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.