Top 10 Business Stories on ValpoLife in 2016

By: Brett Fuller Last Updated: December 7, 2016

We published several hundred business stories to the Business section this year. Stories on great local businesses to awards and more in Northwest Indiana were fair game for good news.

Have a good story to share? It is still as easy as ever to share your business story with us! Just send an email to and we’ll be on it!

Without further ado (and in no particular order), here are your Top 10 Business Stories in Northwest Indiana from 2016!

ThePort1Iconic Chesterton Landmark The Port Drive-In is Now for Sale
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A Chesterton mainstay is currently up for sale and available to purchase for those yearning to own a piece of nostalgic Americana from a bygone era.

The Port Drive-In, located at 419 N. Calumet in Chesterton has been the source of hot dogs and old-fashioned root beer since 1953. Purchased in 1957 by Elise and Virgil Gassoway, this iconic location has been host to diners looking to dine in or drive up for decades. Century 21 Alliance group's Terry McCaleb is currently working to find a buyer to purchase this unique piece of Chesterton history and feels that this is a perfect opportunity to own a piece of historical significance from a radically different America.

The-Lakes-of-Valparaiso-You-Have-to-See-It-to-Believe-It-01The Lakes of Valparaiso: You Have to See It to Believe It
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On a recent tour of Valparaiso’s newest apartment community, The Lakes of Valparaiso, what stands out the most is the attention to detail that has gone into creating the one-of-a-kind community that balances the busy, city lifestyle with the beautiful, rural Indiana setting upon which the community sits.

Jeff-Strack-2016Jeff Strack: Honoring the Past, Leading the Way to the Future for Strack & Van Til
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In May, Strack & Van Til appointed Jeff Strack as president and chief executive officer of Northwest Indiana’s topmost local grocery chain. Strack had served as chief marketing officer and now steps in to lead Strack & Van Til’s over 6,000 employees and 38 locations in the Region and Chicagoland area.

Mueller-Acura-2017-MDX_012017 ACURA MDX from Muller Acura Delivers Luxury, Performance, and Style
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When Glenn Muller of Muller Acura asked me to do a test drive of the new 2017 ACURA MDX Luxury SUV I knew I would enjoy the ride having been a past owner of an Acura Integra many years ago, and most recently an MDX about 7 years ago. Knowing the history that Acura has for “precision crafted performance”, I was looking forward to seeing how far the 3rd row crossover SUV had come. The smile on Glenn’s face as he told me what he loves about the car began to give me a better understanding of what I was about to experience driving around Northwest Indiana.

Realty-Executives-Lisa-KusbelRealty Executives’ Lisa Kusbel Came Flying into Real Estate
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Valparaiso’s Lisa Kusbel is a driven individual. After 25 years in one industry she was forced into a career change that put her on her current path: working hard with Realty Executives Premier where she helps her clients with one of the biggest decisions that they’re likely to make in their life.

steinerhomes124-rotHow the Homes Got Their Names: Steiner Homes Brings Feeling of Family to Every Home
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Home, they say, is where the heart is.

But home is also where the family is.

And when you take a tour of a Steiner Home, or even purchase one of your own models for you and your family, you’re also being welcomed to the Steiner family.

Realty-Executives-Premier-Doing-Business-the-Right-Way_aRealty Executives Premier: Doing Business the Right Way
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For Realty Executives Premier owners Mike and Pam Tezak, there’s an ethical way to do business and, since they started the company eight years ago, that is exactly what they’ve accomplished. While it has been their mission to assist and educate clients and agents, some colleagues in the industry don’t share those values.

Camp-Life-1.4Camp Life: The New Home of the Good News Crew
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7 years ago, I brought a couple of brave young souls into an office above my garage at our home to join me on a mission to celebrate good news in Valparaiso with ValpoLife. The space was small, the plan was brief, the pace was manic. The temperature in the summer was high, but the commitment to disrupt the negative cycle of traditional media and celebrate all that is good was deep. We were naive enough to think we could improve the world around us with our cameras and keyboards.

Shultz-Floral-Shop-Manager-01Schultz Floral Shop’s New Manager Enhances Customer Experience
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With the addition of Manager Jonas Zimmerman, Schultz Floral Shop has stepped up its game. Not only will the shop be offering new classes and more modern arrangements, but also a more personal feel that keeps clients coming back for more.

Flanagins-Disney1Flanagin's Bulk Mail Adds a Little Magic of Disney to Popcorn Festival
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Disney has always been associated with the power of the imagination and the idea that if you dream it you can do it. This culture of “dream, believe, dare, do” has inspired businesses around the world to go beyond the traditional boundaries of business and aspire to inject imagination and fun into their passions.