New eatery pops into Tallahassee

Storefront of Hard Pop Cafe. Photo by Gabriela Holmes

Hard PoP Cafe, a new gourmet popcorn shop is now open at 1316 South Adams St.

It offers several different sweet and savory flavors of gourmet popcorn. Hard PoP is owned and operated by two FAMU alumni who requested that their names be left out of this article.

Jaden Vilvert a third-year sociology major, recently visited Hard Pop. “I have never had popcorn like this before,” Vilvert said.

Hard PoP may be new to Tallahassee but the vision has been a work in progress. Four years ago this was only a dream. The two owners envisioned a cafe for FAMU students where multiple services like tutoring and mentoring can be provided while enjoying a delicious snack.

The Black-owned restaurant prepares its flavored popcorn daily, specializing in unusual concoctions like the “Wakanda” infused with original Oreo crumbles. Another fan-favorite is “Banana Pudding” which consists of white chocolate infused with Golden Oreo crumbles, bananas optional.

Two fan favorites the “Wakanda” and “Banana Pudding.” Photo by Gabriela Holmes

It took about a year to clean up the shop, paint and get things rolling. The owners took about the same amount of time to perfect their treats as well. They said they wanted to make sure every bite is worth your while. Within the last year, Hard PoP began to take off with popcorn sales.

Because this is a new business, all the work is done in-house. The cooking, cleaning and store maintenance are mainly taken care of by the owners. It is start to finish, from when the store opens up to closing time.

The aesthetic of the shop and delectable treats gives off a nostalgic vibe.

“It feels like I’m in a movie,” said Jonae Harris, a nursing student at FAMU.

“I celebrated my 51st birthday at Hard PoP Cafe and it was really nice,” said Tanya Milliner, and from then on Milliner wanted to give her time to this growing business. “I think this has the potential to be really big.”

The Hard PoP Cafe can be used for several different venues catering to anything from a movie night to a small social.

In the near future, Hard PoP would also like to open its doors to the homeless. This will be in a location detached from the cafe.

The coronavirus has taken hold in every corner of the country. The results, for restaurants, have been catastrophic. Just like any other restaurant Hard PoP had its setbacks before and during COVID-19, but throughout all the chaos it has persevered.