A New Chapter for a Couple of Friends
Brian and Jonathan have known each other since 1994. They can thank Central City Opera for the introduction: Jonathan as a young singer, Brian as a young violist. Their paths crossed often in both Central City and at Yale University. During the summer of 2020 (you remember that year?) they spent time as COVID refugees living In Central, painting houses, gardening, relaxing and eating. Every day they walked passed the Teller Law Office on Eureka Street. Jonathan had an idea.
Until founding Eureka Street Popcorn, Inc. with his good friend Brian Cook, Jonathan Hays (President, if you must know) has cobbled together a living by working as a singer, actor, concert artist, recitalist, theater producer, voice teacher, and as the world’s worst professional honky-tonk pianist. When he’s not on the road performing or at the Hartt School teaching his minions how to sing, he can most frequently be found making lots of popcorn, brewing beer, drinking beer, painting, reading science fiction, reciting poetry out loud, playing the piano (badly), and holding forth on various topics of little interest to anyone. Eureka Street Popcorn would have him arrested for loitering in front of the popcorn equipment, but he somehow swindled his way into ownership of half the company. If you want to know more about him for some reason, visit www.jonathanhays.net
One of Brian Cook’s fondest childhood memories includes a bowl of tomato soup and a bowl of popcorn. Sunday evening supper in Iowa. When dear friend Jonathan proposed a popcorn adventure, Brian enthusiastically jumped on board. Popcorn? Yes! Popcorn is comfort food. Adventure? Yes! Brian lives for adventure. You may have spotted him in the orchestra pit of the Central City Opera House. Or perhaps bicycling up and over Alps Hill into Russell Gulch high above Central City. Maybe you knew him when he went to culinary school in Italy, or taught bread and French pastry in Denver. How about those Sunday morning croissants? Maybe you’ve had a massage, he became a massage therapist way back when, bringing us back to comfort. Ever heard the Danish word Hygge? Have you ever sat on in front of a fire on a cold night with a bowl of popcorn, a couple of puppies and a good book? That’s HYGGE, pronounced Hooga. Brian and Jonathan are creating a popcorn shop with hygge. No tomato soup, just popcorn, really good popcorn.