Cravings Blog

Entries for July 2013

30
GenerosityGenerosity makes you feel good inside. It is the act of giving without expecting anything in return. You can change the life of someone while having a positive impact on your own life. Being generous is like planting seeds of good will. Its time for all of us to start a garden.

Posted in: Community
29
JazzFest Meet-Up Party Idea

This month at Cravings we are talking parties, all sorts of ideas for interesting parties.  This one is a party in a great big jazzy party.

Every great party needs some music, and jazz is always a popular choice to set the right party mood.  At Cravings Gourmet Popcorn we have a ring side seat to a real jazzy party – Old Town’s JazzFest 2013 is put on by MICA, the Michigan Institute for Contemporary Art, and a project of long time community supporter Terry Terry.  JazzFest comes to Old Town on Friday August 2nd and Saturday August 3rd. 

An exciting lineup of performers for the 2013 outdoor music festival has been planned, including the Rodney Whitaker Quartet, Terell Stafford and Mardra Thomas. The three have decades of performing experience between them, and will play at mid-Michigan’s premier free outdoor jazz event of the summer.

JazzFest 2013 is the 19th annual event which hosts over 10,000 visitors to experience music, food, and some of the coolest shops in the Greater Lansing area.  And, one of the best parts of JazzFest is the people you see and meet while you are here. 

Why not plan a JazzFest meet-up party on the fly?  Coordinate with your friends and choose a location for your meet-up…say Cravings Gourmet Popcorn on Turner?  It’s the perfect spot to start your party; you can’t miss us, just look for the giant popcorn box! 

Cravings Gourmet Popcorn is located in Old Town Lansing, the hippest area of Lansing, Michigan.  Cravings Gourmet Popcorn can be purchased online at cravingspopcorn.com and shipped to anywhere nationwide and for gifting virtually to Lansing area residents via Conpoto.com.

 

 

Posted in: Events
26
Meet Meat in Old Town

In this July series of blog posts Cravings Gourmet Popcorn acknowledges events, people and businesses that positively contribute to the unique identity and experience of Old Town.

It’s great to have such a popular neighbor in Old Town.  Just two doors north from Cravings Gourmet Popcorn on Turner Street you will find the home of Meat, Southern BBQ and Carnivore Cuisine.  Meat opened up shop in Old Town in late April of 2012, and just like the way they slow roast their meats for over 18 hours to get the right flavors, this little restaurant’s popularity has gone from unknown to done just right. 

If Home Improvement star and comedian Tim Allen were talking about Meat it would surely be punctuated by Allen’s signature manly grunt and snort.  This is a very manly kind of restaurant that makes no apologies for what it is …in fact on the Meat menu there is a snarky little nod to vegetarians, posting only soft drinks and iced tea under the options for vegetarians.

In addition to the slow roasted meats that are used for all of their meat dishes and sandwiches the folks at Meat prepare all of their Southern inspired side dishes and sauces from scratch.  This is messy but delicious eating; you get that when you see rolls of paper towels on every table. Fans of Meat have learned to get there early because when the roasted meat is gone, the doors will close.  Meat has a take-out menu and a catering menu in addition to their dine-in options.  Truthfully, the best way to choose is to follow your nose, these slow roasted meats and sauces create a tantalizing aroma in Old Town. To get a better idea about the menu choices you can visit their website, or give them a little love on their Facebook page

While you are in Old Town checking out Meat be sure to pop in to Cravings for a savory starter or a sweet ending popcorn treat.

Cravings Gourmet Popcorn is located in Old Town Lansing, the hippest area of Lansing, Michigan.  Cravings Gourmet Popcorn can be purchased online at cravingspopcorn.com and shipped to anywhere nationwide and for gifting virtually to Lansing area residents via Conpoto.com.

Posted in: Entertaining Tips
25
Why Do You Love Old Town?There are many reasons to love a day in Old Town. Shopping, art, food and festivals just to name a few. Many people have not been to Old Town since the 1970's and 1980's when the area was in decline. Today it is clean and safe, a beautiful area to visit and to be amazed by. You don't have to go up north to experience a small town downtown. Shop local businesses, enjoy a meal with friends and listen to music with your family. There's lots to love about Old Town Lansing.

Posted in: Videos, Community
24
A New Kind of Party Space for a Community That Knows How to Party

In this July series of blog posts Cravings Gourmet Popcorn acknowledges events, people and businesses that positively contribute to the unique identity and experience of Old Town.

