NEENAH, Wis. (WFRV) – While Dairy Queen may be known for its trademark blizzards, two Neenah locations offer an item no other DQ franchise in the country has on its menu: popcorn. Archie’s Famous Popcorn to be exact.
“Lenny Matthias had it in 1952. He actually had the popcorn first. My grandfather came in in 1960 and tweaked it,” says Sean Vindhurst, Archie Reiser’s grandson and owner of the Neenah Dairy Queen on Gay Drive.
Vindhurst says the secret to Archie’s Famous popcorn is the time and temperature the kernels are cooked. If you’re looking for the recipe, you’re out of luck.
“It is a secret family recipe with about five of us that know it. It’s never been written down. It gets passed down verbally from one to the next,” says Vindhurst.
Vindhurst wasn’t even told the recipe until he signed the papers officially buying the restaurant.
The popcorn is such a hit, customers no longer living in the area call the store asking if they will ship it. Vindhurst says the restaurant doesn’t have the means or the staff to handle shipping popcorn right now, but one day they would like to start shipping it.
“It’s a distinct popcorn flavor that people know, and you won’t get it anywhere else.”
We do feel sorta special,” says Marjorie Bongers, Sean’s mother. The Neenah community is very good to us and they would not be happy if we didn’t have popcorn.”
While the Neenah community has been eating Archie’s Famous Popcorn for generations, Vindhurst says people come from other cities around Neenah just to order the popcorn.
“Between the two Neenah stores right now, we’re putting in about 25 tons of popcorn seeds a year,” says Vindhurst.
Vindhurst’s day starts around 6:30 am and doesn’t end until around 10pm. He says the fast food industry has its challenges, but he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“The most rewarding part is the family aspect of it, of knowing that I’m carrying on a tradition and you’re actually helping the community with something they want,” says Vindhurst. “You can’t be more proud of being able to actually have an impact on people’s world.”
For more information on Archie’s Famous Popcorn, you can check out their Facebook page.