When Tamala and Vinson Lathan opened Carolina Kernels in Columbia two years ago, the husband and wife team had no idea their gourmet popcorn would be sold at basketball games at Colonial Life Arena or that they would get orders from as far away as Wyoming, Wisconsin and New York.

“We were really busy at Christmas sending orders all over the U.S.,” Tamala said.

While most of the people receiving those orders were accepting them as Christmas presents from their Columbia friends and relatives, they liked the popcorn so much they have continued to order from Carolina Kernels prompting an increase in business and a need for a larger space.

This week, the Lathans officially relocated Carolina Kernels from its original spot in Greenview Plaza on North Main Street to a larger space at 2720 Main St. where they have more elbow room to create the more than 50 flavors of popcorn they have become known for–flavors such as key lime pie, chocolate pecan pie, cheesy buffalo wings, better cheddar and dozens more.

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Sharon Sanders
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