HURRICANE, W.Va. -- Teresa Ash and her husband, John, stand behind the counter of the shop at the corner of the 2700 block on Main Street in Hurricane as Teresa scoops a handful of brightly colored popcorn into a bag.
"We just created this flavor -- it's orange Dreamsicle," Teresa said. "It complements one of our cupcakes."
Teresa and John have owned Sweet Street Popcorn for nearly two months. The shop is one of three new stores to open on Hurricane's downtown Main Street, and with a fourth set to open this week, Mayor Scott Edwards said he's optimistic about the business opportunities for Putnam County's largest city.
"It's about buying local items from local people," Edwards said. "It's a good exchange, and it encourages fellowship. You go into one of these shops, and you don't just buy one item and leave -- you talk and interact with people. It's different than going to a big box store or going to Amazon and having it delivered to your house.
"The past three or four months, I've been more excited about Main Street than ever because, suddenly, four new businesses are here," he said.
Teresa, a former pharmacist, had been baking cakes as a hobby for 28 years when she decided it was time for a career change.
"I gave that up for this. I'd rather bake cupcakes," she said. "No one is unhappy about cupcakes; everyone is happy about cupcakes. In pharmacy, that isn't always the case."
John, who wanted Teresa to have Sweet Street as a venue for her cupcakes, said he got wrapped up in the business after the couple decided to keep up its identity as a popcorn shop.
"Everyone who loved the popcorn before was very sad and disappointed to see it go. We got a lot of the popcorn regulars back, and they've seen how we've improved on it, so they're super excited about that," Teresa said. "Other people who never knew what the place was are coming in for the first time, and they're not only finding out what it is -- that we've got popcorn and cupcakes -- but that we've got this complete deli menu."
Sweet Street serves everything from hot dogs to soups and sandwiches, as well as fresh and packaged popcorn and made-from-scratch cupcakes in flavors Teresa changes every day, sometimes more than once.
"I've sold at least 20 or 30 varieties of cupcake so far," she said. "You'll never see the same cupcakes displayed the same way twice."
Teresa develops her own cupcake recipes; dark chocolate raspberry, caramel apple, tropical coconut and s'mores are a few of the flavors the shop has offered so far. The shop, at 2759 Main St., is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Ashes, who live in Eleanor, said they couldn't pass up the chance to own a business in downtown Hurricane.
"Certainly, our hearts are with Hurricane no matter what, because we want to see downtown thrive," Teresa said. "We're excited about all the new businesses that are around here."
A block away, Lesa Bostic adjusts the fall display inside Oodles, a new boutique in a 200-year-old house that has an array of home décor, jewelry and gifts that Bostic believes fills a need in the Hurricane community.
"We've been so busy I can't even get my displays done," Bostic joked.