Starke County Economic Development Foundation, Inc.

Business Profiles

Outstanding Tradeshow Exhibit Services (OTES) moved their operation to the former Thermo Products building in North Judson in 2016.  OTES is a woman-owned business specializing in affordable, custom booths for rent or purchase.  Their focus is making a company stand-out on the show floor by providing full, turnkey services.  The OTES team has over 75 years of service and experience in custom tradeshow exhibits.  That diverse experience allows them to create a unique tradeshow exhibit that suits a growing business, giving them the greatest impact on the show floor.

They also print signs, banners, shirts, vehicle decals, and window and door lettering.  You can visit their website at to view many of the exhibits they produce as well as their printed products.


Callisons is the world's leading supplier of mint oils and flavors, serving nearly every region on earth, with their headquarters in Lacey, Washington. Included among their product lines they supply mint oils for toothpaste, mouth rinse, gums, confections, and other culinary seasoning blends to the food and snack industry. In business since 1903, this company has two locations in Starke County – the Specialty Products Group in Hamlet since 2001, and the Storage and Shipping Division in Knox since 1998. In 2008, the company heavily invested in the Hamlet facility, including the construction and installation of one of the largest and most efficient stills used for mint. Callisons continues to invest in both the distribution and warehousing facility and the manufacturing site.

The company purchases a great deal of the mint grown in Starke County to bring cost-effective, unique mint oils to the market. The mint varieties grown in the Midwest region (Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan) include Peppermint, Scotch Spearmint, and Native Spearmint.


Traffic Control Specialists, Inc. (TCS)

Traffic Control Specialists, Inc. (TCS) is one of Starke County’s fastest growing companies. The company is a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)/Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) certified traffic control company dedicated to providing professional service using equipment that meets or exceeds Indiana state standards to provide a safe work area for customers, employees, and public users. Their services include daily rental of cones and other traffic maintenance devices, contract traffic control, pavement marking, MOT design, and consulting.

A family owned business that has been operational in Knox since 2007, TCS has rapidly gained both reputation and knowledge throughout Northwest Indiana and surrounding areas as providing the highest quality services possible.

Hoosier Custom Plastics




Hoosier Custom Plastics supplies a wide array of component parts and sub-assemblies to OEM's and their tier suppliers. HCP is dedicated to bringing world class quality and delivery performance with competitive pricing to all of their customer partners. Molded products include: golf tees, food handling, and gardening components, as well as molded components for electrical connectors, automobiles, dryers, storage containers, and mechanical parts (including gears). Insert molding features includes aluminum inserts, plastic fasteners, threaded brass, knurled inserts, and molded components for caster wheels, electrical components, and sealing systems. Manual & Box Build Assembly capabilities include: Sonic Welding/ Plastic Joining, and O-Ring Installation. The company has been at their Knox location since 2004.

Knox Fertilizer

Knox Fertilizer has been a family owned business since 1950. They are in their 67th year in operation in Starke County. Knox Fertilizer is among the industry leaders in providing quality fertilizer and control products for home, garden, golf management, and corporate uses. The company has been in the specialty end of the plant food business since its inception and is geographically located in the center of most large metropolitan markets west of the Appalachian Mountains and east of the Great Plains population centers. Products produced in Knox are solely for the home maintenance and improvement needs of the consumer and are sold through professional end use distribution.

Kemin Industries

Kemin Industries is a global bioscience company that combines sound molecular science with human qualities of creativity, curiosity, and collaboration to improve the lives of humans and animals around the world. Using superior science, Kemin Industries manufactures more than 500 specialty ingredients that deliver important nutrition and health benefits through products consumed by people and animals. The North Judson facility is part of their Human Nutrition and Health Division.

The Kemin plant in North Judson produces Hi-RA mint using a proprietary line of spearmint that is grown by the Lambert family in North Judson. That product grown in Starke County has been certified as “Sustainably Grown” by SCS Global, and their spearmint extract has been shown in clinical studies as having cognitive performance benefits for adults experiencing age-associated memory impairment.

Norton Packaging, Inc.

Norton Packaging, Inc. is a world-wide known packaging crafter for several different industries. Norton Packaging, Inc. offers a full range of precise packaging services to satisfy the needs of any client. Norton Packaging, Inc. also implements the value of environmental protection by using sustainable and source-reduced materials to produce packaging.

Norton Packaging, Inc. was formed in 1901, with Bernard W. Norton establishing a small custom tool shop in Oakland, California. The focus of this tiny shop was to produce custom-stamped metal parts for local industries.

Built in 1996, the Hamlet production facility is a state-of-the-art facility that uses the industry’s most advanced equipment and systems. Additionally, the Norton Packaging, Inc. Hamlet facility creates opportunities to meet the demands of today’s high-speed automated lines. The Hamlet facility produces pails for a wide variety of products including paint, janitorial, petrochemical, agricultural, adhesive, and food packaging industries.

J.W. Hicks, Inc.

J.W. Hicks, Inc. is a world class refractory maker for the metals industry who offers a full range of mechanical services and products to complement their refractory products. Product applications include handling, treating, and controlling the flow of molten metal.

J.W. Hicks, Inc. was formed in June of 1985 with this focus: to provide refractory products and services to the primary metals industry in North America.

Built in 1998, the Knox slidegate plant is one of the most technologically advanced facilities in the world. Additionally, the J.W. Hicks Knox lance-making facilities embody the latest technology and manufacturing methods available in the world today.

Kruz, Inc.

Kruz, Inc. was founded in 1985 and has operated in Starke County since 1998, manufacturing aluminum and steel trailers used in the heavy construction and scrap fields under the brand known as “Ravens.” Kruz offers frame-type, frameless, round bottom, and tub style aluminum dump trailers, as well as aluminum dump bodies, and terminator steel dump trailers, terminator round bottom steel dump trailers, steel round bottom scrap trailers, and steel dump bodies. Kruz has been very helpful in setting up the SCILL Welding Program and hires students from that program both as interns and employees.

       Starke Chamber of Commerce

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