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  • Garrett Popcorn

    Post #1 - May 27th, 2019, 2:47 pm
    Post #1 - May 27th, 2019, 2:47 pm Post #1 - May 27th, 2019, 2:47 pm
    Good stuff but really pricey. A friend just gave us a few gift tins and I joked that he probably had to take out a second mortgage to do so. Not something I'd buy for myself. Mainly because of the pricing, this seems more like a gift you'd buy for someone else than a snack you'd buy for yourself.

    Garrett does not provide net weights for any of the package types sold on their website (an email from them confirmed this), which feels like a questionable practice and/or an indication of something dubious. I know Garrett is often suggested when lists of made-in-Chicago gifts are compiled but do people who live in Chicago actually buy it for themselves? Or is this tourist food?

    Also wondering about overall perception. Is the company generally viewed favorably or negatively? After news of a recent lawsuit, I heard a fairly wide variety of opinions about Garrett.

    Are there any other 'gourmet' popcorns that equal this in quality?

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #2 - May 27th, 2019, 3:10 pm
    Post #2 - May 27th, 2019, 3:10 pm Post #2 - May 27th, 2019, 3:10 pm
    When flying (which we don't do much), we frequently get popcorn from one of the Nuts on Clark stands at O'Hare. Probably as good as Garrett, IMHO.
  • Post #3 - May 27th, 2019, 3:37 pm
    Post #3 - May 27th, 2019, 3:37 pm Post #3 - May 27th, 2019, 3:37 pm
    I usually take a bunch of medium bags of Caramel and Nuts+caramel for people when I go visit. The tradition in India was you never visit your family without taking some gifts along. This is something simple that everyone can enjoy. I would never buy it for myself as a snack though. Too Pricey. But my peeps have always appreciated it and the kids look forward to it.

    Never take the Cheese or Regular in a bag when traveling. Those get stale and have the texture of styrofoam. You need a Tin for that; and I am not a sucker enough to get tins.

    My verdict is: Tourist and Gifts for visiting only. Not for personal consumption.
    The art of living well and art of dying well are one. ---Epicurus
  • Post #4 - May 27th, 2019, 3:56 pm
    Post #4 - May 27th, 2019, 3:56 pm Post #4 - May 27th, 2019, 3:56 pm
    I've probably only had Garrett's popcorn four times in my life -- three times at the airport and once at Woodfield Mall. I get a small bag, both because of price and because the cheddar corn is very rich and I couldn't eat a lot. I don't know any other places that make good cheddar corn (other than Gary Poppins, but I haven't seen their corn since Fox & Obel closed). I'd rather pay a bit more and have something I really enjoy (vs. something that sits for weeks on a shelf at the grocery store). So it works for me as a rare treat.

    As for the comment about the law suit--suing someone for stealing that amount of information seems pretty reasonable to me. And law suits involving company secrets and trade marks seem pretty common. I remember when the company in Minnesota that trademarked the name "Chicago Mix" sued Garrett (and others who used the name). I'm not encouraged by the number of law suits that are out there, but I do think stealing thousands of files and secret recipes seems to justify legal action. So it wouldn't make me think poorly of Garrett.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #5 - May 27th, 2019, 6:36 pm
    Post #5 - May 27th, 2019, 6:36 pm Post #5 - May 27th, 2019, 6:36 pm
    Cynthia wrote:As for the comment about the law suit--suing someone for stealing that amount of information seems pretty reasonable to me. And law suits involving company secrets and trade marks seem pretty common. I remember when the company in Minnesota that trademarked the name "Chicago Mix" sued Garrett (and others who used the name). I'm not encouraged by the number of law suits that are out there, but I do think stealing thousands of files and secret recipes seems to justify legal action. So it wouldn't make me think poorly of Garrett.

    I probably should have been more clear. The lawsuit, I think, made Garrett topical and because of that, people seemed to be offering their general opinions about the company and the product. While some comments I heard (and read) did pertain to the lawsuit directly, more that I heard did not.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #6 - May 27th, 2019, 6:50 pm
    Post #6 - May 27th, 2019, 6:50 pm Post #6 - May 27th, 2019, 6:50 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    Cynthia wrote:As for the comment about the law suit--suing someone for stealing that amount of information seems pretty reasonable to me. And law suits involving company secrets and trade marks seem pretty common. I remember when the company in Minnesota that trademarked the name "Chicago Mix" sued Garrett (and others who used the name). I'm not encouraged by the number of law suits that are out there, but I do think stealing thousands of files and secret recipes seems to justify legal action. So it wouldn't make me think poorly of Garrett.

