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Glancer Magazine

SAVORY & SWEET SISTERS | The Little Popcorn Store In Wheaton

THE MAGIC BEHIND THE RED DOOR Measuring only forty-nine inches wide and sixty feet long The Little Popcorn Store is the smallest shop around but has a long history. In 1921 Wheaton resident E. Claire Brown put a roof over an alleyway and with the secret popcorn recipe in hand opened his door. In 1935 the popularity of his popcorn drove him to want a little more space. He found another alley at 111 ¼ Front Street, put a roof over it and popcorn has been popping inside ever since. A Wheaton local, Bill Wakefield took over in 1979 and keeps the memories alive.

As you pull open the red door sandwiched between two storefronts, the smell of freshly popped popcorn brings back many memories. A favorite of young and old Mr. Wakefield sells eight tons of popcorn a year! He uses only white corn, veggie oil and salt. The simple recipe helps to keep the popcorn allergy safe for many children. The narrow store is lined with nostalgic penny candy. From root beer barrels, wax teeth and swirled lollipops to giant jaw breakers and Satellite wafers. You are bound to find a childhood favorite.

Although Mr. Wakefield loves chocolate his favorite candy is the grapefruit gummy and we must agree it bursts with flavor.

Mr. Wakefield shared that his favorite part of the day is when the children come in. As we talked a smiling young girl with excitement on her face eyed each candy jar trying to pick just the right sweet treat. She was clenching in her hand a token. Each token awards the lucky child one dollar worth of candy.

This holiday season enjoy some sweet treats from yesteryear, grab a bag of fresh popcorn and make memories with your family. One family started as a proposal with a ring pop and now it is tradition to bring their children. Just look for the red door on Front Street!

The Little Popcorn Store 111 ¼ W. Front Street, Wheaton (630) 690-7712 Owner: Bill Wakefield


Stephanie (right) & Tiffany (left) Schmoker are west suburban sisters who have always shared a love for dining out and they also enjoy cooking together. They came from a family of 7 and grew up on farm with fresh fruits, veggies and more. Watch for their review of a different west suburban restaurant in each issue of Glancer Magazine. Invite them to your eatery at

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