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Local business pops up near campus

Pop-Ups Gourmet Popcorn is a new popcorn shop located at 1212 W. Bradley Avenue.
Photo by Maddie Gehling

A new gourmet popcorn shop has opened on W. Bradley Avenue, just down the street from University Hall. Pop-Ups Gourmet Popcorn will serve its popcorn treats to Bradley students and Peoria locals alike.

Pop-Ups was recently created by Jody Summers, who has been making and selling popcorn in the Peoria area for 10 years.

“I’ve been doing gourmet popcorn at fairs and festivals,” Summers said. “But I got tired of loading a truck up every weekend and setting up and moving. I’ve always wanted my own place, and I finally found the right one I think.”

Among its 50 popcorn flavors, Pop-Ups sells classic flavors like cheese and caramel. But Summers said he is also excited to share some of his more uncommon creations.

“We have a flavor called ‘Pub Corn’ – a mixture of buffalo and ranch; it’s got a nice bite to it, but it’s very smooth,” he said. “Our bacon cheddar is a top-seller … We’re going to make a new one called ‘Be Brave’ with ghost pepper. So it’ll be pretty hot, if you’re brave enough to try it.”

Summers said starting a local business is a tough thing to do right now, but persistence is getting him through.

“Now business is very slow, so you have to just keep telling yourself it’s going to pick up and be positive,” Summers said. “Lots of times, I’m there 14 hours a day. It’s time consuming but rewarding, so you have to be positive and tell yourself it’s a rewarding adventure.”

Situating Pop-Ups so close to campus was a driving factor for Summers when he was picking out a location.

“Knowing we’re right across from campus, by Bacci’s and St. Mark’s school … there’s a very captive audience at that location. We’re definitely looking forward to the university business,” Summers said.

Pop-Ups is located at 1212 W. Bradley Ave. Starting next week, the store will be open from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. and open Wednesday through Saturday from noon to 10 p.m.

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