Fireworks Popcorn giving up downtown location for truck access
Fireworks Popcorn is moving out of downtown Port Washington and closing its retail store as it relocates to the south end of the city, owner Wayne Chrusciel announced recently.
“We’re not leaving town, we’re leaving downtown,” he said.
The company, which has been at its current 101 W. Grand Ave. location for about six years, will be moving to the former Modern Equipment building at 740 W. Oakland Ave. in a more industrial area of the city.
“It’s a very old building with 12 to 14-foot exposed wood ceilings,” Chrusciel said.
There, building owner Barney Bannon will be constructing a loading dock for the firm — a major inducement for the move, he said.
Fireworks Popcorn is doing more and more wholesale business and sending and receiving more products on pallets. That’s difficult at their current location, which has 2,500 square feet on multiple levels, Chrusciel said.
“This should work much better for us,” he said. “We ship a lot of weight.”
The business, which has two full-time and three part-time employees, will no longer have a retail operation, Chrusciel said, except at the holidays, when gift items will be sold there.
However, customers will be able to go online, order products and pick them up at the new location, he said.
Several people have asked him whether the opening of Broadway Popcorn in downtown played a role in his decision, Chrusciel said.
It hasn’t. What’s played a role is the fact that Franklin Street has developed so much that fewer people seem to be finding their way onto West Grand Avenue, affecting all the businesses there, he said.
Chrusciel noted that his business has changed significantly. When he bought the business in August 2007, he had a business plan identifying his top 10 customers.
“I don’t have a single one of those anymore,” he said. “We’ve made an attempt to get into specialty food stores.”
Fireworks Popcorn is also on the verge of going back on Amazon.
“That’ll be big,” Chrusciel said. “They order every single week.”
When he realized he needed a new location, Chrusciel said he first looked downtown.
“My first choice was downtown, but I couldn’t find anything there that made sense for us,” he said. “We need a loading dock.”
Even as they move, Chrusciel said he remains committed to the city. He will continue to serve on the Business Improvement District Board of Directors as the Chamber of Commerce representative, and will remain involved with Port Main Street Inc.
Chrusciel said he hopes to complete the move by the end of March.