Although Caramel Crisp and Cafe now resides at the blue-awninged Shops at City Center strip mall, the store spent its first 75 years in business next to the old Oshkosh Theatre a block up on Main Street. The original shop specialized in fresh popcorn, popcorn balls and Caramel Crisp popcorn; adding candy, ice cream and lunch items to the menu when it moved across the street in the 1950s. With the recent relocation to City Center, the business has expanded yet again, but carefully preserves its historic character and charm. The oversize stained-glass door, lofted ceilings, old-fashioned popcorn tins and gleaming display of antique candy jars all make customers quickly forget they’re in a mall.
Caramel Crisp crafts dozens of flavored popcorns, including candy-coated blue raspberry, cherry, banana and tutti fruiti as well as savory Parmesan and garlic, salsa verde and Wisconsin cheese. The classic caramel corn is still made using the original 1933 recipe. For lunch, chalkboards display a full deli menu of soups, sandwiches and salads, and a display case holds made-from-scratch scones, cookies and muffins. As if that’s not enough enticement, the store also carries 12 flavors of Chocolate Shoppe ice cream.
In addition to the food, Caramel Crisp and Cafe features a section of country craft-style gifts at the back of store and connects to Apple Blossom Books next door.