Lisa Chasanov

List of daily flavors hanging on the wall in CBPB popcorn shop.

Review | CBPB brings unique popcorn to CU

June 16, 2023

CBPB, a local black-owned business serving fresh, unique popcorn out of a strip mall at 1506 S. Neil St., is unassuming from the outside. 

However, the moment that you step through the glass door to this establishment, it is an olfactory experience practically unmatched on the University’s campus. You are greeted by a wall of scent: an essence of freshly popped popcorn, butter, cheddar cheese, caramel, aromatic spices and chocolate fills your lungs.

This moment is one filled with nostalgia and comfort, evoking memories of the movie theater or the county fair. 

The walls are littered in antique memorabilia and colorful vintage signs, providing an energy reminiscent of a drugstore soda fountain. The centerpiece of the space is a group of wooden shelves lined with neatly packed plastic bags of freshly popped and coated popcorn. The popcorn at CBPB is all but predictable, featuring a variety of unexpected sweet and savory selections, ranging from white chocolate to cajun. 

Also featuring fudge dipped cookies and occasionally apples, CBPB offers an answer to many different kinds of cravings.

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    White cheddar popcorn


    Lisa Chasanov

    White cheddar popcorn close up

    Although the white cheddar popcorn flavor at CPPB does not present anything new or exciting to the popcorn market, this classic variety offers a satisfyingly salty and buttery crunch. A flavorful and savory choice, this variety yearns for an accompanying beverage.

    Each kernel is coated in an abundance of white cheddar flavor, causing the entire snacking experience to be consistently intense.

    Edging on too salty, the white cheddar powder at CBPB is just tasty enough to avoid criticism. However, if you are someone who doesn’t enjoy very salty food, this popcorn may not be your best bet. Enjoy at your own risk if you suffer from high blood pressure.

    It is worth noting that the smallest bag of popcorn at CBPB is priced at $6 before tax — and tipping is encouraged.

    The bold and unyielding flavor of this popcorn makes it a memorable and easy-to-crave snack choice, but its price tag may seem a bit disproportionate.

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      Lisa Chasanov

      The premium flavor shelf at CBPB, home of caramel corn.

      Caramel corn

      Ah caramel popcorn, a classic. Who doesn’t love a little sweet with an iconic, stereotypically salty snack? Complete with that perfect little crunch from the caramel coating, it’s a crowd favorite for a variety of occasions.

      CBPB offers a fun twist on the usual caramel corn by adding pecans coated in the delicious flavor to the mix. It’s a popular option at CBPB, with only two bags left on the shelf when I visited.

      To my delight, CBPB does not skimp on their caramel coating. The abundance of caramel — while not too thick — provides a major crunch factor and a delicious flavor that keeps you reaching for one more handful.

      There’s a perfect portion of pecans in the bag: not too few that you aren’t ever finding any, but not so many that you’re wondering where the popcorn is. The nuts add a special something to round out the snacking experience.

      The caramel pecan popcorn is a smash hit, and maybe even a go-to flavor for future visits to the CBPB Popcorn Shop.

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        Lisa Chasanov

        The back corner of CBPB, which features an antique popcorn machine and several tins available for purchase to customers.

        Devil’s dust

        At a glance, CBPB Popcorn Shop’s “Devil Dust” flavor looks like any normal cheese popcorn. However, the somewhat threatening name does make you wonder what’s unique about it.

        The flavor piqued my curiosity enough for me to buy a small bag and give it a try.

        Made with habanero peppers, the popcorn absolutely lives up to its name. One piece is enough to set your mouth on fire for a minute or two, depending on your spice tolerance.

        While the heat doesn’t entirely take over the flavor of the snack, it comes a little close to the line. The popcorn is still enjoyable, especially because it doesn’t disappoint with its spice.

        If you’re thinking about giving the Devil Dust popcorn a try, I might recommend having a cup of milk on hand, just in case. For more adventurous popcorn enjoyers, it is easily a must-try flavor.

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          Lisa Chasanov

          Choco-mel popcorn

          When many people think of popcorn, they think of going to the movies with the intention of savoring the snack over the course of a two-hour film — but inadvertently finishing the whole tub before the trailers are over. 

          That tangy and salty buttered popcorn that comes in the paper bag or branded tub evokes nostalgia and comfort. However, CPBP Popcorn is something different, and it’s quite a joy to see all the different flavors of popcorn.

          That’s right, popcorn doesn’t have to just be caramel, kettle corn or even cheesy corn — CPBP Popcorn has over a dozen different flavors. What caught my attention were the chocolate and white chocolate flavored popped kernels. 

          Sure, the price was a little up there for a bag of popcorn that wasn’t as big as a medium theater bag, but for the taste and the creativity, it was well worth it.

          The chocolate popcorn tasted like an even sweeter caramel corn and it was quite a delightful treat to enjoy while sitting on my couch to watch television.

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            Each kernel was coated in what seemed to be a milk chocolate glaze, resulting in a crunchy bite and a smooth flavor.


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            White chocolate popcorn

            White chocolate seems to be a somewhat uncommon flavor for popcorn, but, in my opinion, it should be added to the list of standard options. The rich sweetness characteristic of real white chocolate paired with the naturally toasty flavor of freshly popped popcorn is a combination unlike any other.

            I mixed the white chocolate flavor with the chocolate and it was a pleasant surprise; it felt like I was eating chocolate but without the heaviness. 

            CPBP Popcorn might be a small store, but it’s certain to broaden the horizons of its customers. For people who enjoy a snack while watching movies and shows, it’s a new style of popcorn that can be enjoyed with flavor, unlike the basic movie theater recipe.


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              Cashew clump

              The cashew clump popcorn at CBPB is much like plain caramel popcorn, because it is exactly that — plain caramel popcorn. The cashews are few and far between, almost gaslighting the customer into questioning whether the bag intended to include the nuts in the first place.

              Although the variety’s name is a complete mis-designation, the caramel flavor was impressive — buttery, rich, sweet and toasty — and served as a fantastic complement to the natural taste of popcorn. 

              Although I didn’t sense the flavor of cashews specifically, I could identify a pleasant nuttiness in the glaze. 

              Compared to other desserts, this popcorn is a very reasonably sweet option. But as is common with caramel popcorn, a piece of dental floss — or a toothbrush — may make it easier to continue with your day after enjoying the snack. As with the white cheddar popcorn, this is best enjoyed with a beverage. Have a tall glass of water handy. 


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