Cuisine - American, Cuisine - Desserts, Places - Milwaukee

Col. Pops Popcorn Company sweetens up Tosa

Exterior of Col. Pops in WauwatosaSince October 2005, Paul and Stacy Cannariato have operated Col. Pops Popcorn Company in Wauwatosa, Wis. Located just a few blocks away from the Wauwatosa Public Library and Longfellow Middle School, and next to Daymakers Cafe, Col. Pops’ mission is to offer tasty treats while helping inspire change and community support.

A big part of the business has to do with community fundraising. Earlier in 2005, the Cannariato’s lost their son Vincent to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS. Now, 5 percent of fundraising sales go to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin to help with SIDS research and memorialize their son. A portion of proceeds also go to an overseas orphanage.

“We’ve been inspired by the help and support we received during our tragedy, and knew we wanted to contribute and be on the supportive end for other families dealing with loss,” according to the Col. Pops’ website.

The store pops up more than 40 different varieties of popcorn from buffalo wing and bleu cheese to salsa verde cheddar cheese, and cinnamon bun to peanut butter and chocolate. You can also purchase popcorn kernels to pop at home. There are 12 different kinds on the website.

Plain popcornThere’s not much to the retail store. But really, it’s all about the popcorn, not the building you buy it from. If you don’t see something you like, feel free to ask. I was looking for a larger bag of their Chicago-style popcorn (double cheddar cheese and butter toffee popcorn). I was able to get a large bag for only $17 – a lot more than I can get at Garrett’s in Chicago. At Col. Pops, larger bags are sold by weight, not bag size. And, don’t feel like you need to buy a pretty tin to put it in at home. The bags are Ziploc-like and the popcorn stays fresh for a good period of time.

More popcorn varieties.Behind the plain popcorn, you can find smaller bags of Col. Pops’ deluxe popcorn flavors like cheddar cheese, Milwaukee-style (a mix of white popcorn, double cheddar and buttery toffee) or Triple Delight (movie-style popcorn, cheddar and toffee).

Cheesy caramel cornCheesy caramel corn is another of the deluxe flavors at Col. Pops. It takes cheese corn and then caramelizes each individual piece. Wowza!

Green & Gold popcornThis vanilla-flavored Green & Gold popcorn would have been perfect for Packer fans during last night’s rout of the Dallas Cowboys.

Tutti fruitti popcornTutti frutti is another of Col. Pops’ candy-flavored popcorn line. This one is a mixture of blueberry, blue raspberry, cherry, grape, lemon, lime, orange and strawberry.

Red hot cinnamon popcornRed hot cinnamon popcorn can spice up your snack time a bit.

Slush Puppie Machine at Col PopsI haven’t seen a Slush Puppie machine since I was a little kid. The White Hen Pantry on 107th and Hampton Ave. in Milwaukee had one (well, not this cool-looking technology). We would ride our bikes up there and get loads of candy and Slush Puppies on hot summer days. I bet this is a big draw to the middle school students who walk home from Longfellow in warmer weather.

Col. Pops is located at 7227 W. North Ave. in Wauwatosa. Visit the website at for more information.


One thought on “Col. Pops Popcorn Company sweetens up Tosa

  1. Pingback: Destination Chicago: Garrett’s Popcorn « All's Fare Food Blog

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