Kansas native Vaughn Huslig was working in Omaha as a computer programmer when he first discovered Vic’s Corn Popper.
“We love the product,” Huslig says of himself and his wife, Kristi. He says they got to know Vic Larson, who founded the regional chain.
“We frequented his store a lot.”
The couple returned to Kansas in 2001 to be near family, and Huslig has continued to do programming for an Omaha-based company.
In 2004, Huslig said he and his wife decided to open their own popcorn store.
He said they “always kind of had the notion that we’d want to own our own business.”
They opened Vic’s Corn Popper in Andover at 528 N. Andover Road. Their licensing agreement to use the Vic’s name ended in 2011. Now, their store is known as the Andover Popcorn Co.
The store has more than 20 flavors of popcorn, each of which is made in house, along with its own fudge.
Huslig said 40 percent of the store’s business comes in the last two months of the year around the holidays.
For its first several years, the store grew each year, but that changed with the downturn in the economy. The Husligs have had tax issues, and Huslig said he worries he may have to sell the store. That’s not his preference, though.
Huslig said the popcorn business is a happy one. He even has a happy hour of sorts for students to buy discounted popcorn after school.
“It’s kind of like the old mom-and-pop drugstore feel to it.”