    I probably should have been more clear. The lawsuit, I think, made Garrett topical and because of that, people seemed to be offering their general opinions about the company and the product. While some comments I heard (and read) did pertain to the lawsuit directly, more that I heard did not.

    =R=


    Ah -- understood. Well, to me, it was only topical because I just discovered their location at Woodfield. :) I probably won't eat it any more frequently than before, but at least it's now within 20 minutes of home, rather than an hour.

    And I hadn't heard about this particular lawsuit -- just the Chicago Mix one. But I guess that underscores the fact that Garrett's is not a big part of my life. But knowing about this lawsuit doesn't make me think less of them -- it's more the price and calorie count that keeps them rare.

    I would, however, be interested to know if, as folks comment, there are any recommendations of good cheddar popcorn.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #7 - May 27th, 2019, 7:39 pm
    Post #7 - May 27th, 2019, 7:39 pm Post #7 - May 27th, 2019, 7:39 pm
    Prolly 4 years ago, there were a few months I thought I might need to go to a rehab facility to kick my Garrett's habit. And yes, apostrophe s for me and mine, no clue about the correct way, but to us, it's Garrett's. *See also Tower, Sears; Park, Comiskey.

    The one at Navy Pier got me hooked. We'd visit the Children's Museum very frequently throughout the winter, and fall, and spring rainy days, and I just got hooked on the SPICY Chicago Mix. I avoid the stuff at all costs now, unless I'm doing tourist stuff with visitors. Though yes, that screams "tourist food," IMO, it is NOT tourist food. When I think of tourist food, Giordano's Stuffed immediately comes to mind, but good ol, nasty, greezy, orange filth finger makin Garrett's is not. I've tried Well's Street Popcorn, and it's not even close. The blue bag at Costco is better. (Another thing I just avoid at all cost - I'm just eatin the stuff till it's gone.)

    Try the Spicy Chicago Mix, and let me know if it's tourist food. I think not ALL locations have the Spicy Cheese flavor - that gives the Spicy Chicago Mix the kick.

    Garrett's is pretty close to crack, far as I'm concerned. And I bet there are some legit scientific ways to prove congruencies.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #8 - May 27th, 2019, 7:58 pm
    Post #8 - May 27th, 2019, 7:58 pm Post #8 - May 27th, 2019, 7:58 pm
    If you have a chance, try Chicago Kernal in the Millennium Metra station - below the Cultural Center at Michigan and Randolph. Not as greasy as Garrett and several in my office prefer it to Garrett's cheese and carmel mix. I suspect its cheaper than Garrett, but it has been so long since I have been to a Garrett because of this place, that I could not tell you the price difference. They also seem to be sensitive to food allergies, in case that is a concern. I understand they are opening a second location at the Thompson Center.


    No long lines.


    Life-long Chicago area resident, commuting downtown for more that 30 years and I do buy popcorn here.
    "I live on good soup, not on fine words." -Moliere
  • Post #9 - May 27th, 2019, 8:52 pm
    Post #9 - May 27th, 2019, 8:52 pm Post #9 - May 27th, 2019, 8:52 pm
    Cynthia wrote:I would, however, be interested to know if, as folks comment, there are any recommendations of good cheddar popcorn.

    https://www.anuts.com/popcorn/ I don't believe I've ever had Garret's but I've always liked Argires. I used to see their products in a lot of independent stores but now not so much.
  • Post #10 - May 27th, 2019, 9:23 pm
    Post #10 - May 27th, 2019, 9:23 pm Post #10 - May 27th, 2019, 9:23 pm
    Artie wrote:
    Cynthia wrote:I would, however, be interested to know if, as folks comment, there are any recommendations of good cheddar popcorn.

    https://www.anuts.com/popcorn/ I don't believe I've ever had Garret's but I've always liked Argires. I used to see their products in a lot of independent stores but now not so much.


