Pop on inCover Story
October 16, 2022
Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: ANTHONY CONSILLIO
Just in time for Halloween, Island Popper Gourmet Popcorn is rolling out some sweet new treats for the holiday season — without any tricks.
Island Popper is offering its annual spooktacular specials with cups featuring a festive Halloween print that hold 2 1/2 cups of any flavored or mixed gourmet popcorn.
The popular Halloween-themed “Monster Munch” is back by popular demand in cups starting at $3.25. This go-to mix blends green apple caramel with M&M’s and pretzels for the ultimate sweet-and-savory flavor profile.
Island Popper owner Andrea Tournis-Vagenas explains, “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!”
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, handcrafted Chicago-style popcorn 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 just celebrated its third anniversary at its brick-and-mortar location.
Tsunami Mix (cups start at $3.25) is Island Popper’s bestseller and is crafted with original furikake, organic butter and kakimochi.
“The Tsunami Mix has people coming in with an empty bag asking for more of ‘this one!’” Tournis-Vagenas says.
Caramel is composed with a classic scratch-made recipe and serves as another Halloween favorite, as does Real Cheddar Cheese with its “festively orange, scary addictive cheddar” (cups for each start at $3 apiece).
While it isn’t available until November, customers can look forward to Pumpkin Spice Pecan Caramel that features scratch-made caramel combined with only the best pumpkin spice blend. The in-house roasted pecans continue to turn “pumpkin-spice skeptics to the dark side.”
“Stay tuned for our Pumpkin Spice Pecan Caramel making a comeback the week before and the week of Thanksgiving,” Tournis-Vagenas says. “This one is crazy good. I even know someone who eats it with whipped cream. Not a bad idea if you ask me.”
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 islandpopper.com, orders can be placed for shipping directly to customers.
“Our customers truly are the best and make my day every day,” Tournis-Vagenas says. “We look forward to serving more aloha and popcorn. 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! The adorable cups don’t end at Halloween, as we also have Christmas-printed cups for the holiday season.”
Follow Island Popper on Instagram (@islandpopper) and join its mailing list to find out about the latest featured flavors that rotate weekly. Also, text “POPCORN8” to 578-277 to stay informed about what’s popping.