Two friends-turned-business partners are getting things popping near Short Pump.
Rialand Jones and Denise Brooks recently opened Lammar Marie’s Gourmet Popcorn shop at 3047 Lauderdale Drive in the Lauderdale Square shopping center.
The 2,600-square-foot store opened in August following a couple months of selling wares at farmers’ markets and the Bizarre Bazaar.
The shop sells a variety of both sweet and savory popcorn, from loaded baked potato to cotton candy flavors.
“We make everything here. The only thing we don’t do is grow the corn,” Jones joked.
A Fredericksburg native, Jones said he’s surprised life has taken him into the popcorn business. He’s an Air Force veteran with experience as a personal trainer, and has authored a self-help and healthy-living book.
He said he got the idea for Lammar Marie’s while DJ’ing a wedding. He struck up a conversation with someone who owned a similar shop in Fredericksburg, researched the business model and then brought Brooks, who he’s known since high school, in on the venture.
The shop, named for Brooks’ and Jones’ respective middle names, sells bags of popcorn ranging from $6 to $22.
With the shop up and running, Jones said it plans to maintain a presence at pop-ups around the city and beyond. The company also is preparing to go into online sales, along with bigger ambitions.
“We’d like to have a staff of between 20 and 25, just to be able to go to events,” Jones said. “I’d like to distribute it and have multiple locations.”
A new Anytime Fitness franchise was slated to go next door to Lammar Marie’s at 3049 Lauderdale Drive, but that deal fell through due to unspecified circumstances.
Anytime Fitness’ website lists two new locations coming soon: 11740 W. Broad St. near Short Pump Town Center in Henrico, and 167 Junction Drive in Ashland.