Treat stores popping up
Kettle corn, popcorn stores to compete in area

By Katherine Michalets - Freeman Staff

April 30, 2015

Bags of kettle corn at Pop's Kettle Corn in Pewaukee.  
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

PEWAUKEE - Popcorn has gone from a simple, healthy at-home snack to a gourmet treat created and offered by a growing number of area businesses, including Richard and Terri Knudsen of Pop’s Kettle Corn.

About a week ago, the Knudsens opened a second location at 161 W. Wisconsin Ave. in downtown Pewaukee. They had first found success by making kettle corn with real products, such as butter. In 2009, Pop’s Kettle Corn could be found for sale at Maxwell Street Days in Mukwonago, weddings and birthday parties. The couple then decided to open its first location in Waterford near Wind Lake.

Although the Knudsens weren’t looking to open a second location, the opportunity on Pewaukee Lake presented itself.

“We felt it was the right time to do it,” Terri Knudsen said.

Bags of kettle corn at Pop's Kettle Corn in Pewaukee.  
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

The kettle corn is made at the Waterford location and has expanded to include homemade caramel corn, popcorn with cheese and others. In the Pewaukee store, items such as pretzels, frozen lemonade, brats, hot dogs and nachos will be sold. Pop’s Kettle Corn also makes Fudge Puppies, made with waffles on a stick that are dunked into hot fudge and then topped with items such as M&Ms, whipped cream and sprinkles.

Pop’s Kettle Corn will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, with longer hours during the summer.

Getting ready to open by early May is Sunset Popcorn, which will offer popcorn in different flavors, such as caramel corn, cherry and cheese.

Pop's Kettle Corn in Pewaukee has snacks and candy as well as kettle corn and other flavors of popcorn.  
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

Owner Connie Isenhart said her son, Charles, will manage and run the shop at 446A Sunset Drive. The family was busy preparing the store Tuesday to make the gourmet popcorn, Slushies and other treats.

“I have wanted to have one for a long time,” Connie Isenhart said of a popcorn store. “I love popcorn and I thought this would be a great thing to do.”

In addition to selling the popcorn at the store, Isenhart said they will also make commercial deliveries.

Sunset Popcorn will be open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. or 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

When asked why popcorn is so popular, Isenhart said it’s healthful and gluten free.

Pop's Kettle Corn and More in Pewaukee.  
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

Other area popcorn stores have seen some changes recently. Poppin’ on Broadway, 260 W. Broadway, in Waukesha, is under the new ownership of John Roots, who plans to take the store known for its tasty popcorn and add flavors of the month, such as cheddar beer pretzel.

Treat Street Popcorn recently relocated to the historical Village of Brookfield area from downtown Pewaukee and will be focusing more on growing its popcorn sales versus the concession-type foods it also sold in Pewaukee. The store will open Friday at 18720 Pleasant St.

Another popcorn store, Poparazzi, has a sign on the window on Main Street in Waukesha, but has not opened yet.