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Popcorn World Opens in Gary, Black Collectibles in Brooklyn
and Baltimore

December 19 – January 1, 2020
LeBarron Burton

After opening their first Popcorn World store in the Southwestern Chicago suburb of Oak Lawn five years ago, LeBarron and Nina Burton opened their second company store 45 minutes away in Gary, Indiana and are now looking to expand via franchises nationwide.

“We already have one franchised store about 35 miles to the east in Michigan City, Indiana,” says LeBarron. “If you can manage money and manage people, this is one business you may like and it’s where you won’t find a litany of competition,” said LeBarron while working in the Gary location.

The super modern Gary store is in the new County Market Plaza, just off the Interstate 80/94 Grant Street North exit.  The store sells more than 250 flavors of hand-coated popcorn flavors from oreo to banana pudding. The advantage of being a franchisee is that investors will “get access to our process, recipes, and our growing brand recognition,” LeBarron continued.

In addition to company owned stores and a franchise, Popcorn World offers a fundraising program. As with many fundraising programs, sponsors have to complete some paperwork, but not invest any funds in purchasing the product.

Brooklyn, New York also witnessed a new brick and mortar store opening. Kiyanna Stewart and Jannah Handy opened BLK MKT Vintage, a marketplace dedicated to shifting Black cultural artifacts from marginal to center. The “antique” store is in the historic Bed-Stuy neighborhood at 465 Marcus Garvey Boulevard.

The store offers an entire range of classic vintage items including literature, vinyl records, clothing, art, housewares/decor, and furniture.  “Our work centers the richness of the Black experience, and for the last five years, we have brought Black historical narratives to the contemporary,” explained Kiyanna Stewart and Jannah Handy.

A limited number of black memorabilia dealers who usually are at the annual April Black Memorabilia show in Gaithersburg, Maryland will be at Morgan State University, Sunday, February 23, says organizer Lindsey Johnson. The special event will be in conjunction with the Prince Hall Grand Lodge Masons’ Maryland 3rd Annual Thurgood Marshall Black History Month Program.

The Carl J. Murphy Fine Arts Center, 2201 Argonne Drive in Baltimore, will host the one day event. The event will be open 11a-6p and is free.
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