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Batavia Popcorn completes 83rd year; plans to reopen in the spring

Bob Pepper serves up one last bags 2012 BataviPopcorn stand.

Bob Pepper serves up one of the last bags of 2012 at the Batavia Popcorn stand.

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Updated: January 27, 2013 6:20AM

BATAVIA — Around for 83 years, the Batavia Popcorn has popped its last kernel for 2012.

“We’ll reopen again in the spring,” said Bob Pepper, serving his last customer for the year last week.

Although the wooden red shack has had location, ownership and name changes, regulars have come to buy a bag of popcorn the way mom used to make for generations.

Pepper, 75, and his son Alex, are the most recent owners of the 5-by-7 stand at the southeast corner of North Water and Houston streets.

Two high school students, William “Bud” Anderson and Norman Freedlund, with the help of their fathers, originally built the popcorn stand in 1929.

“The stand has taken a life of its own,” Pepper said.

Pepper said the secret to the old-fashioned taste is the quality Midwest corn and oil he uses to pop the kernels.

T.J. Ross, who came to purchase a $2 bag of white popcorn and to wish the stand’s owner a good winter, discovered the Batavia Popcorn stand eight years ago when he relocated from Cincinnati.

“It’s about the friendships you make when you come here — and the quality popcorn,” Ross said.

“This is a part of Americana that rarely exists today.”

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