If you’re looking for something unexpected to serve at your wedding — forget the Jordan almonds and chocolate fountains — we’ve got the treat for you. Coastal Maine Popcorn has made a name for itself crafting delectable popcorn at its stores in Boothbay and Portland, transforming humble kernels into kicked up snacks with flavors like Parmesan garlic and chocolate caramel with sea salt.
Meet Julie Roberts, who owns Coastal Maine Popcorn with her husband, Paul.
Tell us about how your company was founded.
CMP: We started our company in February 2007. There used to be a popcorn store in Boothbay Harbor. I worked there for 3 summers about 23 years ago when I was in high school. They had been out of business for several years when I explained the idea to my husband Paul… He thought I might be crazy. Here we are!
What makes your popcorn special?
CMP: Our popcorn is special first of all because it is air-popped. It is much more expensive and time-consuming to do it this way but you get a healthier, crunchier snack. Air popping also allows us a longer shelf life for wholesale and special events. Each flavor is made by hand one batch at a time.
What are the most popular flavors? The most adventurous? Ideal pairings?
CMP: Our most popular flavor since day one has been Salt & Vinegar, followed closely by Maine Maple. One of our most unique flavors would be Black Licorice, and also Key Lime Pie and Apple Pie a la Mode (Apple Pie covered in white chocolate). We have lots of ideal pairings: Buffalo Wing and Blue Cheese, Maine Maple and Cinnamon Toast (tastes like French toast), Rosemary combined with Maine Maple taste exactly like breakfast sausage, and Cotton Candy with Marshmallow is a favorite with the kids!
How have you seen couples incorporate your popcorn into their wedding?
CMP: We have done loads of weddings in the last couple of years. Couples like to add our popcorn to welcome bags or use them as favors. Our special “event size” bags with a custom label are great at the table or in baskets so guests can choose their own bag. Couples also have “popcorn bars” in which the popcorn is displayed in oversized mason jars and the guests can serve themselves.
Have you had any couples attend a sampling like they would for a wedding cake?
CMP: Couples certainly sample our popcorn the same way they do cake. A lot of our couples have been fans of our popcorn for some time already. The ones who haven’t make a point to come in and spend some time sampling.
If couples can’t visit one of your locations, how can they arrange to serve your popcorn at their event?
CMP: If a couple isn’t able to get to one of our stores in Boothbay Harbor or the Old Port in Portland, we can certainly ship to anywhere they would like. We have even done business through our Facebook page. We do lots of shipping and a fair amount of our weddings have been out of state. We can always make it work!
Tell us about a memorable wedding at French’s Point that incorporated your popcorn.
CMP: Our most memorable wedding at French’s Point would have to be Gita Pullapilly and Aron Gaudet. [The couple directed and produced a documentary, “The Way We Get By,” about the now-famous troop greeters at Bangor International Airport. Their wedding, made possible by donations from area vendors, was featured in the New York Times.] There was a “movie night” theme for the rehearsal dinner complete with a popcorn bar.
What else would you like couples to know about Coastal Maine Popcorn?
CMP: Customer service and excellent quality are more important to us than anything. We love to go above and beyond to make someone’s popcorn experience something they will remember and share with their friends!