Why Garrett Popcorn Continues to be a Chicago Tradition


What would Chicago be without its famous popcorn? Garrett Popcorn has been a necessity in Chicago ever since its first shop opened up in 1949. People from all over the world make it a priority to stop by to pick up a bag to bring home. Sharing the delicious popcorn with a loved one has become one of Chicago’s most beloved traditions. How did this come to be? Let’s travel through time to see how it all started! 

1949 – The first shop was born

It all started when a female entrepreneur brought her family’s secret popcorn recipes to Chicago. Her family had a variety of recipes such as CheeseCorn, CarmelCrisp, Plain, and Buttery. She wanted to share these recipes, so she opened the first shop at 10 West Madison in Downtown Chicago. The store quickly became a big hit to Chicagoans because of the great taste and welcoming atmosphere.  

1977 – The “Chicago Mix” was invented

The idea to make this a menu item came from the shoppers. Many of the fans would request an empty bag to mix together the CaramelCrisp and the CheeseCorn. Due to the many requests, Garrett Popcorn decided to add this mix onto their menu. This creation mixing together the two most favorite flavors quickly became the most popular recipe! 

1982 -The logo was embedded into Chicago’s culture 

The famous logo that we all know and love was created from the handwriting of the founder’s daughter. The business was passed down to her in 1982 after she grew up in the store. The shops became a huge part of the Chicago community and the logo became iconic. 

1992-  Garrett Popcorn became easily accessible to the public  

The original Randolph Street location started a mail order business so customers could order all of their favorites to be delivered. The first website was launched in 1993 so orders can be placed online! Now everyone can get their popcorn online, for pickup, on Postmates, or at the drive-thru on the southwest side. The popcorn is fresh no matter what! 

2005 – The legacy was passed on

A new family took on the Garrett legacy but not to worry! The new owners take pride in upholding all of Garrett’s famous traditions!

2009- Garrett Popcorn goes international 

The first international shops opened in Dubai and Singapore to celebrate the 60th anniversary. There are now 50 shops all over the world, although Chicago will always be considered home. 

2017 – Frango Chocolate joined Garrett’s famous brand

Frango is yet another iconic brand that is adored by many in Chicago and Seattle. Frango joined the Garrett family so customers can get plenty of tasty treats! 

2019- 70 years of popcorn

Garrett Popcorn went all out for their 70th anniversary!  The brand appeared in the Bud Billiken parade and Statik created brand new murals in select shops.

Garrett Popcorn will always be special to the Windy City and all of its people. Great traditions never die! Take part in the Garrett Popcorn tradition by picking up a bag today! 

Written By: Megan Collins

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