The first thing that hits you is the smell. Warm, buttery, sweet, delicious caramel corn – it pulls you in from down the street and doesn’t let you go until you’ve stepped into the magical place that is Popsies.
“Look at this! Did you see they have these?”
“I haven’t seen this candy in years!”
“Oh, I used to remember getting these…”
“My mother/father/grandmother/grandfather/etc. always loved this treat…”
Since opening in 2006, Popsies has been an important part of historic downtown Oak Harbor. Walking into the store inspires people of all ages to become a “kid in a candy store” again. Not only does Popsies stir up memories for adults of favorite candies from their childhood, but it has also created new memories for the children of Oak Harbor who have grown up with the experience of coming to Popsies for a treat.
It all began with making and selling Cinnamon Popcorn at Kay’s granddaughter’s soccer games. From that experience the idea of Popsies was born. Originally opened by Kay and Coreen Lerch, Kay’s daughter-in-law, the shop started out in a space formerly occupied by a bicycle shop on Pioneer Way. After months of work by Nautilus Construction, aka Coreen and Tom Lerch (Kay’s middle son), everything was ready to go. The bike shop had been transformed into a true old-fashioned candy shop, with tile floors, antique furniture, and candy cane striped wallpaper. Kay’s granddaughters, Emma and Olivia Lerch, grew up getting to miss school “on very special occasions” to go “candy shopping” with their mom, Coreen, and Grandma Kay at the vendor shows in Seattle.
As time has passed almost every member of Kay’s family has been an important part of Popsies – you can learn more about them all on our Team Members page.
The most wonderful thing about Popsies, though, besides the delicious treats, is the woman behind the sweetness – Kay Coolidge. Kay is a warm, generous person who is beloved by children, teenagers and adults, some of whom have decided she is their grandmother too. She has never ceased to love the excitement of opening a new shipment of candy, and her care for both the shop and the community of Oak Harbor has added sweetness to many people’s lives for nearly 10 years.
Thank you for taking a moment to visit with us here online, and we hope to see you in Popsies sometime soon.