Wichita couple takes stand against dessert shop franchise opening in College Hill

Published: Mar. 2, 2021 at 10:19 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - A Wichita man and his wife are taking action to try to keep a family dessert shop franchise out of College Hill. When the couple learned last week that Andy’s Frozen Custard has plans to open a shop in their neighborhood, they started a Facebook page and petition to try to stop it.

College Hill, on Wichita’s east side, is full of locally owned eateries and shops. That’s one of the features that those who live in the historic neighborhood say they love about the area.

“We love College Hill and we love the people of College Hill. That’s why we opened a business here,” said Papa’s General Store owner Derek Sorriells.

When Aimee McCafree and her husband, Stephen Holt found out Andy’s Frozen Custard, a franchise, was looking to open a location in their neighborhood, the couple say they were devastated by the news.

“It just didn’t feel like it fit the vibe of the neighborhood and (is) potentially dangerous to other small businesses around that are local families who pay their bills here, raise their kids here and actually live here,” Holt said.

But one business owner in College Hill who actually sells ice cream and others in the area who spoke with Eyewitness News, aren’t against the idea. They didn’t want to go on camera because they didn’t want to upset others in the neighborhood, but they said while the addition of a franchise could impact business, it could also help to improve the area overall.

“One of the things that’s really important about this older area of town is that it requires upkeep and if there is anyone willing to put money into fixing it up and straightening out problems we have, that’s a positive,” one supporter said.

The plan for Andy’s Frozen Custard is a topic of debate in College Hill.

Holt said he received “overwhelmingly positive responses” from many who didn’t know the chain desert shop’s plans in College Hill. McCaffee and Holt said they have more than 200 signatures on their petition opposing the chain, which as two other Wichita locations, both at major intersections. They said they have nothing against Andy’s, just where it wants to expand.

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