When the folks at Baker’s Loaf decided to get into the gourmet popcorn business last year, they hoped it might be a boost to their seasonal sales.
It has done that and more, with staff now spending much of the day popping and topping popcorn with flavors such as chocolate peanut butter, white cheddar jalapeno and chocolate covered cherry, Baker’s Loaf manager Maigin Boring said.
And this week, they’ve added The Galleria to the mix.
The cafe’s owners have opened a first-floor location in the mall that carries both the Baker’s Loaf and Johnstown Pops names.
“The popcorn side of the business is really taking off ... and we’re really excited about it,” Boring said. The Galleria location gives Baker’s Loaf a new opportunity to introduce themselves to the area, she said.
The new location offers specialty coffees, teas and a variety of baked goods, including pastries, cookies – and new items like cannoli, Boring said.
For now, the shop is only offering soup and sandwiches at its original Franklin Street location.
But the Galleria shop will offer pastries, Boar’s Head meats and cheeses and holiday hams, as well as party baskets that can be ordered for delivery or pickup, she said.
The same goes for their specialty popcorn, which comes in more than 20 flavors, Boring said.
“Gourmet popcorn has been such a huge success for us,” Boring said. “We’re pretty much popping it eight hours a day, five days a week, and sometimes Saturdays to keep up with demand. And this is another way to get our popcorn out there.”
They’ve been busy creating large orders for weddings and other special events, she said.
“We had a black-and-blue popcorn for Greater Johnstown School District,” Boring said. “We’ve even had popcorn for Thunder in the Valley.”
Baker’s Loaf owner Chris Martella said most of the popcorn is being made fresh throughout the day at the
1073 Franklin St. location, which opened in 1996.
Three Baker’s Loaf employees are now dedicated to the popcorn business, Martella said, while a staff of 12 are working at the new Galleria location.
Martella said the group hopes to keep the store open year-round if business is good.
For more information, visit www.bakersloaf.net.
David Hurst covers Richland Township for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter @tddavidhurst.