The Mad Popper

The Mad Popper is a gourmet popcorn store in Homestead Market down by Southpoint Mall (the same shopping center as Shiki) and is one of the best niche boutiques I’ve seen in the Triangle — think Locopops but with popcorn.

The store is the result of a fortuitous meeting at Rockfish (you can check out the back story here) and is a perfect match for Durham. The interior is adorable, the co-owner who helped me couldn’t have been nicer, the popcorn is inventive and delicious, and everything feels very well thought-out, from the decor to the mail-order service.

I tried two sweet varieties (hot apple cider and sweet tea), two salty varieties (white cheddar and Carolina BBQ), and the flavors of the week, carmel coated apple (below) and the chocolate option, candy corn (which was dipped in white chocolate — yum). They were all great, especially the Carolina BBQ. Needless to say, it was all gone in a couple of hours.

Not only do they ship orders, but if you buy a tin, you can refill it for half-price. Their website has all the size and pricing information, but it seems like a great deal.  

My favorite thing about The Mad Popper, besides the awesome popcorn, is that it made me feel like a kid in a candy store.  I can’t wait to go back and try the kettle corn and strawberry flavors. Go check them out!

The Mad Popper (map)
Monday – Thursday: 12 pm – 6 pm
Friday: 12 pm – 7 pm
Saturday: 11 am – 6 pm
Sunday: closed

Published in: on October 22, 2008 at 10:45 am  Comments (3)  


  1. I’m kind of an expert on gourmet popcorn, having lived in chicago near that world famous place on michigan st. For years I’ve tried to duplicate their offerings in my kitchen and have had some happy successes along the way.

    My favorite store-bought flavors:
    -Frito-Lay’s “flaming hot” popcorn, which I have only occasionally seen for sale in Durham (if you’ve had flaming hot cheetos you’re halfway there). I’m going to Vegas tomorrow and will bring some back.
    -a cajun-spice brand sold in NOLA whose name escapes me, though I know the manufacturer is in Boutte, La.

    My favorite homemade flavours:
    -butter and lemon pepper, particularly the “cali style” made my McCormick with onion and garlic
    -butter and grated parmesan, or sometimes asiago
    -ghee and curry powder (trust me)
    -butter and dessicated lime peel with salt and cayenne, for a kind of mexican style lemon pepper. The hard part is grinding the lime peel yourself as I’ve been unable to find it in stores.

    Also, microwave popcorn is gross and unhealthy. Everyone should own an air popper, I saw two of them at Thrift World for $5 each.

    The only benefit of stovetop corn is that the residual oil makes it easy to coat the corn with your topping of choice. With the air popper I’m reduced to putting melted butter in my olive oil atomizer.

  2. Stopped in today after a recommendation from a friend. Absolutely delicious! My family plowed through my tin in a day. It was filled with caramel, cheddar and white cheddar… great mix, indeed!!

  3. I really like their popcorn, when I stopped in they gave me a bag of their current expirement! My favorite is the Orange Cheddar, and the Candy Apple.

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