Black History Month Spotlight: What's Pop-In Gourmet Popcorn

Black History Month Spotlight: What's Pop-In Gourmet Popcorn Image

"We wanted to make something that anyone could afford and would bring people together, and what’s better at that than popcorn."

For owner Stefan Coker, the secret to his success is tattooed on his hand: "Creativity is intelligence having fun." His business, What's Pop-In Gourmet Popcorn, might have seemed like a "corny concept" to some folks at the start. But Coker has never let skeptics stop him from pursuing his entrepreneurial vision. Today, he's making that vision a reality – doing work he loves, spending time with his children, and teaching them the ins and outs of building a business, too.

Retail sales are just one part of What's Pop-In's successful venture. Increasingly, What's Pop-in is partnering with large local companies such as Ingram Micro and MOOG to offer private label versions of their products. "It's a little snack with a gourmet face," says Coker. And as a business, it's working.

When United Way of Buffalo & Erie County went looking for local business partners to join our new Prosperi-Key platform, What's Pop-in was among the first to step up to the plate. 

Through Prosperi-Key's digital marketplace, income-qualified users (including many essential workers) access discounts and programs tailored for their household. For Coker, joining Prosperi-Key is more than advertising. It's about being involved in the community he loves and making fun and togetherness a little more accessible for hard-working families. 

Find your favorite popcorn flavors and more in-store at 1239 Niagara Street, Buffalo NY 14213 or online at

Learn more about United Way's Prosperi-Key, including how you can join:

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