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University of Nebraska–Lincoln

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May 7, 2021

Reisdorff Pops as New Business Owner

Alum Uses Course Experience to Help Expand Popcorn Shop
Reisdorff Pops as New Business Owner
Katie Reisdorff, ’17, uses her experience from the College of Business to help her business, Sweet Harvest Popcorn Shoppe, thrive and grow.

Katie Reisdorff, ’17, began working at Sweet Harvest Popcorn Shoppe in her hometown of Columbus, Nebraska, at age 14. In the process, she discovered a love for business and people, so she set a goal to one day own the store.

“I started to work more days at the shop when I was 16, and at that point, I was getting to know my customers well, remembering what they’d normally get. Those relationships with customers made me want to do that forever,” she said.

Reisdorff continued to work at Sweet Harvest, even as she attended Nebraska. As a full-time student studying accounting, she split time between Lincoln and Columbus to attend classes and work at the shop.

“As a Husker fan, I always had my eye on Nebraska, and I heard they had a great College of Business. Knowing I wanted to someday buy Sweet Harvest, I knew the business classes would be useful to me,” said Reisdorff.

Katie Reisdorff owns Sweet Harvest Popcorn Shoppe in Columbus, Nebraska.
Katie Reisdorff owns Sweet Harvest Popcorn Shoppe in Columbus, Nebraska.

Realizing her dream, Reisdorff bought Sweet Harvest in early 2020, just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. As in-store sales slowed, she shifted to an online focus.

“The pandemic only slowed us down for about a week. By March 1, we had our website up and running, and were getting a lot of sales. I even offered free delivery within Columbus, which helped as well,” she said.

She turned to the knowledge gained in her business courses to help her lead as a new owner. While her accounting degree made working with an accounting firm for the business easier, the courses in her other business disciplines proved invaluable as well.

“My marketing courses helped me with my online presence and getting things out about events. Management courses helped with overseeing my employees,” explained Reisdorff.

Even though she knew where she wanted to work, Reisdorff appreciated how the School of Accountancy offered professional development days to focus on career paths, networking and preparing for the job search. She also attests to the college’s efforts to help with life after graduation.

“The college always had opportunities to learn more about different careers, which is a huge help for students preparing for the real world,” she said. “The College of Business is a great college to go to because they want you to do well and push you to be a success.”

After more than a year of ownership, Reisdorff received orders from nearly every state. She plans to expand her brand and sales.

“As of now, we have about 15 different locations who sell our popcorn, but we are working on more. Someday I’d like to get my popcorn into Husker events because I hold the university and Lincoln so close to my heart,” she said.