BLUFFTON, Ohio, Jan. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Shirley Torsell was as recognizable to patrons of the Shannon Theatre as the stars of the movies playing in the cinema where she worked for 25 years. And while customers flocked to this small village theatre to catch the latest flick, many locals would stop in simply to visit Shirley and purchase tubs of movie theatre popcorn to bring back home.
It was this quirky hometown tradition that inspired theatre owners Pete and Kim Suter to launch Shirley's Gourmet Popcorn Company out of their dormant Main Street storefront in 2009. Three years, two renovations, and thousands of delighted customers later, Shirley's has become the favorite local stop for fundraisers, wedding favors, corporate gifts, and – of course – delicious snacks. Business has consistently surpassed expectations, and an influx of customer suggestions recently helped forge a new direction for the popcorn shop.
"After numerous inquiries about franchising, we started seriously considering it as a growth model," said founder Pete Suter. "As a result, we've spent the better part of the last twelve months developing an outstanding franchise program with a team of national leaders in the field." Suter added that current expansion plans include recruiting franchisees throughout Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan.
One special aspect of Shirley's, explained Suter, is the ability to partner with individuals and organizations to develop a custom popcorn flavor for a specific group of customers, employees, and friends. "A significant part of our strategy is allowing the customer to be a co-producer in the development of our products," Suter said.Amidst its continued growth, Shirley's Gourmet Popcorn Company remains committed to providing customers with a delicious high-quality snack that keeps them returning for more, just like the patrons at the original theatre ticket stand. Namesake Shirley Torsell would have given rave reviews. About Shirley's Gourmet Popcorn Company Shirley's Gourmet Popcorn Company is a regional snack franchise specializing in fresh-packaged popcorn blends and custom flavors. Founded in a storefront along Main Street in the village of Bluffton, Ohio, Shirley's popcorn varieties include the delicious classics Caramel and Cheddar, hot and spicy Afterburner, best-selling Buckeye, the delightfully sweet Jelly Bean, Chocolate Almond, and more. A family business through and through, Shirley's Gourmet Popcorn Company is committed to outstanding quality, value, and an unparalleled customer experience. It's more than just popcorn… it's pure happiness! www.shirleyspopcorn.com www.shirleysfranchising.com SOURCE Shirley's Gourmet Popcorn Company