GARY, Ind. -- "We put the gourmet in gourmet popcorn."
Owner and operator of Popcorn World, LeBarron Burton, is not shy about using his diverse palate to come up with more than 250+ unique (and wild) flavors of gourmet popcorn. You already know caramel and cheese popcorn, but what about crab flavored popcorn? Or pizza and steak flavored? Well, LeBarron's motto is: if it's out there, he'll come up with a popcorn flavor for it.
Popcorn World, which has its flagship location in Gary, Indiana, began as Popcorn Haven in 2008. Two of LeBarron's childhood friends launched the business when they needed a change in career.
In 2013, LeBarron, who was working as an I.T. consultant at the time, got a call from them to join the popcorn business. After joining, LeBarron helped them relaunch as Popcorn World and doubled down on branding to go national.
A few years later his friends decided to sell LeBarron the business and in 2019 he officially opened the Gary storefront location. Since then, Popcorn World has had massive success!
Being unofficially dubbed "The Disney World of Popcorn," Popcorn World and its crazy popcorn flavors caught the attention of multiple online celebrities, including Casey Neistat, All Def Digital and more. LeBarron even says after being featured by All Def Digital, they did more than $60,000 in sales in one day!
Some of Popcorn World's flavors include classics like caramel, cheese and cheese coated caramel. Then they have sweet concoctions such as key lime pie, Oreo cheesecake, banana pudding, Twix, Butterfinger, and Lucky Charms. And then, you get the savory flavors like crab, steak, loaded baked potato, pizza and one LeBarron is working on now, collard greens.
But the common statement from his customers is that the flavors actually taste like the real flavors.
"I love all the crazy flavors. I try something new every time" said one customer. LeBarron's secret is that he uses fresh ingredients in his seasonings. If it's Twix flavored, he's using actual Twix candy bars. If it's crab flavored, he's using actual seasonings. He loves being challenged by his customers to come up with new flavors and add to Popcorn Worlds growing list.
LeBarron says he owes much of his success to the constant support of his family. His wife Nina Burton, his five kids and aunt all work in the store to help deliver quality popcorn to the Gary area.
The business is even supported by franchisees across the nation with storefront locations in areas such as Long Beach, California and Las Vegas.
LeBarron is grateful for the success and widespread reception of Popcorn World, and that he can share that success with Gary, Indiana, which has a predominantly Black population.
"We support and feed the boys and girls basketball team in our school district, give back to the community through food drives and outreach programs and do so much more," LeBarron said. "That's what being a business in the community is all about. You're helping to support the community."
You can try over 250+ flavors of gourmet popcorn by visiting Popcorn World's website at https://doingtheworldaflavor.com/.