Doc Popcorn Interview with Rob and Renee Israel

Laura Snyder
Rob and Renee Israel

Popcorn is an age-old treat, but this popular snack can be upgraded from an unadulterated kernel to an entirely gourmet level. One of popcorn's considerable perks is that it is a naturally gluten-free food. Celiacs and sensitive individuals alike can enjoy the light crunchy texture of plain popcorn without concern. However, some dressed-up versions of this popped delight add ingredients and flavoring agents that are not gluten-free. This is why companies such as Doc Popcorn choose to manufacture their delicious gourmet popcorn varieties without gluten, and sometimes sans other common allergens.

About Doc Popcorn

Doc Popcorn is less than a decade in the works, but this gourmet popcorn company represents a rapidly expanding enterprise committed to quality without compromise. Its co-founders feature a husband and wife duo, Rob and Renee Israel, who first sought to create delicious flavorful popcorn in the confines of their New York City apartment. Word got out, and soon this simple endeavor became a delight of the snack world. After all, popcorn is an inherently healthy snack, and when garnished by gourmet flavors such as "Sinfully Cinnamon" and "Hoppin' Jalapeno," who can resist?

Doc Popcorn now boasts a myriad of franchise locations, with many more to come!

Doc Popcorn: Interview with Rob and Renee Israel

The Doc Popcorn Promise

LovetoKnow: Doc Popcorn is depicted on the company website as being a "planet respecting" and "healthier snack alternative." Could you give an overarching description of the Doc Popcorn company food philosophy?

Renee Israel: Doc Popcorn's popcorn is a shareable treat, something the entire family can enjoy together at home or when out and about. It's all about fun, flavor and quality ingredients.

  • Healthier Snack Alternative: Doc Popcorn offers a healthier snack alternative in high-traffic venues where few such options exist. Doc Popcorn pops its whole-grain, non-GMO kernels in 100% corn oil, making all of our products low in fat and free of trans fats and cholesterol. Our popcorn is a better-for-you product, with a variety of all-natural flavors all with less than 100 calories per serving
  • Planet Respecting business model: In developing our business, we continue to be mindful about doing our part to reduce our environmental footprint. We are proud to have (what we believe is) the only compostable popcorn bag in the nation. Our gift items are also made of recyclable or are reusable materials.

From a production standpoint, Doc Popcorn's internal filters and pure corn oil eliminate the grease-laden vapor and toxic fumes generated in conventional kettle-corn cookery. This means a Doc Popcorn operator needs no exhaust vent to the outdoors and does not use propane or natural gas.

LTK: Many, if not all, of the popcorn flavors listed are marked as "gluten-free." Are all Doc Popcorn products safe for individuals with gluten-intolerance?

RI: Yes! All of Doc Popcorn flavors are gluten-free and tree-nut free which is a major concern for many individuals. This message (health) coupled with the delicious/indulgent message is a winner for Doc Popcorn and our customers with dietary restrictions; we truly have a flavor for almost everyone. We pride ourselves on ensuring everybody is able to enjoy our tasty and healthy popcorn

For the Doc Popcorn Customer

Doc Popcorn
LTK: What can Doc Popcorn customers expect from their purchasing experience?

RI: It's not just about what we sell, it's why we sell what we sell and how. We are really in the business of creating smiles. Everyone who comes to our store, should expect to walk away smiling. From a product standpoint, Doc Popcorn customers can expect freshly popped, flavored popcorn with no artificial ingredients. The product is vastly different from movie theater popcorn and other popcorn products sold at the retail level which are mostly candy coated popcorn products. Our popcorn is 100% GMO-free, meaning it is free of genetically modified organisms. Our supplier develops and grows their own seeds that are then used by farmers to grow our popcorn.

In addition, whether visiting one of our PopShops™, PopKiosks™ or PopCarts™, our customers can expect quick, friendly service every time. We're conveniently situated in malls and other popular destinations where convenience and affordability along with taste and portability are crucial.

LTK: What are the best-selling Doc Popcorn flavors?

RI: Our signature flavor, sweet butter, as well as cheesy cheddar and better butter are the best selling. But Doc Popcorn fans love all of our nine flavors which also include:

  • Klassic Kettle
  • Triple White Cheddar
  • Salt-n-Pepper
  • Caramel Kettle
  • Hoppin' Jalapeno
  • Sinfully Cinnamon

Doc Popcorn sells two sizes for $4 and $3.50 in most markets, and offers the ability to mix flavors by request. Some of our fans have developed very creative combinations.

The Company Profile

LTK: Right now, Doc Popcorn PopShops™ are somewhat limited in the Northwest and West Coast areas. Does the company have any plans to expand?

RI: With 25 open locations and 150 new locations under development, Doc Popcorn is positioned for significant expansion in 2011 and beyond.

The brand's franchising program launched in mid-2009, and amid the challenging U.S. economic landscape the company has awarded franchise agreements in the following states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Missouri, Alaska, Virginia and Washington D.C. (look at the list on boiler plate you are missing some states, PA for one, but have a look)

LTK: Are Doc Popcorn products still available at Whole Foods Market locations throughout the States?

RI: Although we still offer our product at Whole Foods locations throughout Colorado, our main focus is our franchise business.

LTK: Is there anything else LovetoKnow readers should know about Doc Popcorn?

RI: Much of America today is looking to secure financial futures through transiting into entrepreneurship. Most of our franchise owners (POPrietors as we call them) are mid- to- high-level executives who are either disenchanted by corporate America, lost their job during the recession, and making the choice to work for themselves. Our franchisees are highly motivated and successful individuals interested in discovering happiness by being their own boss. It is these business-savvy people who are our target franchise owners and they're why we are one of the fastest-growing food concepts. We think we have a very affordable, efficient and straightforward operation that appeals to a variety of people who want to get into this game.

Further Information

For more information regarding Doc Popcorns locations, products, and online store, visit www.DocPopcorn.com.

Doc Popcorn Interview with Rob and Renee Israel