FREEPORT — Paul and Julie Roberts’ unique business will soon be popping up in Freeport.
Coastal Maine Popcorn, which also has gourmet popcorn stores in Boothbay Harbor, Portland, and Rockland, is coming next month to 114 Main St., in the building previously occupied by Amato’s.
“We kind of always wanted to come to Freeport,” Julie Roberts said last week.
The husband-and-wife team, who started their business in 2008, said they think Coastal Maine Popcorn will do well in the downtown retail center.
“Popcorn fits in everywhere,” Julie Roberts said.
She said popcorn is the perfect snack for people to eat while they shop, because it can be resealed and eaten throughout the day. She also noted there aren’t many other food options like this in Freeport, and popcorn can be brought home as a souvenir.
“Ice cream is an instant gratification. You can’t take it as a gift,” Roberts said.
She also noted everything is made at their Boothbay Harbor location.
“People love having a a Maine-made product they can take home,” Roberts said.
The couple said they’re now making their popcorn even more Maine-made by using locally grown corn, which tastes better and supports local farmers in a new way.
“It could be a whole new agricultural crop for the state of Maine,” Paul Roberts said.
Julie Roberts said this speaks to their idea that “the possibilities with popcorn are endless.”
Coastal Maine Popcorn comes in 80 flavors, but stores usually stock about 40 at a time. They include Maine maple, salt and vinegar, cotton candy, Buffalo wing, and more. Seasonal flavors include eggnog and peppermint, and blueberries and cream.
“When people come into our stores, it’s an experience,” Paul Roberts said. “You come up to the counter and see all the crazy flavors.”
They said Freeport USA, which markets Freeport as a travel destination and promotes member businesses, has been very supportive and helped them become confident about not being right in the center of town.
“They were excited to have a small Maine business coming into Freeport,” Paul Roberts said.
Freeport USA will be giving Coastal Maine Popcorn coupons to shoppers, one for in-store purchases and another for online.
Paul Roberts said the company already does well online and ships popcorn all over the country, but the coupons will make it easier for Freeport shoppers to continue as customers after they head home – often to other countries.
“Portland and Boothbay Harbor get a lot of New England tourists,” Paul Roberts said, “but Freeport (tourists) can be more worldly.”
Paul and Julie Roberts said Coastal Maine Popcorn will be brightening up the storefront at 114 Main St., Freeport, which has been vacant for about a year.