By Kate Merrill

WAREHAM (CBS) — Wareham is generally all about the cranberries as cranberry growers control more than 30-percent of the land in town.

However, it is not cranberries, but rather popcorn that controls Justin Cherman, owner of “Thank You Popcorn” in Wareham.

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“I’ve always loved popcorn. I worked in a movie theater that my family owned in Colorado when I was a teenager, so it’s this little bug that I have,” he told WBZ-TV.

But in 2017, that little bug blossomed when Justin and his wife Amy started a side gig and “Thank You Popcorn” was born.

“We were doing it kind of part-time, weekends, nights,” he said. “I was working at a deli, managing it in a medical center. And COVID hit, and I was suddenly out of work.”

That’s when this former fine-dining chef took a U-turn right into full-time snacking. His fun side hustle soon became his life.

“It was this mixed blessing. I’m out of work, but now this is my moment to turn it into a popcorn business,” said Justin.

It is cheesy and spicy and sweet and savory. The flavors are unique, fun and likeable, much like Justin himself.

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There is the soda-inspired creation, root beer and Korean BBQ, that brings him back to his New York City restaurant days.

And of course, his son’s favorite “Celebration Cake”, a mix of hand drizzled sweetness, topped with sprinkles. With his wife Amy, also a former chef, the couple is finding gourmet popcorn is really growing on them.

Celebration Cake popcorn. (WBZ-TV)

“It’s been a lot of fun. It’s hard work and we put in long hours, but at the end of the day its something we can be proud of. We’ve grown from nothing in a couple of years,” said Amy.

It has them both feeling thankful for the little popcorn company with the name to always remind them of what is important.

“Our family is really big about gratitude. If you don’t have it in life, what’s the point? There’s so many good things in life to be thankful for,” said Justin.

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Kate Merrill