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The Schiatti family had an epiphany as they were walking down to see a fireworks show in New Hope, Pennsylvania. “We always loved going to the fireworks down at the beach,” says Julian Sghiatti, proprietor of the newly-opened Clusters Handcrafted Popcorn at 530 Main Street in Bethlehem. “We’d go get our caramel corn before we watched them. But in New Hope, all they had was ice cream.”
As business owners and entrepreneurs they realized a need for another snack option, and decided to bring that beach-popcorn experience to their home town. That was six years ago. Today, they are a family-owned franchise making moves to grow.
“With the past couple years of doing great on Main Street in New Hope,” Julian says, “we were getting franchise interest. They loved the space, they loved that we designed it ourselves, they loved the concept, and they loved our flavors.”
The wide range of flavors available has something to satisfy everyone—from the savory “Buffalo Wing-It” and “White Cheddar Chipotle” to the sweeter “Cookie Explosion” and “Chocolate Covered Cherry.” And what’s even better, most flavors are gluten-free and dairy-free. But it’s more than just experiential retail, they do catering, too—wedding bars, birthday parties, gender reveals—and, of course, fundraising events.
Bethlehem was the perfect location for the family’s next move. Julian had already been living and working here for almost five years, and he already knew the business. “Bethlehem is a city, and a business hub,” Julian says. “We want to prove that as a business we could move somewhere else and succeed.”