Popcorn pro makes push for more business in downtown Morton

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MORTON, Ill. (WMBD) — Just follow the smells of sweet caramel and you’ll quickly find The Great American Popcorn Company of Morton. It’s Greg Nichols’ second home.

“My wife and I have always loved popcorn,” Nichols said. “When we travel, I always seem to find a popcorn place and I thought there was a need in this area for some good gourmet popcorn.”

Financial planner by day and popcorn pro by every other moment of the day, Nichols and his wife opened The Great American Popcorn Company of Morton in 2015. They’re making a concerted effort to bring business back to downtown Morton.

“I’ve been in Tazewell County my entire life. So I grew up on a farm. I understand the work ethic. I understand the people. And I’ve been in Morton over 30 years and it’s something I’m trying to make a commitment to downtown. We’re still trying to revitalize downtown,” he said.

Nichols’ food background is limited. While it’s nothing formal, he says he does love to eat. Now with 55 flavors of popcorn, 30 flavors of chocolate, homemade fudge and ice cream, he’s got lots to choose from at his shop.

While Nichols won’t share his favorite of all the flavors, he is sharing what community support means for local small businesses.

“With everyone going to the big boxes, it’s more important I think to have the brick and mortar in the small towns to show that you have camaraderie and you’re supporting your local schools and supporting the charities and the churches,” said Nichols.

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