New businesses popping up in Knox
City officials say revitalizing Knox starts with making people want to live here. Residents are hoping that if new businesses start popping up, people will make the move to Starke County.
“We needed a new business in town, so we kind of decided to do something that would fit more than one need,” Elizabeth Adamack, co-owner of Poppin’ Off Popcorn.
Those needs were personal and communal.
Her family needed more income, and she knew Knox needed more businesses to help grow the area.
“You have to be an active community. People are looking for that. They need things to do,” said Knox Mayor, Dennis Estok.
So, she opened Poppin’ Off Popcorn a little over a month ago in July.
“If they’re very successful, they’re going to help us out, because they’re going to draw people in to buy their specialty popcorn,” said Mayor Dennis Estok.
But, Knox is also trying to add to public areas and host large events.
“They’re trying to revitalize the area. We’ve got a new community center that’s been here for a few years now. We’ve got a new splash pad that’s gone in at the park. They’re putting in a new ampitheatre down at the park, and just kind of welcoming new businesses,” said Adamack.
They also hosted a huge 4th of July festival—which Mayor Estok estimates drew a crowd of 3,000 people even from outside Starke County. That’s almost the entire population of Knox.
Which is a big deal for a city whose biggest challenge is growth.
But growth is exactly what new business owners like Adamack are helping to create.
“If there’s more here as a community, there’s going to be more for everybody to do. There’s going to be more jobs available. There’s going to be less trouble that the kids get into basically if there’s more things around for them, too,” said Adamack.
“I want them to say, hey, I think I could actually live in this little town. They’ve got things going,” said Mayor Eskort.