Life's Better Here: Grabill 2011

By Eric Olson

July 6, 2011 Updated Jul 7, 2011 at 9:31 AM EDT

GRABILL, Indiana (Indiana's NewsCenter)--Grabill Indiana is really like no other town around. It was platted by a farmer who wanted to grow a town in his field and thanks to the railroad he succeeded. Grabill’s Amish population has helped make tourism a big part of the local economy and for years this has been tourist central, The Country Shops of Grabill, a rambling hodgepodge of connected rooms that over the years housed a jail, harness shop, a butcher, a doctors office and two schools. It’s now home to several businesses that sell antiques, candy, soaps, herbs…there’s even a consignment shop. And out behind the country shops of Grabill…a real surprise. While the state economy struggles to gain a foothold Grabill Indiana is hosting a brand new business. It’s called The Coffee Cabin, a converted 19th century log home that now serves coffee, baked goods, ice cream…even hamburgers. Manager Sherry Berry says the opening was timely.

“Grabill needs something like this and we’re hoping later on to add music like on a Friday or Saturday night and we have a beautiful gorgeous upstairs humongous room, we’re gonna do meetings and showers and receptions.”

That spirit of entrepreneurship is part of Grabill’s character. Local investors recently opened Grabill Country Villages, a series of new stores. That followed on the heels of a new Save-A-Lot grocery, also built with local money. So while the economy slogs along Grabill is launching businesses and creating jobs. A bold move in today’s economy but not out of character for a town founded by a farmer who wanted to grow his own town…and made it happen.

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