Photograph by Don
Strong scents of warm butter and chocolate waft over you as you walk into the brightly lit popcorn shop. Fluorescent yellows and reds illuminate the room, featuring rows of mouth watering popcorn.
Popcorn Buddha, a fast growing franchise in the Poconos, is partnering with the Mountaineer to support the newspaper’s annual March Madness event. Popcorn Buddha is owned and operated by two SHS graduates, Craig Campeotto and Tanya DeMaria.
Popcorn Buddha was originally founded in 2011 by two these two budding entrepreneurs, who wanted to experiment with their popcorn making abilities.
Students and teachers at SHS can’t get enough of the popcorn. “Definitely check out the white cheddar, it’s my favorite,” said science teacher Ms. Hilary Hakim.
Senior Gabe Howard could hardly control his enthusiasm. “I think Popcorn Buddha is a wonderful treat! Not just in terms of food and wide variety of flavors, but also the passion that the owners and countless other people have put into it,” said Howard.
Campeotto got his inspiration for Popcorn Buddha back in 2011, when he watched a commercial for a gourmet popcorn business. “I looked over at my mom and said ‘I can do this,’ but she just laughed at me and walked out,” said Campeotto.
“Fifteen minutes later I was talking to the owner of the company through the phone, we negotiated prices, and the rest is popcorn history,” said Campeotto.
Craig and Tanya work hard to create their unique flavors by testing and adding to the recipes themselves. “We could never get sick of it, but of course, I have my favorites though,” said Craig.
Popcorn Buddha has currently 86 unique popcorn options to choose from, including vegan flavors. These flavors include Southwest Hot Wing, Cinnamon, New York Style Pizza, Peppermint Patty, and much more. One of the most popular flavors include Buddha’s Delight, which contains a mix of caramel, milk chocolate, and nuts.
“I love that I get to see the instant gratification. I get to see the families bonding and making memories, I get to see that and relive that everyday. Young kids come in and seeing this for the first time and having a family moment really makes it so much better for me,” said Campeotto.
“This is a sensory experience, you will taste it, you can touch it, see it, even hear it when it is being made, and I get to come into that ever single day, Tanya and I both are so grateful for that,” said Campeotto.
Popcorn Buddha will be offering the Mountaineer prizes to gift to the contest winners of the annual “March Madness” event.
Popcorn Buddha is located at 480 N 8th Street, Stroudsburg Pa. The shop is open from 11am-7pm, Monday through Friday, 11am-6pm on Saturdays, and 11am-5pm on Sundays. For more information, please call at (570) 476-5676, or check out their website https://www.popcornbuddhausa.com/ for more information!