    Thanks for the tip. I looked up Argires, and it appears that they are mainly online, but with an outlet in Alsip, IL. I'll keep it in mind, as I do get around the area a fair bit -- but Woodfield Mall is much closer -- though still far enough off my usual routes to make me pretty safe. Because really good cheddar popcorn is pretty hard to resist.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #11 - May 27th, 2019, 10:29 pm
    Post #11 - May 27th, 2019, 10:29 pm Post #11 - May 27th, 2019, 10:29 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Good stuff but really pricey. A friend just gave us a few gift tins and I joked that he probably had to take out a second mortgage to do so. Not something I'd buy for myself. Mainly because of the pricing, this seems more like a gift you'd buy for someone else than a snack you'd buy for yourself.

    Garrett does not provide net weights for any of the package types sold on their website (an email from them confirmed this), which feels like a questionable practice and/or an indication of something dubious. I know Garrett is often suggested when lists of made-in-Chicago gifts are compiled but do people who live in Chicago actually buy it for themselves? Or is this tourist food?

    Also wondering about overall perception. Is the company generally viewed favorably or negatively? After news of a recent lawsuit, I heard a fairly wide variety of opinions about Garrett.

    Are there any other 'gourmet' popcorns that equal this in quality?

    =R=



    I eat it. There are locations across the street from a courthouse and a law school I frequent.

    I try to take it or the Nuts on Clark version to my family when I travel.

    I think it is a great host gift, even local. The mix is really something great.

    I think I have had it once or twice this year already. I do put the brakes on eating it.

    Will check your link on the lawsuits.
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #12 - May 27th, 2019, 11:30 pm
    Post #12 - May 27th, 2019, 11:30 pm Post #12 - May 27th, 2019, 11:30 pm
    seebee wrote:Prolly 4 years ago, there were a few months I thought I might need to go to a rehab facility to kick my Garrett's habit. And yes, apostrophe s for me and mine, no clue about the correct way, but to us, it's Garrett's. *See also Tower, Sears; Park, Comiskey.

    LOL, Don't you mean 'Park, Cominskey?' Next thing, you'll be calling it Soldiers Field and The Jewels. Myself, I'd always referred to it as Garrett's but I just took the information directly from their website before starting this thread.

    Btw, I know their caramel/cheese mix is pretty polarizing. Put me in the "that's just wrong" camp. :P

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #13 - May 28th, 2019, 9:30 am
    Post #13 - May 28th, 2019, 9:30 am Post #13 - May 28th, 2019, 9:30 am
    I would buy a small bag of Chicago mix for myself occasionally as a treat. I loved it. It was a block from my office and also in the train station. I bought a small bag some years ago and ate the whole thing. Needless to say, I got very ill and ended up in the hospital on an IV drip for three days due to diverticulitis. So no more Garrett's for me...yes I do love it but it does not love me.
    Toria

    "I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it" - As You Like It,
    W. Shakespeare
  • Post #14 - May 28th, 2019, 10:26 am
    Post #14 - May 28th, 2019, 10:26 am Post #14 - May 28th, 2019, 10:26 am
    There are quite a few other options for gourmet popcorn spots in the city and suburbs. Most i see are south.

    Lets Get Poppin is a favorite of mine and have a ton of flavors. All of which you can sample in store. Real nice people too.
    11758 S Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60643, USA

    What ive been really enjoying as of recent are the new gourmet popcorns from Vitners. Found in most gas stations, at least by me in Bridgeport, they got the regular cheese and the chicago mix. Its fire for sure. Also, their hot popcorn is probably the hottest popcorn on the market.

    Ive always like Garretts but its definitely too expensive. A once in a while treat. The new spicy cheese is a hit.
    #SOUTHSIDESLITHER
  • Post #15 - May 28th, 2019, 12:26 pm
    Post #15 - May 28th, 2019, 12:26 pm Post #15 - May 28th, 2019, 12:26 pm
    Working downtown, I pass by various Garrett's all the time. I will occasionally stop and get a small bag as a treat, or maybe even a larger bag to take home to the family.