Who would have thought that the old Five and Dime, come junk store, in Old Town would turn into such an elegant and creative space for parties? Lynne Brown had an inkling as she moved out the junk and polished up the space, naming it Perspective 2 or P2.  She hoped it would be a resource space for photographers and photo shoots plus an occasional meeting space.  While the 7,000 square feet worked well for photographers and photo shoots, the space seemed to beckon adventurous event planners looking for a special space, and more and more people were seeing the location strictly as an event venue. 

In August of 2012 Brown sold the space to Rizzi Designs, an Old Town-based design firm. Rebecca Eldridge was named Director of Operations. Rebecca, a former hospitality management professional, put her talents to work to redefine and firmly establish the location as an event venue. By November, the community had weighed in and the location was renamed Old Town Marquee. 

Eldridge says business has been good so far with a mix of formal events like wedding and anniversary celebrations, business meetings and events, and awards ceremonies, as well as the occasional photo shoot or commercial video shoot. Coming soon is a special party for a local author whose book has achieved a place on the New York Times Best Seller list. 

“We continue to grow in our efforts to be bigger, better, faster and stronger for our customers,” said Eldridge. “Seriously, it has been a learning process to promote Old Town Marquee as a prized event destination. As we take care of our clients we are learning what package of services they need and want. We have created great strategic relationships with those businesses that can help transform the space into the party place our customers envision. We love being able to assist our fellow members of the Old Town Commercial Association to continue to make Old Town the best destination in the area and that is why we turn to our neighbors, like Cravings Popcorn,  when it is time to recommend a complementary product or service.”

Cravings Gourmet Popcorn is located in Old Town Lansing, the hippest area of Lansing, Michigan.  Cravings Gourmet Popcorn can be purchased online at cravingspopcorn.com and shipped to anywhere nationwide and for gifting virtually to Lansing area residents via Conpoto.com.

Posted in: Entertaining Tips
19
Bike Share Rolls Out in Lansing

Cravings Gourmet Popcorn welcomes Capital Community Bike Share to Old Town. In a recent post on Bike-sharing Blog, a site dedicated to reporting on bike-share programs, it says there has been a new bike share program starting almost every two days throughout the world. 

Lansing’s new bike-share program pilot, Capital Community Bike Share, is rolling out on August 4th.  The Capital Community Bike Share in little ole Lansing is drafting right behind Citi Bike, the New York City program launched in May, and Divvy, the Chicago bike-share that came online in July.

Bike-share programs are designed to be a convenient short-term rental system to help keep people moving in short hops throughout the urban centers.  Lansing’s city bikes for this program are described as smart bikes, including solar technology on board for renting and tracking bike locations.  The obvious benefits to the environment are easy to get….less gas, less pollution and if you think about It, the potential economic benefits could be equally beneficial.  Those that are all-in with the bike share program can also look forward to some measurable health benefits as they change their habits for taking meetings or lunch breaks.  The Paris bike share program is celebrating its 6th anniversary and has quantified the health benefits to participants.

The 20 bicycle sharing pilot program only lasts a few months so be sure to jump in early to support this important community project.  Follow Capital Cummunity Bike Share on Facebook for regular updates.

 At Cravings Gourmet Popcorn, we look forward to having our fans that live and work close by or in downtown Lansing  satisfy their cravings for some Craving’s popcorn by hopping on a CCBS bike for a quick pick-up.  We’ve tested it and the bike basket will easily handle 3 or 4 of our tall bags.  Tell us you are on a CCBS bike and we will add an extra punch to your Cravings card!  

Cravings Gourmet Popcorn is located in Old Town Lansing, the hippest area of Lansing, Michigan.  Cravings Gourmet Popcorn can be purchased online at cravingspopcorn.com and shipped to anywhere nationwide and for gifting virtually to Lansing area residents via Conpoto.com.

15
Go to the Movies at the Turner Street Old Town Theatre

In this July series of blog posts Cravings Gourmet Popcorn acknowledges events, people and businesses that positively contribute to the unique identity and experience of Old Town.

We remember going to the drive-in movie theatre as a fun family summer time treat.  The kids would all pile into the family station wagon with blankets and jammies and a big bag of fresh popped popcorn for snacks. The speaker was taken off the post and hung on the car window and we were in for a night of fun!

