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Noah landed amidst the swaying palm trees at USC to finish a degree in psychology, and quickly fell in love with the active lifestyle, creative energy, and carefree spirit of the Sunshine State. After settling into a modest apartment in iconic Beverly Hills, Noah was eager to bring fresh flavor to the proverbial table of his new home. Fittingly, he found his inspiration in the kitchen, waiting right on the wooden table of his childhood—after all, under those bright Trojan stripes, Noah’s heart still beat with deep Hoosier pride.

Growing up in Indiana, Noah remembered the joy of watching his family transform “a dash of this” and a “pinch of that” into a Thanksgiving feast; joking around with the guys after soccer practice over huge bowls of shredded wheat; and being shooed out of the kitchen while Dad whipped up a batch of his “secret popcorn” on lazy weekend afternoons. Even with the buzzing nightlife and red-carpet cachet of Hollywood, Noah saw that the simple pleasures of great friends, warm family and good old-fashioned fun were truly universal cravings. Noah embraced the challenge to create a recipe that would bring them all together.

Drawing from his own love for the crunchy American treat, Noah recognized the appeal of popcorn as an anytime snack for every occasion. He sought to elevate the American classic from sidekick to starring role by crafting a gourmet indulgence as memorable as the moments captured onscreen.

With a big idea and a small copper pot, the next few years filled Noah’s modest Beverly Hills apartment with mountains of caramel corn and just as many invaluable caramel corn taste-testers. Sleep was traded for flavor when Noah discovered the extra depth and richness that traditional oven-baking coaxed from his slow-simmered caramel.

In 2006, the first words to fly out of someone’s mouth after tasting a bite of Noah’s popcorn became a steady stream of, “What did you put in this? It’s soooooo good!” Such genuinely joyful reactions convinced Noah that the recipe for Clandestine Caramel Corn™ was ready to share with the world. Popsalot Gourmet Popcorn was officially born.


Victoria was basking in the brilliance of UC Berkeley’s literary luminaries. Between foraging Moe’s Books and the Main Stacks for meaty morsels of Milton, she discovered a secondhand tome of Larousse and found herself deeply enchanted by Marion Cunningham. Having often wandered into the comfort of the kitchen to knead or julienne her way through writer’s block, Victoria delightedly fattened her inner epicure on the rich history of gastronomy’s colorful heroes and its humble yet colorful traditions. The unique power of food to resonate across continents, time, and the written page encouraged Victoria to explore Golden Bear Territory’s rare bounty of local farmers and culinary artisans with her nose to the air, hungry for fresh stories, unfamiliar flavors and juicy seasonal fare. Amid piles of violet pluots, wrinkly blood oranges and blistered Cheeseboard bialys, the scent that became Victoria’s siren song at every farmer’s market was the irresistible toasty aroma of fresh, hand-turned kettle corn. Never did she ever imagine that she could find the cure for her cravings on any supermarket shelf.

Victoria’s culinary curiosity began with Mom and Dad. Their traditional Chinese values made Family Dinner a non-negotiable clause in her Californian childhood. Whether these formative meals featured Mom’s unctuous braised oxtail or sibling Iron Chef collaborations, sharing meals were as much about nurturing spirits as they were about satisfying hunger. Adolescent wings introduced Victoria’s palate to street markets, hawker stalls, haute cuisine and homey kitchens. From across town to overseas, the simple act of gathering around any table was cherished as a moment to savor the day’s triumphs and rally strength against its challenges

It was a dark and stormy day...

Victoria hopped off BART and skipped excitedly to Moscone Center to meet the mysterious owner of a “small popcorn company” that had chosen her to represent their product at the show. Heading into the South Hall, Noah attempted to share his past four years in the next five minutes. And much the way that every handful of Popsalot takes hours to create but only seconds to devour, Victoria found the passionate history of Noah’s company instantly addictive.

Once behind the booth, Victoria sampled each unique flavor with glee, pausing only to share flavor notes and the occasional joke with Noah. Trapped together for three long days, Noah was intrigued by Victoria’s unflagging energy as she spoke to guests about Popsalot and amused by her bizarrely encyclopedic knowledge of all things edible.

As they watched the delighted reactions of everyone who sampled a crisp puff of Popsalot, they quickly discovered a shared love for, well, sharing the love. Their definition of what “gourmet” could mean for their generation is grounded in the belief that honest ingredients treated with great care can satisfy more than just a craving—they can indulge the heart.

While most attendees of the Fancy Food Show leave with full bellies and bulging tote-bags, Noah and Victoria left San Francisco with the very best part of a delicious meal—a friend to enjoy it with…and to help with the dishes after. The rest, as they say, is history. They hope Popsalot Gourmet Popcorn becomes part of your story, too.

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