There are certain smells that when your nostrils get the first hint of, you immediately go to a time or place when you were happiest.
For Weatherford’s Kristina Stone, that smell is popcorn.
Owner of The Popcorn Store in Weatherford’s downtown square, Stone said she’s been "enamored" with popcorn since she was a little girl.
"I grew up in Arlington and there was a popcorn store near our house," she recalled. "It was certainly a treat when we went there and it had some good memories for me and I just loved it."
So, one day while she was sitting and eating some Cracker Jack, Stone said the idea just hit her.
"Weatherford needs a popcorn store," she thought.
She went about finding and getting a store in a different spot than where she is now but the timing wasn’t right and it didn’t work out the way she hoped. She would eventually close and go back to working, ending up at George, Morgan and Sneed where she met her husband, Roy.
But it seemed she was destined to go back to what she loved most as a kid. After driving to Fort Worth last year to get her son’s teacher a gift at a popcorn store there, Stone said she got in the car and it "hit her hard."
"Just the smell of it and feeling it running through my veins…," she said. "I called my husband crying and he said, ‘Let’s see what we can do to get you a store again.’"
The rest, she said, is history. They looked for the right spot and when they found the location on West Church Street, they acted fast.
"When you know, you know," Stone said. "Other people were looking [at the same location] so I told my husband we had to move on it. Thankfully, he listened."
Open since February, The Popcorn Store features 35 flavors of popcorn ranging from savory to sweet.
"A lot of it is seasonal," Stone said, pointing out that she was working on red icing to put on the red, white and blue popcorn for the fourth of July. "My brain is getting more creative."
For summer, she is adding a s’mores flavor and also a watermelon flavor. To keep up with what flavors are coming, Stone said she announces on Facebook what’s available.
"A lot of it is what might work and what people might like," she said. "Some of it doesn’t quite come out the way you think it but…"
Stone said she buys kernels in 50-pound bags that "look like horse feed" when delivered and that she pops about 100-200 gallons a day.
There are also about 10 flavors of fudge available, all made by hand at the store. Stone said those flavors stay consistent since customers seem to like certain ones.
"I’ve figured out what people like," she said. "I may switch out a slab or two but when it comes to fudge, people like what they like."
Stone has also added saltwater taffy and nostalgic candy to the store’s repertoire.
Another of Stone’s specialties is gift baskets. She said you can bring anything in that you want – a cup, a hat, a card, a dish, a stuffed animal – and she can make it work. She also has tins, boxes and bags available.
"As corny as it sounds, it’s so rewarding to me to put a smile on someone’s face," she said. "If what I do can spread a little bit of cheer throughout the world, it’s special to me."
Popcorn and fudge are also sold in individual quantities and prices vary by size and amount purchased. Popcorn prices also vary by flavor but range from a low of $1 for a mini bag to a high of $38 for an extra large bag of a candied flavor.
Though the store takes a lot of hours of work, Stone said the family gets to spend time together. Along with Roy and their four children, Stone said God has brought them closer together with this endeavor.
"I had a customer come in who knew me before and he said, ‘What took you so long?’ Stone said. "God had His hands on this and I was just waiting on Him to say go. It was time."
The Popcorn Corner
113 W. Church Street
Weatherford, TX 76086
Hours: Closed Sunday and Monday
Tuesday – Friday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.