In Old Town we are in our third year showing outdoor movies as a nod to those family fun times gone by. You will be sitting-in instead of a driving-in to our outdoor theatre set-up. Our huge screen and audio system is put against the wall of the old Chrome Cat building at the base on Turner Street and Grand River, special thanks to sponsors like Such Video. 

This year the movie selections are:  Rear Window (Albert Hitchcock Thriller) Ghostbusters, and the comedy Three Amigos (Chevy Chase, Steve Martin and Martin Short). Commemorative posters have been created for you to purchase, another way to support the efforts of the Old Town Commercial Association.

The family friendly/family safe movies start after dark so be sure to bring your own chair/blanket, beverages, snacks. Beginning on July 19th on Friday nights the family movie line up is as follows:

July 19, 2013, 10:00 pm - 11:30 pm            Three Amigos

July 26, 2013, 10:00 pm - 11:30 pm            Rear Window

August 9, 2013 10:00 pm – 11:30 pm        Ghostbusters

Cravings will be open late so be sure to stop in before the movie starts to get your popcorn and soda.

Cravings Gourmet Popcorn is located in Old Town Lansing, the hippest area of Lansing, Michigan.  Cravings Gourmet Popcorn can be purchased online at cravingspopcorn.com and shipped to anywhere nationwide and for gifting virtually to Lansing area residents via Conpoto.com.

Posted in: Events
11
Get Your Crunch On in a Peanut-free Zone – Craving’s Gourmet Popcorn

At Cravings Gourmet Popcorn we continue to follow relevant news about food allergies. Over the past several years there have been many news reports that there is a growing trend of young children experiencing allergic reactions to peanuts/peanut butter among other high allergy producing foods. However, there is little known about why this trend is occurring.  

A health news story on Fox News.com in 2012 cautions parents with this message:  “Because peanut reactions can be severe, even lethal, measures to protect allergy sufferers from accidental exposure are becoming more common too, with peanut bans on airplanes, peanut-free sections of baseball stadiums and "school safe" packaged snacks manufactured in nut-free environments.”

And on the other end of the spectrum this 2013 story from the Wall Street Journal online suggests: “Parents trying to navigate the confusing world of children's food allergies now have more specific advice to consider. Highly allergenic foods such as peanut butter, fish and eggs can be introduced to babies between 4 and 6 months and may even play a role in preventing food allergies from developing.”

Here is our opinion: It doesn’t matter why allergies to peanuts is on the rise or what people will do to prevent symptoms of allergies from developing – as long as there are health risks to some kids or adults we will maintain Cravings as a completely peanut-free zone.

There are just so many great options in our product line to get your crunch on that we feel completely confident that you will never miss the peanuts.  So, shop with confidence at Cravings Gourmet Popcorn.

Cravings Gourmet Popcorn is located in Old Town Lansing, the hippest area of Lansing, Michigan.  Cravings Gourmet Popcorn can be purchased online at cravingspopcorn.com and shipped to anywhere nationwide and for gifting virtually to Lansing area residents via Conpoto.com.

Image courtesy of Surachai at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Posted in: Gourmet Popcorn
09
What is your Old Town Passion?Passion is the fire that drives you to achieve your vision. Old Town has grown over the years because of the passion of the people that work and live here. We are passionate about our community and popcorn. Tell us about your passion.
Posted in: Videos
08
Craving’s Own Matt Strickling, Chief Flavorologist

In this July series of blog posts Cravings Gourmet Popcorn acknowledges events, people and businesses that positively contribute to the unique identity and experience of Old Town.

Matt Strickling starts his day early (7am) at Cravings Gourmet Popcorn, especially when it is a busy time in Old Town. Before or after an event like the Festival of the Moon and Festival of the Sun there is plenty to do to build up or replenish the stock of fresh flavored popcorn, including the unique to Cravings flavors.

Craving’s product line is continually enhanced with new flavors to try out based on customer comments and requests and Matt’s own crazy creative foodie mind. “I’m always thinking about food and flavors that might translate well to a popcorn seasoning recipe,” says Matt. “At Cravings we start more unique flavors than any popcorn store I know of.”  It is a point of pride with this flavorologist that the flavors that are created always start from the core ingredients. “If I have an idea for a flavor I will source several good recipes looking for the common themes or ingredients to create the base recipe and then go looking for that one ingredient that will top off the flavor.”

Matt relies on his wife, Steph, for a critical opinion as he tweaks a recipe. Once it is deemed ready for customer comment he creates a large enough batch of the recipe to dry into a seasoning powder and rolls out the new popcorn flavor for local sampling and critique.  Local customers are alerted to the new flavor via the Cravings Facebook page, or Matt walks the Old Town district to offer free samples to other business owners and workers.

