Coming Soon To Lakewood: Campbell's Sweets Factory
In the very near future, if you cross the intersection of Warren and Detroit too quickly, you might not catch the wonderful new aromas in the air, but you won’t be able to miss the new eight-foot tall sign and yellow awnings that signal the arrival of Campbell’s Sweets Factory to Lakewood.
Customers have enjoyed popcorn from the Campbell family since 1975, when Amos began Karmelkorn kiosks in local malls. Jeff, son of Amos, opened his first popcorn shop with his wife Lynn in the West Side Market in 2004. After expanding to multiple stands and broadening into other treats, such as cupcakes, Jeff and his family opened their first Campbell’s Sweets Factory on West 25th in Ohio City.
For the second location Campbell chose Lakewood, in the storefronts which formerly housed Normile Insurance and Landfall Travel. Renovating and joining these two old storefronts is more costly than moving into a ready-to-move-in space in a strip mall, and some tasks, such as how to move 50-pound bags of popcorn kernels in and out of the basement, will prove tricky, but Campbell is glad to be moving into Lakewood. He estimates that he would have saved about $100,000 by moving into a plaza somewhere, but currently “there’s not a more prime spot than the corner of Warren and Detroit.”
Popcorn, the treat for which Campbell’s is most known, will be featured prominently in the store’s window displays. Passersby can peer in to see the large industrial popper popping a locally-grown corn—a variety of “mushroom flake” that is non-GMO and grown in Norton, Ohio—using heat lamps instead of hot oil. The window will also feature a large tumbler and other devices to add coatings and flavorings, such as carmel and beer-cheddar, to make the many sweet and savory varieties. A bagging station will seal the popcorn in cellophane. “The enemy of popcorn is moisture,” explained Campbell.
Other products will be displayed quite uniquely. Old doors have been refurbished and repurposed as popcorn ball dispensers. Cotton candy will hang like multi-colored puffy leaves in plastic bags from a wooden tree. Cupcakes and chocolates will also be prominently displayed.
People will certainly want to hang out in the store for a while. Not only can they enjoy the treats, but Campbell’s will offer cappuccino, espresso and coffee. Music will permeate the air in the store, thanks to a virtual reality audio system that’s being installed by Dennis Althar, a Slavic Village native who invented this new top-of-the-line speaker system. Some of that music will even be performed live.
Campbell is excited to join the downtown Lakewood business community. “Everyone here works together. That’s why I love Lakewood.” The family is hoping to open the Lakewood version of Campbell’s Sweets Factory on November 4.