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Back in 2015, Popcorn Buddha opened in Linn, bringing a multitude of popcorn flavors and fudge to the town.

In 2016, owners Craig Campeotto and Tanya DeMaria closed the Linn location, moving to Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, where the businesses headquarters was, to be closer to their families.

Despite closing the store, the pair kept the Linn property, hoping to come back one day. That day has arrived, but not under circumstances they had hoped for.

The store is in the middle of a legal battle over their Buddha logo. Another company — Connecticut-based LesserEvil — sells a line of food, including popcorn, called Buddha Bowl Foods, which the couple noticed was starting to appear whenever they searched the name of their business online.

LesserEvil's products are sold online, through vendors like Amazon, which Popcorn Buddha has never worked with, and their products featured a very similar logo, Campeotto said.

Both companies' logos feature the iconic Buddha image smiling and holding a bowl of popcorn.

Due to the ongoing legal battle, Popcorn Buddha is reopening the Linn location and moving the center of their operations from Stroudsburg. Being closer to their Linn-based corn growers is a bonus.

"We love Missouri. We had every intention of coming back — wishfully in a different scenario," Campeotto said. "But we're grateful for the fact that we still have this building so we have somewhere to fall back on."

The Linn location, at 1218 E. Main St., is in the process of reopening. DeMaria is there, along with the equipment. Campeotto said they're about 30 percent of the way through the process of setting up.

They hope to be up and popping, serving their more than 200 recipes of popcorn flavors — including inventions like Philadelphia Cheesesteak, Berry Parfait and Beef Jerky — by mid-September.

 

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