Meet Thursdays Downtown vendors: Carroll’s Corn

(ABC 6 News) – ABC 6 News is continuing to highlight local vendors at Thursdays Downtown each week.

This week we are highlighting Carroll’s Corn, a local Rochester gourmet popcorn shop.

The owner, Seamus Kolb, said they make anywhere between 600 to 1,000 bags of popcorn each week just for Thursdays Downtown. They don’t always sell out, but they want to make sure they don’t run out.

"We’ve been popping popcorn since ’93," Carroll’s Corn employee Ryan Fee said.

Besides making popcorn in downtown Rochester and selling popcorn at Thursdays, Carroll’s Corn sells their products at Scheels, Hy-Vee and a few other convenience stores in Rochester.

"Our little shop, 300 square feet, 2,000 bags a week, sending them out to all of these companies and grocery stores. So we got a good thing going," Fee said.

"Working Thursdays is a great way for us to get out of the shop, get up on the street level, interact with a lot of people that haven’t had our product before and a lot of people that have," Kolb said.

Kolb took over the business last year from the original founder, Pat Carroll.

"Actually, kind of as COVID was coming to an end, we came up with an agreement for him to retire and for me to continue the business. I’ve been a part of the business since 2006. So this is actually my first job I ever had at 15 years old," Kolb said.

Popping a bag of popcorn for yourself may be easy, but Kolb said it takes a lot of energy to make enough popcorn to feed everybody at Thursdays.

Carroll’s Corn’s best seller is their "Triple Mix Popcorn," which is cheese, caramel and butter popcorn all mixed in one bag. This is what they are known for.

Other favorites include kettle corn and beer cheese popcorn. The new flavor this year is dill pickle, which has been a hot seller this summer.

They even have heat-sealed bags to keep the popcorn fresh.

Something new they’re doing this year is cinnamon roasted almonds and pecans, which they say have also been a hit.

"There’s a lot to look forward to every week," Kolb said about the Thursdays Downtown tradition.