The Butttery Life and Times of CrunchDaddy Popcorn

a less-than-serious look at 'gourmet popcorn' BY CRUNCHDADDY.COM

Posts tagged entrepreneur

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Inside the Popcorn Kitchen: Taking White Cheddar & Horseradish Crunch to the Next Level!


How many times do we hear companies tout that a certain product is “New and Improved”, only to find out that it really doesn’t taste or perform any better or any worse than it already had?

Well, dear friends… We at CrunchDaddy Popcorn are proud and excited to tell you that we’ve been hard at work to improve one of our classic, original savory flavors, White Cheddar & Horseradish Crunch.  At long last, we’ve nailed it!!

“But if it’s classic and original, why mess with it?”

The truth is that while we love cheddar cheese on our popcorn and go crazy for horseradish, we have had a terrible time sourcing horseradish that has just the right taste to make this flavor a winner on a regular basis.  Horseradish lovers crave the fiery sensation that it brings to the palate… and when blended with fine cheddar cheese it can be heavenly. 

Unfortunately, horseradish can also be terribly bitter when not processed properly.  Perhaps it has to do with the region in where it is grown, the soil, the moisture or other factors that only a horseradish expert would know.  All we know is that the taste of the horseradish that we purchase for CrunchDaddy Popcorn varies wildly.  The inconsistent quality has made it terribly difficult to produce a product with the flavor and heat that our customers demand and without the medicinal bitterness that horseradish can bring.

Frankly, it’s been maddening… to the point that we nearly discontinued the product!

Yet, we love challenges… and we don’t give up that easily! Thus, we decided to approach the flavor in an entirely different way.  Per customer demands, we knew we needed more of that classic horseradish HEAT, the kind that wakes your taste buds and makes your eyes water just a bit!!  Beyond that, we needed a more consistent quality of horseradish that was free of the bitterness that was too familiar to us. 

After some research, consultation with a horseradish expert (by luck!) and some late night experiments in the CrunchDaddy test kitchen, we’re proud to tell you that White Cheddar & Horseradish Crunch has evolved… Truly “New and Improved”, with all of the great taste and zesty spice that our customers have asked of us! This flavor is one that deserves a place at your next cocktail party!!

Crunch On!!

Filed under popcorn gourmet popcorn small biz entrepreneur

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The Joy of Fresh Cupcakes…

Oh, sweet cupcakes… How I love thee…

Now that I am a small business owner and an aspiring food specialist, I enjoy walking into a new food business and taking in the sights and smells, feeling the energy and the passion that it took to build the establishment. You can’t help but let some of that excitement rub off on you and be inspired to even greater things in your own business or dream of ways that this business can enhance your life.

Today I had the pleasure of meeting Adell Cothorne and Bill Kerlina, owners of Cooks ‘N Cakes in Ellicott City, Maryland.  Cooks ‘N Cakes specializes in cupcakes… Excellent, fresh-baked and decadently yummy cupcakes that scream, “EAT ME!”

Did I mention that the cupcakes are awesomely delicious? (I say this as I wipe the last of the marshmallow frosting from the corner of my mouth… what’s left of a “S’more Please” cupcake, pictured front/left above).

Say what you want about food fads and the recent rise in popularity of cupcakes. There’s always room in any town for a bakery that can produce fresh products like this, cupcakes that should shame the big chain grocery stores from producing the nasty stuff that they expect us to buy, adorned with rainbow sprinkles and day-glo frosting.

Pictured above are just four of the many flavors that Cooks ‘N Cakes provides:

    • front/left: S’more Please - Devils food cake and marshmallow frosting with graham cracker crumb topping
    • front/right: Banana Split - Banana cupcake with strawberry and chocolate buttercream frosting and a cherry
    • rear/left: Berry Good - Vanilla cupcake filled with strawberries, vanilla buttercream frosting and a strawberry on top
    • rear/right: Something’s Bacon - Cornmeal cupcake with bacon infused maple buttercream, garnished with bacon

I admit to thoroughly enjoying each of these cupcakes! Hats off to the chefs for creating these little delights that each have a unique character and taste to them! My favorite was the “Berry Good”… an exceptionally light vanilla cupcake with a delicate buttercream and really showed-off the baker’s skills.

Four flavors down… and how many to go? I can’t see making another trip down Rt. 40 in Ellicott City without stopping in to Cooks ‘N Cakes to try even more flavors.  If I need a quick gift or a dessert for unexpected guests, this place will be on my short list, for sure!

