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A suburban gourmet popcorn shop has received a grant from the city of Grand Rapids to move downtown.
The Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority on July 10 approved a $45,000 retail incubation grant for husband-and-wife co-owners Brian Mosby and Shavyea Mosby, which they will use to move their Kentwood business, Mosby’s Popcorn, to downtown Grand Rapids.
Mosby’s Popcorn is currently located at 6155 Kalamazoo Ave. SE near Celebration! Cinema South. The grant will allow the Mosbys to renovate and move into a new space in the Blodgett Building at 15 Ionia Ave. SW in the Arena District, next to Go Java Coffee.
“The main attraction to downtown is because a lot of our customer base is in the city of Grand Rapids, so the idea was for us to be closer and so that it wasn’t so much of a commute,” Shavyea Mosby said.
“When we think about the city of Grand Rapids and how they’re growing, we just wanted to have our business be part of that experience. We’re really excited. This has been our brainchild that we’ve been working on for some time.”
She added Mosby’s will benefit from being closer to the downtown events it has previously been a vendor for, such as Movies on Monroe, ArtPrize and LaughFest.
After the move, Shavyea Mosby said the business will expand its line of popcorn flavors and develop a “creative menu” for after 8 p.m. that will offer various food and popcorn pairings.
She said the vacant space, formerly occupied by the whiskey tasting room Hemingway Lounge until last fall, needs some improvements, including being brought up to Americans with Disabilities Act compliance. It is currently being evaluated by various architects.
The retail incubation grant guidelines specify recipients may use the funds for contributions toward building improvements, lease payments and contracting for deal-making and recruiting services.
Past recipients of retail incubation grants include Tamales Mary and Ambiance GR Kitchen & Lounge, which is currently under construction and is expected to open later this year.
Shavyea Mosby said she and her husband hope to begin construction on the Mosby’s space in August and have set a tentative soft opening date of Sept. 26.
They plan to keep their Kentwood location open at least until after the new year and then evaluate whether to move all operations to downtown.
East Lansing-based T.A. Forsberg owns the Blodgett Building, and JLL manages leasing.
Jeremy Veenstra, of NAI Wisinski of West Michigan, represented the Mosbys in the lease transaction.
Founded in 2015, Mosby’s sells more than 125 flavors of popcorn such as caramel, cheesecake, pineapple and GR beer cheese. The business displays about 54 rotating flavors at a time in its store.
The popcorn is available at Mosby’s, online at mosbyspopcorn.com, at the Bridge Street Market and at many events throughout the city.