Off the Loop: Du Pop In
Something unique and delicious has made its way to the Loop. Opening the door to Du Pop In is like walking into a small piece of of sugar-coated, rainbow-colored heaven. Shelves are lined with your favorite nostalgic candies and sodas, and jars of gummy treats and jelly beans fill the center pieces of the store. Just through the window, behind the counter, you can see large tubs filled with popcorn in a full array of colors and flavors. Toby and Renee Norton left a combined almost 50 years in Corporate America, to bring a little more joy into their lives and have created a haven for your salty sweet tooth cravings.
“Texas, Texas, Texas, Texas,” Toby Norton says of the machinery he has custom built, all done local unless they absolutely had to go out of state. “We source local as much as possible, having appliances custom built as close to home as we can.” Denton has been home since 2010, when work brought the couple to the little d. “We wanted to bring something new to Denton, something fun, where we have full control over the quality of the product,” explains Norton. He is completely hands-on in the process of each popcorn creation. From using a certain larger type of kernel, popping everything in house, making caramel from scratch, using real Cheddar and White Cheddar Cheese, natural spices where he even creates his own adventurous mixes, and working the popcorn itself, spreading it along the sheet, making sure the perfectly popped kernels don’t stick together.
At any given time, there are 50-60 flavors of popcorn, plus a few off-menu specials to choose from. From sweet options, like the white and milk chocolate drizzle over house-made caramel covered popcorn, watermelon, or mean green apple flavors, to the saltier options like Jalapeno Cheddar or Mac & Cheese. There most popular flavors include the Birthday Cake, popcorn covered in white chocolate and topped with rainbow sprinkles that taste like a bite of cupcake, or the BBQ Bacon, the perfect reflection of your favorite BBQ Potato Chip. My personal favorites were the Jalapeno Ranch (I ate the whole mini bag in one sitting) and the Valentines Day special, a Chocolate Covered Strawberry popcorn that I, well, just couldn’t believe.
The staff is friendly and helpful, and Renee was always eager to answer a question or bring guests a sample. The Nortons lucked out in their first employee, Haleigh, who recently moved to Denton to begin college at UNT. A consultant they worked with when they were beginning their business inquired as to where they were opening and whether they would be hiring. As luck would have it, he had a fantastic employee who had been with the company for 3 years, and she was making the move to Denton. “There is something for everyone, it just may take a little while to find it. Some options are vegan, so I can enjoy the kettle corn or butter, which is actually made with coconut oil,” says Haleigh.
With a dedicated focus on quality over quantity, and a high standard not just for their product but for customer service, Du Pop In is your next stop for all things sweet and salty. The shop is located at 2430 I-35 E Suite 164 Denton, next to RG Burger, and you can keep up with their specials and limited batches on their Facebook.
Header image design by Brittany Keeton