1. occurring or discovered by chance in a happy or beneficial way.
Serendipitous is the word I use to describe my popcorn journey. Who knew that spending half a day with my friend Jim Ford, in his store The Popcorn Bag, would lead me to the creation of Northern Neck Popcorn Bag. That was in 2016.
5 years later here we are meeting each other here in these words. In that time I have opened three locations, built an online store, helped hundreds of organizations raise money through fundraisers and made hundreds of donations to functions, events, schools and charities. Being part of the community my stores are in is part of our mission to give back to the community that helped us grow along the way.
Growing up in the Northern Neck of Virginia in Colonial Beach, I had many strong female women serve as role models in my life who were integral to where I am today.
I lived across the street from my Grandmother Millie, and spent a lot of time playing store in her pantry. She also happened to have a snowball stand during the summer on the Boardwalk in Colonial Beach, Virginia. This is where I learned very early about having your own business. Taking care of customers, making snowballs, popping popcorn, serving drinks, etc. was how I spend my summers in the 70's.
My Great Aunt, Alice Rock, owned and operated, Rock's Hotel,
also on the Boardwalk in Colonial Beach. She had a retail store in the hotel and I have many memories visiting here there as well.
Her mother, Clara Stone was the owner and operator of Stone's Lunch Room next to the hotel.
I'm often described as a serial entrepreneur. I've owner several businesses in the past and at the time I was visiting Jim, I was looking to answer my call back to entrepreneurship. Popcorn brought all the things in my life I'd done to that point together. So in October 2016, Northern Neck Popcorn Bag was born.
My husband took the leap with me and we found a space in Kilmarnock, next to another locally owned and wildly popular business, NN Burger. (My son wants me to include here that he was glad I didn't take the smaller space on the other side.) Fast forward to 2018 and I opened the location on Gloucester Main Street. My son Rob came on board after he graduated from Lynchburg College in 2018. Rob is my Operations Manager and CFO. 2019 presented an opportunity in Warsaw, Virginia, allowing us to be part of the renewal going on in that part of the Northern Neck. I do have other locations planned for the future.
Then came 2020. My business survived. My stores were closed for about 3 months. During that time I was so grateful for the incoming online orders that kept the business going. The stores reopened to the public right before Memorial Day in 2020.
Here we are in 2021 and more big changes. I relocated my production to Fredericksburg, Virginia in January and developed a process by which the finished product, still handmade, is delivered to the stores weekly. It's been quite a year so far.
I'm constantly inspired to create new flavors and opportunities for my company and am excited to see what is ahead.
My goal for you is that your visit to my store, is the highlight of your day. You'll be greeted warmly, have a great experience and enjoy some truly amazing popcorn, made by some really awesome people who help me on my journey everyday.
Thankful and grateful aren't big enough words to encompass the support I've received along the way. Thank you for supporting our small business!