Katie Reisdorff

Popcorn Dream

Katie gesturing to shelves of bagged popcorn

Not many people know what they want to do for their life’s work at age 16. However, Katie Reisdorff did.

As a Scotus Central Catholic High School freshman, Reisdorff began working at the Sweet Harvest Popcorn Shoppe in Columbus. At first, her tasks were simple. Two years later, she began popping and cooking the corn and that’s when she knew she wanted to own the business. Part of her plan included schooling to get the business and accounting background necessary to be a business owner.

In 2014, Reisdorff enrolled at the Columbus Campus, which was a good business move as she was able to live at home, work at Sweet Harvest and pay much less for tuition. She went full-time during the summer, which enabled her to complete her associate degree in 18 months.

Reisdorff also took advantage of the business knowledge of her instructors who “gave me a good idea of business ownership and management. In one of my classes, we talked a lot about entrepreneurship and I remember asking, because I had no clue, if you were still an entrepreneur if you just take over a business and I was told, ‘Yes, you are.’”

While Reisdorff has achieved her goal of owning the Sweet Harvest Popcorn Shoppe, she wants to open other shops in other towns in northeast Nebraska.

“We always joke when we go on vacation somewhere and I say, ‘I really like this place, it would be a great place to open a second location and have an excuse to be here all the time,’” Reisdorff said with a chuckle.

While a second shop is down the road, Sweet Harvest Popcorn is available in other locations. They include Columbus Community Hospital, both Hy-Vee stores in Norfolk and Jim’s Foods in Central City.

A proud Ƶ graduate, Reisdorff maintains that attending Ƶ is one of the best business decisions she ever made.

“I definitely recommend all high school students go to Ƶ and get that experience and get those generals out of the way for way cheaper,” said Reisdorff.