Currently Matt has three new flavors in development: spicy mustard, cool ranch, and chili cheddar. One of these flavors will end up being the house flavor for Zoobies Tavern. Which one do you think will go well with the Zoobies craft beers and local wines?

Matt Strickling and his wife Stephanie have recently purchased a home from the Ingham County Land Bank (a great deal – he says) and are putting down roots for good. When asked about living and working in the Lansing Old Town district Matt says, “This area is really becoming something to be proud of, something that we want to talk about to everybody. There are so many great things happening here.”

Cravings Gourmet Popcorn is located in Old Town Lansing, the hippest area of Lansing, Michigan.  Cravings Gourmet Popcorn can be purchased online at cravingspopcorn.com and shipped to anywhere nationwide and for gifting virtually to Lansing area residents via Conpoto.com.

Posted in: Gourmet Popcorn
04
Old Town Farmer’s Market – A Sweet and Savory Experience

In this July series of blog posts Cravings Gourmet Popcorn acknowledges events, people and businesses that positively contribute to the unique identity and experience of Old Town.

In the summer and fall Old Town First Sundays include the Old Town Farmer’s Market.  Eight to ten vendors travel from local farms to set-up shop in the parking lot next to Sir Pizza on Grand River Avenue in Old Town. They are bringing fresh produce, plants, herbs, homemade baked goods, salsa, cheese, homespun yarn and handcrafted soaps.

Urban settings like Old Town are often classified as food deserts with very few options for fresh produce and other food stuffs.  The Old Town Farmer’s Market becomes a regular food oasis on the following May thru October dates in 2013:  May 5, June 2, July 7, August 4, September 8 (Yes, we know that this is technically not the first Sunday of September), and October 6

The Old Town Farmer’s Market not only feeds body and soul but also feeds a sense of spirit and enthusiasm for the area.  Our Farmer’s Market vendors are great advocates for Old Town.

When you come to Old Town on First Sunday, be sure to stop in to see us at Craving’s Gourmet Popcorn, we are always cooking up new flavorful recipes for our popcorn and we have an enormous variety of classic soda pops to quench your thirst.  Step-up to our FREE sampling station and experience our favorites and some of our newer inventions.

Cravings Gourmet Popcorn is located in Old Town Lansing, the hippest area of Lansing, Michigan.  Cravings Gourmet Popcorn can be purchased online at cravingspopcorn.com and shipped to anywhere nationwide and for gifting virtually to Lansing area residents via Conpoto.com.

Posted in: Events
01
Walkabout Art – Old Town’s First Sunday Gallery Walk

In this July series of blog posts Cravings Gourmet Popcorn acknowledges events, people and businesses that positively contribute to the unique identity and experience of Old Town.

For the Old Town area, the community-wide First Sunday Gallery Walk is a real boost for the eight art galleries located in Old Town. Great Lakes Art, MICA, Linda Beeman Studio, Katalyst, By the Riverside, Creole Gallery, Absolute Gallery, and Gallery 1212 all sweep off the welcome mat and welcome art lovers and browsers alike into their creative spaces.

Most of the galleries provide great art gallery space for local artists and to pay the bills and enhance the visitor experience, offer other art-related services like the classes presented by (name) at Gallery 1212 or the framing service available from Absolute Gallery. Additionally, some of the other Old Town businesses, like Full Circle Financial, contribute to the arts scene by throwing their doors open on First Sunday because they are including contemporary art in their workspaces in conjunction with the local galleries. 

In Old Town, the First Sunday of every month provides an open invitation to new visitors to come experience Old Town.  There is always music to enjoy and food to savor in-season with the Old Farmer’s Market held on the same day.  Research says that most new visitors will come for the first time during the First Sunday Gallery Walk.  This first experience of Old Town sets a positively artistic tone for the area.

Because of the popularity of the First Sunday Gallery Walk other businesses in Old Town that are not normally open for business on Sunday make it a point to be open for First Sunday, including Cravings Gourmet Popcorn.

Cravings Gourmet Popcorn is located in Old Town Lansing, the hippest area of Lansing, Michigan.  Cravings Gourmet Popcorn can be purchased online at cravingspopcorn.com and shipped to anywhere nationwide and for gifting virtually to Lansing area residents via Conpoto.com.

 

Posted in: Events