Along the historic Main Street of St. Charles sits Sweet Poppins, a gourmet popcorn shop catering to the needs of their neighbors. Behind the delicious kernels is Erica Priest, a Lindenwood University alumna and small-business owner, who is committed to her community in many ways.
A nut-free and gluten-free food business, Priest believes in being responsive to the needs of individuals with food allergies and wants her business to be a safe space. Sweet Poppins has worked with countless schools and community partners because of this commitment. And, under Priest’s leadership, provides personalized attention to customers and neighbors.
Priest earned her degree in human resources administration and worked in industry for 17 years before deciding to be her own boss. Sweet Poppins opened its doors in October 2018 and offers something unique to the St. Charles community. In starting Sweet Poppins, she chose to produce quality over quantity and maintains six classic flavors of popcorn at a time including kettle corn, cheddar, and caramel. Each of the popcorn options are made fresh daily and are complemented by seasonal specialties. Priest and her team can also create custom flavors for special occasions and have made flavors such as Banana Cream Pie and Blazin’ Buffalo for weddings.
Priest and her husband Bryan, also a Lindenwood graduate, believe in giving back to the community and have risen to the occasion throughout the pandemic. Providing snacks to local healthcare professionals, urgent care centers, EMS and frontline workers is a natural way for the Priests to give back to the St. Charles community. Their family-owned small business was built from the ground up and is a true labor of love. Perhaps their website states it best – “Sweet Poppins. Family Owned. Popped Fresh Daily. Seasonal Flavors. Community Focused.”
Sweet Poppins is located at 825 S. Main Street in St. Charles and offers a discount for Lindenwood employees, students, and alumni. For more information, visit sweetpoppins.com.