    Are they expensive? Maybe a little, but I don't consider them out of line with similar items in the "treats" realm. A small bag of either Caramel or cheese or Chicago Mix for around $5 is not outrageous, plain is about $3. People have no problem paying that much for a couple chocolates or truffles at Voges or Godiva, or even more for a Caramel / Candy apple at one of the many places that sells "Gourmet Apples". Heck, your small popcorn at the movie theater is going to set you back more than $5.

    I guess I could just go grab a bag of Okee Doke from the store and save a buck or two, but it's not anywhere close to the same.
  • Post #16 - May 28th, 2019, 12:53 pm
    Post #16 - May 28th, 2019, 12:53 pm Post #16 - May 28th, 2019, 12:53 pm
    thetrob wrote:Are they expensive? Maybe a little, but I don't consider them out of line with similar items in the "treats" realm. A small bag of either Caramel or cheese or Chicago Mix for around $5 is not outrageous, plain is about $3.

    There's nothing close that price range offered at their website. Even the the smallest container of plain popcorn sold via that conduit, The Classic, which contains approximately 10 cups, is $28 before tax and shipping. Even though I understand why it doesn't make sense to sell smaller containers at the website, that still seems very expensive. $2.80 for a cup of popcorn, approximately 11 grams (less than half an ounce), is a lot. In most cases, the more one orders, the lower the per-unit cost gets. Based on what you're saying prices are at their shops, that doesn't seem to be the case here.

    There's no point in comparing Garrett to O-Kee-Doke. That's not even in same realm.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #17 - May 28th, 2019, 1:16 pm
    Post #17 - May 28th, 2019, 1:16 pm Post #17 - May 28th, 2019, 1:16 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    thetrob wrote:Are they expensive? Maybe a little, but I don't consider them out of line with similar items in the "treats" realm. A small bag of either Caramel or cheese or Chicago Mix for around $5 is not outrageous, plain is about $3.

    There's nothing close that price range offered at their website. Even the the smallest container of plain popcorn sold via that conduit, The Classic, which contains approximately 10 cups, is $28 before tax and shipping. Even though I understand why it doesn't make sense to sell smaller containers at the website, that still seems very expensive. $2.80 for a cup of popcorn, approximately 11 grams (less than half an ounce), is a lot. In most cases, the more one orders, the lower the per-unit cost gets. Based on what you're saying prices are at their shops, that doesn't seem to be the case here.

    There's no point in comparing Garrett to O-Kee-Doke. That's not even in same realm.

    =R=


    Ronnie, I would posit that the shops sell a heck of a lot more bags (which aren't available online) at the shops than they do the tins. It has always been my experience at the locations downtown, that most of the people in line are buying bags of the various offerings for immediate consumption. I rarely see a lot of tins being sold, at least at the locations downtown. The small bag of plain popcorn is less than $3, chesse is closer to $4 and anything that includes caramel is around $5. You are definitely paying a premium for the Can itself and its unfortunate that online you can't just order the popcorn without the tins.
  • Post #18 - May 28th, 2019, 2:53 pm
    Post #18 - May 28th, 2019, 2:53 pm Post #18 - May 28th, 2019, 2:53 pm
    thetrob wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    thetrob wrote:Are they expensive? Maybe a little, but I don't consider them out of line with similar items in the "treats" realm. A small bag of either Caramel or cheese or Chicago Mix for around $5 is not outrageous, plain is about $3.

    There's nothing close that price range offered at their website. Even the the smallest container of plain popcorn sold via that conduit, The Classic, which contains approximately 10 cups, is $28 before tax and shipping. Even though I understand why it doesn't make sense to sell smaller containers at the website, that still seems very expensive. $2.80 for a cup of popcorn, approximately 11 grams (less than half an ounce), is a lot. In most cases, the more one orders, the lower the per-unit cost gets. Based on what you're saying prices are at their shops, that doesn't seem to be the case here.

    There's no point in comparing Garrett to O-Kee-Doke. That's not even in same realm.

