I love popcorn and until I stopped by What’s Poppin Albany, I didn’t realize that what we were missing in the Capital Region was gourmet popcorn and I’m glad I had a chance to give it a try!
In 2016, O’Toole’s Restaurant & Pub in Colonie bought the space next to their restaurant where Hobby Lobby had been. Ideally, their thought was to utilize that space for a private party room and then any extra would become a retail space. They wanted to use the space the best way they could and realized that to find the best popcorn places, they had to go all the way to Chicago and thought, why couldn’t we have gourmet popcorn like that here in the Capital Region? What’s Poppin Albany opened up May 2018 with the goal, “to provide the best quality popcorn at prices affordable to all.”
They didn’t stop with just making gourmet popcorn, they have gift packs and flavor mixes, and “Moo-vee” style popcorn that could go up against any theatre you’ve been to. Every week, you’ll be able to find their famous Moo-vee popcorn, caramel, cheddar, and cheddar-hot but there are so many other flavor options and they’re always thinking of the next big hit. For example, for this Fourth of July holiday, you can get Bomb Pop flavored popcorn with cherry, blue raspberry, and light citrus kettle.
I got a chance to pop by What’s Poppin Albany a couple of weeks ago and was so impressed with the flavor they have in that small space! I got to take home a few flavors and they were so delicious, they didn’t last long.
First, I got to try the “Albany” flavor which is a mix of caramel and cheddar. Sounds strange, I know, but I was hooked. That salty sweet combo is so delicious, glad it’s named after us! My next flavor was Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel. Chocolate popcorn, a bit of salt, and then chunks of peanut butter- it was fresh, it was crunchy, and it was the bag we finished the quickest. Third, we had the Upstate Mix with hot cheddar and caramel and I couldn’t believe that with each flavor they got better and better.
What makes this popcorn different is that they’re making each flavor by hand. They are pre-mixed kernels, this is different. I got to watch the process of how they made the cheddar and they add each ingredient separately and then mix it together in-house. Even the brief time I was there, they were talking about future flavors they wanted to give a try. I don’t think there’s any flavor off-limits and I’m excited to see what the next one will be!
(I’m also in love with their new custom What’s Poppin Albany tins that just came in:)
*NOTE: I was not paid for my review but I was given free product so that I could write about it