[EDITOR'S NOTE — Each week, this feature section, “Movers and Makers,” will feature the stories of the movers, launchers, entrepreneurs and makers who contribute to the vitality of the Mahoning Valley. This section is supported by our first community partner, Farmers National Bank.]
HUBBARD — Jason’s Marvelous Popcorn, a locally made gourmet popcorn brand, aims to put an elevated twist on a classic snack.
“I am trying to do something different,” said Jason Yohman, owner of Jason’s Marvelous Popcorn. “I'm trying to make a high quality confection and just using the popcorn as a base. I'm super proud of it.”
Jason’s Marvelous Popcorn offers a variety of flavors including salted caramel, pecan caramel, cheddar, cayenne cheddar and sea salt and vinegar. Additionally, Yohman uses Ohio-grown popcorn and offers a different seasonal flavor each month.
“One of the seasonal flavors that I have is lemon blueberry poppy seed. I'm constantly asked about that, and that's coming in July. Then one of my holiday flavors is a holiday spiced nut — just cinnamon, nutmeg, stuff like that, and people keep on bringing that back up over and over again to me,” Yohman said.
“I started off halfway through 2019, and then 2020 hits and I haven't had a full regular year yet,” Yohman said.
Now, you can find bags of Jason’s Marvelous Popcorn at Extending Grace, The Howland Bean and Woodland Cellars, as well as in seasonal markets including Hubbard’s Shop Small event, Youngstown Flea and Howland Farmers Market. Yohman also ships state-wide in Ohio.
Yohman told Mahoning Matters that he started Jason’s Marvelous Popcorn after leaving his career in banking after 15 years.
During his career transition, he began tinkering in the kitchen with different recipes, while his wife was working as a teacher and getting her master’s degree. That’s when Jason’s Marvelous Popcorn was born.
“I've always messed around with food and recipes and stuff like that … just trying to make things as good as I can. I'll rework a recipe over and over again until I make sure I get it right, and one of my obsessions has been caramel popcorn because I've rarely had it good. I've rarely been satisfied with it,” he said.
Yohman told Mahoning Matters that after creating a caramel corn that “blew his mind” he realized there was untapped potential in the gourmet popcorn industry.
“We started to hear from friends or family that [my recipe] was the best that they've ever had, and I just thanked them for the compliment and I moved on. [But] I started to hear [it] more and more, and then some people told me that I needed to sell it,” he said.
According to Yohman, Jason’s Marvelous Popcorn is his full-time gig with the help of his wife, Angie, and his two sons, Zack, 23, and Brennan, 15.
“They step up and they help. They help out with bagging if I need it, especially there in the beginning when I was just figuring things out. They are my initial taste testers. I will make sometimes with some of these popcorns like 50 or 60 iterations,” he said.
Overall, Yohman said he’s looking forward to leading his business into a “regular” calendar year and expanding in the year ahead.
For more information on Jason’s Marvelous Popcorn, visit his website.