190622_local_eclipz

Dillon Cox, owner of Eclipz Hand Popped Gourmet Popcorn, makes bubblegum-flavored popcorn at the store’s new location at 714 Felix St. on Thursday afternoon.

A local hand-made treats shop is moving to Downtown St. Joseph.

Elicpz Hand Popped Gourment Popcorn is set to move from its current location at 300 S. Belt Highway to 714 Felix St.

Dillon Cox opened the store in November 2018, one year after capitalizing on the hype surrounding the 2017 solar eclipse.

“I created a business, Eclipz Custom Designs, to create and distribute T-shirts for the eclipse,” Cox said. “Then I decided to buy popcorn equipment. Once I did that, I realized I wanted to own a business to be able to continue.”

Cox already had licensed Eclipz Custom Designs and decided to stick with the name and create a subdivision rather than licensing a completely new business.

Once he moved Eclipz into a storefront, business took off.

“Other small businesses started to promote me and then (we) got into wholesale, retail, consignment,” Cox said. “It just kind of pushed everything along a little bit quicker.”

After only a few months at the current location, Eclipz had outgrown the space and Cox started looking for a new store, which he found near Felix Street Square.

“I’m on one of the blocks that they block off on the weekends for different events, meaning anybody that’s over there enjoying music can safely walk right across the street and grab a treat,” Cox said.

“I’ve had to make no renovations whatsoever, it’s going to be very simple addition of cabinets and a few supplies here and there.”

Eclipz currently offers more than 30 flavors. Customer favorites include caramel apple and birthday cake, but the store also has several savory flavors.

“Some of the more exciting ones may be buffalo ranch or jalapeño cheddar,” Cox said.

Cox is a self-taught popcorn maker and uses a mix of pre-made flavorings and home-made recipes.

“I have come up with a candy recipe of my own, and then I do have a completely homemade caramel recipe which I was able to have passed down from a previous popcorn company,” Cox said. “It’s been quite quite interesting to learn everything.”

Cox has no definite timeline on when the Downtown store will open. He hopes to experiment with more flavors once he is moved into the bigger kitchen space.

“My ideas aren’t always the best ideas, so hearing what the community wants is always great,” Cox said with a laugh. “A few flavors that I am currently thinking of incorporating are a few different soda flavors.”

Jessica Kopp can be reached

at jessica.kopp@newspressnow.com. Follow her on Twitter: @NPNOWKopp

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