He's sweet. She's salty.
Put the pair's taste inclinations together and out of a big kettle cooker comes more than 60 flavours of kettle popcorn made at a new Valleyview confectionary.
Entrepreneurs Jason Schaak and Marnie Davis-Schaak opened Gourmet Kettle Fudge and Popcorn in late summer and have been experimenting since.
The couple wanted to open their own small business catering to desire for treats. Through market research, they found demand for gourmet popcorn.
"People said, "We go to Kernels (Popcorn) in Kelowna all the time,'" Marnie said.
They also found trend reports showing North Americans have a growing appetite for flavoured popcorn.
The family was also determined to do it their own way, creating their own flavours minus the restrictions that franchising would bring.
Today they have 65 flavours, with the potential for more than 120. They also take customer requests and spend plenty of time experimenting.
"Last night I made the cheddar-jalapeno," Jason said. "They were separate."
They've brought in organic, non-GM (genetically-modified) popcorn as well as offering low-sodium varieties.
Marnie said a sales rep recently brought in a watermelon flavouring, but they weren't impressed — until fiddling with the recipe.
"We played with it and figured out a way to perfect it, to get it past the 'watermelon' test. Now it's almost watermelon with a Jolly Rancher flavour."
In other words, if a customer trying it out doesn't go, "Wow, that tastes just like watermelon" (or berry or green apple or any other concoction), it doesn't make the menu.
And if you want strange, how about beer-flavoured popcorn? (Jason uses malt to flavour the kernels.)
At the front end of the shop are plenty of samples and the Schaaks get of feedback on flavours.
Jason's other job is as a mechanic at Rocky Mountain Railtours, while Marnie is easing out of her job as a sales rep for a multinational corporation.
Realizing they didn't want to put all their popcorn in one basket, the Schaaks are retaining outside jobs as well as diversifying their products. Their original thought was to specialize in fudge, but with Fudge Yeah downtown and the belief it would be too summer-focused, they turned to popcorn.
The fudge is still there, as is soft-serve ice-cream and coffee.
"Fudge is weather dependent," Marnie said of summertime and the desire for a sticky treat.
So far traffic coming through the door is meeting their expectations. Customers are travelling from afar in the city to visit them. In addition, they benefit from drive-by traffic on the Trans-Canada Highway. Their location as a stand-alone building in the middle of the parking lot helps draw attention.
Princess Auto is also a big driver of traffic to the mall and Gourmet Kettle is benefiting from its proximity.
They've also been careful to give the shop a bright and customer-friendly air, a franchise-look without the rules.
"My feeling is we didn't want someone going, 'No, this is the way it's going to be,'" Marnie said.