A job for Nick at Sprint brought the family to the Midwest, where Nick eyed a failing candy store in Odessa, Missouri, and thought he might recreate some of his family memories. They ran it for a little over a year at a loss. “That was our school tuition,” Nick said. “We learned a lot in running that operation that wasn’t doing well to find out how do you make it work. How do you operate it? Where the heck do you find a three-foot spoon? How do you buy 1,000 pounds of sugar?”
Stirring the Pot
The family graduated to Topeka in 2004, when Nick took a position with Security Benefit. A trip downtown inspired a sweet idea. “It seemed like (a candy store) would be a nice addition to a downtown that seemed like it was really struggling,” Nick said. In March 2005, they opened the store at 724 S. Kansas Ave. bearing the name of Terry’s grandmother, Hazel Hill. “When (Nick) first started, he thought he could still manage it and work a full-time job. I didn’t realize it was an attempt to get me back to work!” Terry joked. Terry operates the store as general manager, while Nick does payroll, taxes and other behind-the-scenes duties.
Terry and Nick Xidis, owners of Hazel Hill Chocolate
continued on page 30
TK Business Magazine
Man of Steel / Made in Topeka / In Business to Change Lives / Expert Business Advice