Downtown West End popcorn parlor revs up local snack scene

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Downtown West End popcorn parlor revs up local snack scene

Amanda Henry's Popcorn Parlor offers plenty of delicious popcorn flavors with old-fashioned charm. Photo: Molly Waits

Have you ever wanted to get away to a simpler time, where friends sat together on the back porch munching on popcorn, licking ice cream cones and sipping sodas? Well, now you can at Amanda Henry’s Popcorn Parlor, a vintage-style popcorn, ice cream parlor and soda shop in downtown Greenville.

As you might have guessed, the shop specializes in gourmet popcorn, boasting more than 50 flavors popped fresh daily.

“There’s always a new flavor to try,” general manager Amanda Dalton said. And whether you have a taste for the conventional (classic cheddar, for example) or the unusual (such as pizza or hot jalapeño), you’re sure to find a flavor that tickles your taste buds. One of the most popular is the caramel cheddar, a delicious blend of sweet and salty. Popcorn and candy tins are also available, making perfect gifts for the holidays.

Besides ready-made gourmet popcorn, the shop also offers ingredients for making your own popcorn, an assortment of old-fashioned gourmet candies, a large selection of vintage sodas and 120 flavors of ice cream available on a rotating basis.

The popcorn parlor, located across from Mellow Mushroom in Greenville’s West End, opened just over a year ago as a mother-daughter operation, owned by Jennifer Chapin-Chambers and managed by her daughter, Amanda Dalton. The pair had wanted to start a business, but weren’t sure of how or what type of business to start. Finally, they decided on popcorn, and after about a year of planning, Amanda Henry’s Popcorn Parlor, named after Amanda and her brother, celebrated its grand opening in October of 2012.

Everything from the screen front door and old-fashioned wood floors to the glass canisters filled with candies evokes the feeling of an old-time soda shop. The main dining room in the back has a cozy, family feel, complete with an assortment of board games to play.

“We try to create a family fun atmosphere where you can come hang out,” Dalton said. The dining room also doubles as a retail space for Mx2 Designs, a local vendor of one-of-a-kind retail items for every occasion, from baby showers to weddings.

The popcorn parlor is available for private parties and offers popcorn tours, where a group can go behind the scenes and help to make a batch of traditional popcorn. “The kids love it,” Dalton said, “because it’s fresh and it’s hot and they can see it [pop] open.” The group also learns about the process and various machines used in making the flavored popcorn.

Offering a little bit of everything, Amanda Henry’s Popcorn Parlor is the perfect downtown destination to get all your sweets, Dalton said. So grab some friends and stop by for some delicious treats — and a trip back in time.