When ReShonda Young had the opportunity to open a franchise, she did what few other people would do; she decided to do it all on her own, instead.
ReShonda opened Popcorn Heaven on Franklin Street in Waterloo in March of 2014 and hasn’t looked back since. The store features unique and mouthwatering gourmet popcorn treats, including Strawberry Cheesecake Popcorn, Dill Pickle Popcorn, Southwestern Hot Wings Popcorn, and a large assortment of other varieties.
With her growing success, ReShonda had made it a point to invest in her community. She supports area youth groups and other local organizations, with hopes of doing more in the future.
When we met ReShonda, she told us about the origins of Popcorn Heaven and how MidWestOne helped her dreams of owning a business come true.
Popcorn Heaven is a wonderful addition to Waterloo. Tell us how it all began.
I was working with my dad in the insurance industry. I promised him that I would work with him for seven years. At the end of year seven, I had the chance to open a popcorn store as a franchise. It was something I chose not to do. Instead, I decided to do it on my own and open Popcorn Heaven.
You make it a priority to support the Waterloo community. In what ways are you giving back?
We really try to do as much as possible to support our local community. We put a lot of our focus on youth organizations. We’ll pick an organization each month to support. We’ll pick one day to bring them in and showcase them on social media and in the store. A portion of that day’s proceeds will go to the organization.
Sometimes we have them come in when the store is closed and give them a tour of the facility. They come in and make up their own flavors and combinations of popcorn. We make it a really fun time for them. It’s interesting to see some of the kids who say they would like to become business owners, but think it’s out of reach for them. When they see that a normal person like me, who grew up in Waterloo, can do it, they start to see they can do it, too. It’s encouraging to them.
Why did you choose to open the store in Waterloo?
I grew up here and I know a lot of people in the area. I’ve always been very involved in the community. I have all of these people who already know me and trust me. It’s just a really great community! It’s small enough that people can get to know you better. And, it’s big enough to open a business like this and have a better chance to become successful. We really want people to come into the store and have a good experience. We want them to leave happier than when they came in.
How did MidWestOne help you open Popcorn Heaven?
I had previous relationships with other banks and credit unions, but none of them were willing to help me get my business started. When I walked into MidWestOne, they were incredibly helpful. They believed in me and trusted me. They gave me the loan and financing I needed to open the store. MidWestOne looked at me as an individual, instead of just a bunch of numbers on paper. I couldn’t have opened my business without MidWestOne Bank.
Describe the relationship you share with MidWestOne.
My bankers, Luke and Leslie, have been incredible! I feel like they really know me as a person. It’s not just about business. They truly care about me. The thing I like most is that I can call them and they will assist me, anytime. They know me and my accounts. We have a great relationship!