    =R=


    Ronnie, I would posit that the shops sell a heck of a lot more bags (which aren't available online) at the shops than they do the tins. It has always been my experience at the locations downtown, that most of the people in line are buying bags of the various offerings for immediate consumption. I rarely see a lot of tins being sold, at least at the locations downtown. The small bag of plain popcorn is less than $3, chesse is closer to $4 and anything that includes caramel is around $5. You are definitely paying a premium for the Can itself and its unfortunate that online you can't just order the popcorn without the tins.

    It's the tins and the (associated) pricing, that make it feel, at least online, that this is very much a gift/tourist-focused endeavor. I don't think the tins keep the products any fresher than bags would and I seriously doubt bagged popcorn, packed well in a box, would suffer any more damage than it would in a tin. But the tins look nice (I guess) and they can charge a premium for them.

    But I do understand and appreciate why the effective minimum online order is set where it is. It couldn't possibly make financial sense to ship out smaller orders placed online because their minimum cost to process an order likely wouldn't justify it, especially since their website touts that the popcorn is "Made for you the day we ship."

    In any case, I think it's a premium product sold, at least online, at hyper-premium prices. As I stated at the top, I'm thrilled to have received a few tins from my friend; something I would not have purchased for myself. The Spicy Cheesecorn is fantastic!

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #19 - May 28th, 2019, 4:48 pm
    Post #19 - May 28th, 2019, 4:48 pm Post #19 - May 28th, 2019, 4:48 pm
    Great margins looking for suckers. When I was involved in movie theaters I believe our cost was around a dime a cup (w/real butter topping).
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #20 - May 28th, 2019, 7:45 pm
    Post #20 - May 28th, 2019, 7:45 pm Post #20 - May 28th, 2019, 7:45 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:There's no point in comparing Garrett to O-Kee-Doke. That's not even in same realm.

    =R=

    O-Kee-Doke tastes to me like it was sprayed with cheese flavoring while high end cheese popcorn tastes like it was dipped in an actual cheese solution.
  • Post #21 - May 30th, 2019, 11:18 am
    Post #21 - May 30th, 2019, 11:18 am Post #21 - May 30th, 2019, 11:18 am
    Garrett popcorn is one of my very guilty pleasures!! It is also one reason to be thankful to be living in California - sure saves my diet. I will admit though that I dearly love my nieces for sending me Garrett's cheddar and caramel for the holidays each year.
  • Post #22 - May 30th, 2019, 2:28 pm
    Post #22 - May 30th, 2019, 2:28 pm Post #22 - May 30th, 2019, 2:28 pm
    nr706 wrote: When flying (which we don't do much), we frequently get popcorn from one of the Nuts on Clark stands at O'Hare. Probably as good as Garrett, IMHO.
    I've eaten both Garrett's and Nuts On Clark's popcorn. To me, they're pretty much a choice between #1a and #1b {and I won't disclose which is the "a" :lol:}.
    Having scribed that, I will direct that in downtown Chicago, Garrett's is available at Ogilvie Transportation Center (UP | nee C&NW), and Nuts On Clark is available at Chicago Union Station.
    I do not order the caramel. For me, it is either the regular blend with butter, or the cheese variety - which was definitely influenced upon me by Jay's Ok-E-Doke popcorn back a whole bunch of years. :idea:
    The links you can use, without the fluff, or sales pitch: http://208.84.112.25/~pudgym29/bookmark4.html
  • Post #23 - May 31st, 2019, 12:42 pm
    Post #23 - May 31st, 2019, 12:42 pm Post #23 - May 31st, 2019, 12:42 pm
    My snackin' group loves Cretor's Chicago Mix. Excellent, a much much longer shelf life and about 1/4 of the cost, especially if you buy at the warehouse clubs.
    Image
  • Post #24 - June 2nd, 2019, 12:36 pm
    Post #24 - June 2nd, 2019, 12:36 pm Post #24 - June 2nd, 2019, 12:36 pm
    We went to Navy Pier for a movie and even though we allowed extra time for public transit we arrived just before showtime.

    The snack counter looked sad with no popcorn popping and generally abandoned so we passed.

    On the way out I did remember there was a Garrett’s nearby so we stopped for a medium classic mix.

    On our stroll back to the EL we would occasionally stop for a drink or just to rest.

    A nibble here and there was tasty and a nice trail mix. Fresh.

    We don’t get it often and I am considering it for future visits to that theater.
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat

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