Tuesday, June 28, 2022
June 28, 2022

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Working in Clark County: Charlotte and Jeremy Cook, Popcorn Cove Snack and Candy Shop

By , Columbian news assistant
Published:
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In addition to candy and snacks, Popcorn Cove specializes in unusual popcorn flavors, some suggested by customers.
In addition to candy and snacks, Popcorn Cove specializes in unusual popcorn flavors, some suggested by customers. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

What do peanut butter chocolate, dill pickle, Oreo, nacho cheese and bacon all have in common? They’re all flavors of specialty popcorn that can be purchased at Popcorn Cove in Vancouver.

Popcorn Cove, at 13411 S.E. Mill Plain Blvd., is a snack and candy shop owned and operated by the Cook family.

Charlotte Cook oversees operations, finances, and networking. Her husband, Jeremy Cook, is the store’s manager, running day-to-day productions and inventory, managing staff and scheduling, as well as being in charge of special events and marketing. Their 12-year-old daughter, Addison, helps as needed.

“As a family we support each other in all we do,” Charlotte said. “Any successful companies will utilize skills from as many people as possible. We each have different, equal and compatible skills that allow us to work together and complement each other while completing all the different tasks it takes to keep Popcorn Cove up and running.”

In addition to the traditional items stocked by a snack and candy shop, Popcorn Cove is home to more than 75 unique flavors of popcorn. The Cooks pop between 100 to 500 pounds of popcorn per day.

While many of the crunchy creations are conceived in-house, Popcorn Cove customers often make suggestions that inspire the next wild flavor to appear on the menu.

“Providing delicious and out-there flavors to popcorn loving customers is a true delight,” Charlotte Cook said. “It’s an entertaining challenge to find and stock our store with nostalgic, exciting and oftentimes wacky gifts and treats for our customers to enjoy.”

Coping with COVID

Like many small business owners, the Cooks were no strangers to hardships amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prior to COVID, the Cooks employed 12 staff members, and participated in multiple events per week, such as farmers markets and fairs.

The pandemic slowed business dramatically. The couple had to let nearly all of their staff go. Things got so dire that the family briefly considered closing shop and moving the business out of Vancouver.

Then a single anonymous customer came in one day, expressing his concern for local small businesses during such turbulent times.

When the pair admitted to him that things weren’t going well, the customer immediately bought as much candy, popcorn, and snacks as he could carry.

With this one purchase, the customer was able to single-handedly pay for a full month of Popcorn Cove’s rent. He then delivered his massive bounty of snacks to a local nursing home.

Since that fateful day, business has increased to the point that the Cooks are in the process of opening a second location.

“We are a nostalgic, family friendly place that brings out the kid in everyone,” Charlotte Cook said. “Our goal is to put a smile on the face of every customer who walks into Popcorn Cove.”

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