Located on a quiet street near 47th Street and Rainbow, Velvet Creme Popcorn is a family-owned company that celebrated its 70th anniversary last year. Howard and Dona White founded it in 1937; he was an unemployed autoworker, and the couple used the leftover money from his last paycheck to buy popcorn to sell to local businesses. The company flourished — it's credited with being the first ever to sell popcorn in decorated cans. Howard and Dona's granddaughter, Nancy Wright, runs it today. The decorated cans are still available in a variety of designs, though they're no longer hand-painted. But the longevity of the company can be attributed to the airy, delicately flavored popcorn, which is handmade in small batches in gas-fired poppers and comes in several flavors. Buttered, cheese, caramel and cinnamon are the mainstays, and the more exotic offerings include chili-cheese and white-chocolate-almond-caramel corn. Velvet Creme also offers a variety of snack mixes as well as another crowd favorite, Nutter Nuggets: rectangular pretzels filled with peanut butter. It's all delicious and dangerously addictive — Howard and Dona would be proud.
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