We feel so blessed to have not only survived this pandemic, but to have grown,” Tournis-Vagenas says. “Our customers truly are the best, and make my day every day. This year, we look forward to serving more aloha and popcorn. We have some fun new flavors in the test kitchen, including a Vegan Ranch and Vegan Cheezy BBQ.

“We had our best holiday season ever, and are incredibly grateful for our amazing customers. Without you coming in again and again, and sharing our popcorn with your friends and family — and, of course, enjoying it yourself — we wouldn’t be here. We have a whole new crop of customers after Christmas who come in and say, ‘Somebody gave me this, and I need more!’”

Follow Island Popper on Instagram (@islandpopper) and join the mailing list to find out about the latest featured flavors that rotate weekly.

Also, text “POPCORN8” to 578-277 to be informed about what’s popping!

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