Best Sweet Stuff

The Firehouse Caramel Popcorn at Popped! in downtown Kent on Monday, April 22, 2017. FILE.

Paige Bennett

Best of Kent 2019

Winner: Popped! and Peace, Love and Little Donuts (TIE)

Located in Acorn Alley, Popped! offers a wide selection of gourmet popcorn, chocolate, candy and ice cream. Making treats with Ohio-grown, non-GMO popcorn and other Ohio-based ingredients, the shop emphasizes the use of local products.  

Customers can enjoy popcorn flavors such as cheddar, caramel with peanuts and black squirrel crunch, which is a mix of peanuts, kettle corn and chunks of peanut brittle toffee covered in milk chocolate.  

“Popped!’s chocolates are delicious!” one voter wrote. “And so are their popcorn, ice cream, candy.”

Owner Gwen Rosenberg, who opened Popped! in 2012, believes the shop’s homemade items and use of quality ingredients helps it appeal to the Kent community.

“Most of the stuff we make is from scratch, so it’s homemade, really high-quality ingredients,” Rosenberg said. “You don’t get that everywhere, so it’s unique.”

While the shop’s most popular items vary depending on the weather, the No. 1 seller has always been the caramel popcorn with sea salt.

Peace, Love and Little Donuts 

Dozens of flavor options and a funky atmosphere make Peace, Love & Little Donuts a favorite dessert spot in downtown Kent.

At this shop, donuts are split into three categories: “funkadelic,” “far-out” and “groovy.” Those in the “far-out” and “groovy” categories keep things more simple, while “funkadelic” donuts are dressed with unique toppings.

These donuts may be small, but they are available in bold flavors. With donuts like “Maple Bacon,” “Chocolate Chip Pancake,” “Fruity Pebbles” and “Cinnamon Roll,” Peace, Love & Little Donuts has plenty of options to pick from. Once customers order, they can watch as their donuts are made right in front of them.

In addition to its many flavor choices, Peace, Love & Little Donuts is also known for its brightly colored decor. Entering the shop, customers are greeted with peace signs, tie-dye and ‘70s music.

Second: Insomnia Cookies 

If you’re searching for something to satisfy your sweet tooth, Insomnia Cookies has you covered — even at 1 a.m.

Located on South Water Street, Insomnia delivers freshly made cookies to dorms, houses and apartments. Its delivery hours range from 10 a.m. to 3 a.m. on weekdays and noon to 3 a.m. on weekends, making it a convenient and flexible dessert option for Kent residents.

Insomnia offers a variety of cookie choices, which include snickerdoodle, peanut butter chip, oatmeal raisin and chocolate chunk. The sweet shop also serves ice cream, brownies and cookie cakes.