Cooks ‘N Cakes is located in at 9251 Baltimore National Pike (Rt. 40) in Ellicott City… In the same building as the big Starbucks.  Skip the over-priced baked goods at Starbucks and take home some cupcakes!

Filed under cupcakes ellicott city entrepreneur

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The Word of the Day…

The word of the day is "lagniappe", as it comes with every order made from CrunchDaddy Popcorn! 

We include a little something extra with each purchase, usually a sample or two of other flavors or a free upgrade to a larger size of something that you ordered (Did you think that was done by mistake? No no!)


"A lagniappe ( /ˈlænjæp/ lan-yap) is a small gift given to a customer by a merchant at the time of a purchase (such as a 13th doughnut when buying a dozen), or more broadly, ‘something given or obtained gratuitously or by way of good measure.’

The word entered English from Louisiana French, in turn derived from the American Spanish phrase la ñapa (‘something that is added’ ). Although this is an old custom, it is still widely practiced today in Louisiana. Street vendors, especially vegetable vendors, are expected to throw in a few green chillies or a small bunch of cilantro with a purchase.”

Filed under Gourmet Popcorn popcorn entrepreneur

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Where’s the Popcorn?: CrunchDaddy Popcorn Status


A most warm and festive holiday greeting to all friends, family and followers!

I am writing to announce that our website, will officially open for business at the stroke of midnight on January 1, 2012!

You’ve been hearing for months about these plans (I know, I know!), the flavors I’ve been creating, the setbacks and the obstacles that it takes to get a business like this off the ground.  Progress has been delayed by time and funding, but I believe that it has all been for a good reason and will ultimately add to my learning experience.

I knew as of a couple of months ago that I would be unable to open CrunchDaddy Popcorn in time to do justice to the potential demand of the December holidays, which is why I have scheduled the opening of the website for January 1, 2012.  I know that this is a disappointment to some, but as the calendar pages turn we have a steady flow of occasions to celebrate and I can assure you that CrunchDaddy Popcorn will be available for them.

The website launch will be for personal internet sales only.  Local (Maryland) retail availability and wholesale distribution will come sometime in the first quarter of 2012.  For now, my focus is on completing work on the website, which includes adding all of the products, images, descriptions, shipping options, site security, payment options, FAQ’s, and on and on and on!  A photo shoot of the products is being conducted this weekend by a very talented young photographer who I am eager to introduce you to.  Orders are being placed for the necessary ingredients, as well as equipment like bag sealers, a trade scale and shipping supplies.  For example, yesterday I received a shipment of 25 lbs of sesame seeds and 11 lbs of candied ginger!  Upcoming deliveries include 50 (more) lbs of popcorn, 50 lbs of peanuts, 25 lbs of butter (at least), 35 lbs of canola oil, plus cinnamon, chocolate, gallons of corn syrup and honey and so forth!  It’s getting crazy!

Am I ready?  Well, no… So I have a very busy few weeks ahead of me! I’m in that mode where I need nearly every waking hour outside of work to be doing something that will help me to meet my January 1st goal.  I know it can be accomplished, so I’m pressing ahead!

Lastly, I want all of you to know that your support, interest and encouragement has meant a great deal to me. This is my first shot at opening a business of my own, so it’s exciting, gut-wrenching at times but something that I truly believe is worth pursuing.  I’m looking forward to lighting this candle on New Year’s Eve at midnight… as people around the world raise a glass and celebrate with me!!  (ok, maaaaaybe not!!)

All the Best, 


Filed under gourmet popcorn popcorn entrepreneur foodie startup

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Flavor ideas… Stay out of my head!!

New popcorn flavor ideas are such a distraction to me. They rattle around in the back of my skull and taunt me until I get in the kitchen and see what becomes of them.

I’ve been apologetically teasing about a few new flavors that have evolved while I’m getting other aspects of this business together. Last night, however, I tried my first batch of a new flavor that I’m eager to tell you about… and based on the overwhelming reactions from my “Secret Taste Panel” at work, I think I have a winner!

CrunchDaddy’s “Honey & Cinnamon Crunch” is born! I made a non-traditional honey caramel popcorn, golden yellow in color… and dusted it gently with premium cinnamon. The comments that I heard this morning from people that shared this first batch have made my week!

One co-worker wrote:

"This is delicious popcorn, Dan. Really a remarkable recipe and execution. Better with every bite." - Bill (not a chef, but a fan of eating)

I can’t wait for you to try it! You’ll have the opportunity soon enough!

Filed under popcorn gourmet popcorn honey cinnamon entrepreneur