Inver Grove Heights Convention & Visitors Bureau

By Stacy Brooks, Blogger, for Visit Inver Grove Heights

Whether you want freshly popped popcorn for home movie nights or are looking to cool off with a waffle cone, Peterson’s Popcorn & Ice Cream is the perfect destination for summertime treats.  The shop has been part of the Inver Grove Heights community for the past several years, but the family-owned business goes back much further: it was founded in 1977 by Myron and Avis Peterson.

“They were entrepreneurs and business people,” says Eric Husemann, who owns and operates Peterson’s Popcorn with his wife Whitney (Myron and Avis’ granddaughter).  “They had owned several businesses before that, they had a creamery during the WWII era in western Wisconsin and a sandwich delivery business.  They decided to start a popcorn shop in St. Paul, and it was located in the SkyWay there until about seven years ago when we relocated to Inver Grove Heights.”

Photo Credit: Peterson’s Popcorn and Ice Cream

Husemann explains that Peterson’s Popcorn has continued Myron and Avis’s emphasis on old-fashioned quality.  “We get the best quality ingredients, and make [our popcorn] the same way they did—we hand-stir in old copper kettles.  Our equipment is approaching 90 years old!”

Photo Credit: Visit Inver Grove Heights

The shop sells various popcorn flavors and mixes, from kettle corn to bacon cheddar.  The cheese and caramel mixture is a bestseller.  Popcorn is made in small batches to ensure that customers are getting the freshest product possible, and it’s available by the bag in a wide range of sizes.

In addition to popcorn, the shop serves up homemade ice cream.  Myron and Avis first added ice cream to the menu in the 1980s, opting to churn their own instead of purchasing from a big-name supplier.  

Photo Credit: Peterson’s Popcorn and Ice Cream

“Most ice cream shops serve pre-made ice cream,” Husemann says.  “We make all of our own.  We get our cream from Wisconsin, and we try to use the best cream available.  It’s all homemade with fresh ingredients—we make it a few times throughout the week so it’s fresh.”

Photo Credit: Peterson’s Popcorn and Ice Cream

All of the traditional flavors are on the menu, including strawberry, chocolate, mint chip, and cookie dough, plus modern favorites like salted caramel and banana cream pie.  Superman—a brightly-hued swirl of strawberry, banana, and blue raspberry—is a top pick for kids, while adults enjoy flavors like butter pecan and Husemann’s favorite, coconut cream.  There are also seasonal flavors, like key lime pie in the summer and in the fall, apple pie and pumpkin pie. 

“We experiment with flavors and try to add new ones once or twice a year,” he says.  “S’mores and peach have been pretty popular.”

Follow Peterson Popcorn’s Facebook page for the latest scoop on new flavors.  This summer, Husemann is planning to ask Facebook followers for flavor suggestions and then hold a vote.  “That’s how we did s’mores, which turned out to be a big hit.”

Ice cream is offered by the cone or dish, along with malts, shakes, root beer floats, and sundaes.  Pints and quarts are available to go, and customers can special order ice cream by the 2½ gallon tub for events (bulk popcorn is also available by special order).

After a few slow months due to the pandemic, Husemann is anticipating a busier summer: “Customers are excited to get back and get their treats!”

“I’d like to thank all of our loyal customers throughout the years,” he continues.  “Thank you for your continued support.  We’re looking forward to coming out of COVID stronger and better.  We hope to be around for another 40 years.”

Peterson's

Photo Credit: Visit Inver Grove Heights

Peterson’s Popcorn & Ice Cream

3045 80th St. E

Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076

651-457-4086

facebook.com/PetersonPopcorn