Hopper's Poppers in Oregon to close


OREGON – Hopper’s Poppers has become a popular part of Oregon’s downtown.

But the gourmet popcorn and ice cream store, which opened in 2016, will soon be sold, said owner Ryan Hopper.

Hopper put the building up for sale on March 1, but will run the business until the building sells. There is no guarantee, of course, that it will remain a popcorn business.

“If someone comes in and offers me the prices I’m asking and they don’t want the popcorn store, that’s going to be it,” he said.

Hopper and his family are selling not only the Oregon business, but closed the Sycamore popcorn store recently as well. They will be selling their other properties, including their home, in Oregon and will eventually re-locate to the Raleigh-Durham area in North Carolina.

“It certainly is very hard,” he said of moving from the area. “I set my roots here. I planned on being here my whole life.”

Hopper said with Illinois set to start raising the minimum wage, as well as a high tax burden, moving makes business sense.

Add to that the better weather and business environment in North Carolina – and with Hopper still only 34 – this is the time to make the move.

Hopper said he is keeping the name of the business and will take that to North Carolina, where he can sell ice cream year around.

Hopper’s Poppers has four part-time employees, who will work until it is sold.

Hopper and his wife, Stephanie, also have a daughter in the local school system, and will wait to move until the end of the school year.

Hopper said the family has become a part of the community since moving to Oregon. He is involved with the Chamber, and his wife works with the community-boosting group Oregon Together.

So moving might sound exciting, but it is also tough.

“I think it’s more tough than exciting,” said Hopper, who has lived in the area his entire life. “I’m really integrated into the Oregon community.”