BOTKINS – Tin Acre Gourmet Popcorn has opened in a new location in Botkins. With over 65 different flavors of popcorn – both sweet and savory – everyone is sure to find a favorite.
Owner Abby Balster began making popcorn in 2018 as a way to earn some extra money at Christmas. She was selling popcorn directly from her home using the state’s cottage industry laws.
It wasn’t long before she was able to quit her job to make popcorn full time, selling at Farmer’s Markets and pop-up sites. In May 2021 she partnered with The Pie Shell in New Bremen and her business really took off. Almost immediately she had to get a larger oven to increase the amount of popcorn she could make.
One of the things that makes Tin Acre Gourmet Popcorn unique is that Balster does not use any premix caramel or other premixed flavors, instead she creates every flavor herself. Popcorn flavors include caramel, bourbon caramel, strawberry margarita and lemon bar. The fan favorite is Buckeye, made with peanut butter, caramel and a chocolate drizzle, which sells far more than any other flavor she offers. Balster’s favorite flavor is the Bremen blend – a combination of caramel and white cheddar.
Balster enjoys creating custom flavors. She is currently working on two new flavors: fruity pebbles and Mexican street corn. Balster spends a couple of weeks creating each new flavor – the length of time it takes to create depends on several factors, including if she is in her busy season and how intuitive the flavor is.
Christmas is the busy season for Tin Acre Gourmet Popcorn. Orders begin as early as October and continue through the end of November. Year round they get a lot of orders for gifts, gift baskets, and have recently been getting corporate orders for employee appreciation.
Balster enjoys watching the customers come into her store and seeing how excited they are at the variety of flavors offered. Tin Acre Gourmet Popcorn also offers ice cream, and Balster hopes to expand to include a soda shop in the future. She also continues to partner with The Pie Shell and soon some of their pies, scotcheroos, cupcakes will be available to purchase at Tin Acre.
Popcorn from Tin Acre has a long shelf-life. Any popcorn with sugar or caramel has an eight to 10 week shelf life. Savory flavors have a six week shelf life.
Tin Acre Gourmet Popcorn can be found at grocery stores, coffee shops and hospital gift shops, The Pie Shell and other partner locations, in addition to their new location in Botkins. It can also be shipped both in Ohio and in other states.
Tin Acre is currently open Monday – Friday from 5 to 8 p.m, Saturdays 1 to 8 p.m. and closed on Sundays. Balster hopes to have expanded hours in the summer, depending on staffing. Check their Facebook page for updated hours. They are located at 107 S. Main St. in Botkins.