Snack firm loves corny pop culture

Visit Doc Popcorn and you might meet Rob “Big Pop” Israel and Renee “Mama Pop” Israel, the husband-and-wife co-founders who started blending and popping their naturally flavored popcorn in the kitchen of their New York City apartment in 2003. Then there’s Rob “Poperator” Woodfield, the director of operations.

You’ll probably hear about “pop-rietors,” what the company calls its franchise owners, and the “Pop-It-Forward” program, in which retail locations are encouraged to give away a fresh-popped bag of Doc Popcorn each week to someone in need.

The popcorn puns seemingly are endless at the Boulder-based company, which just opened its 70th location since starting its franchise program in 2009.

A franchise group opened a kiosk at The Galleria at White Plains Mall in White Plains, New York, and has expansion plans to open nine additional units throughout the East Coast.

Doc Popcorn offers fresh-popped, all-natural flavored popcorn. It pops its whole-grain non-GMO kernels in 100 percent corn oil and offers a wide variety of distinctive flavors such as “sinfully cinnamon” and “hoppin’ jalapeno” made from blends of natural ingredients. Franchise models include the PopShop, PopKiosk and Mobile PopCart.

As most retailers were feeling the strain of the recession, Doc Popcorn experienced steady growth. The brand signed more than 80 franchise agreements in 30 states and the District of Columbia which, when fully developed, will represent more than 300 locations.

From 2009 to 2012, the company’s cumulative growth will be 5,341 percent, according to chief executive Rob Israel.

“Our growth is more than a hot streak. It has become a solid trend,” Israel said. “We’ve had several back-to-back banner years, which show that both consumers and franchisees are caring more and more about the quality of product they eat and represent.”

It’s a success story that’s hardly a pop secret.

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