“The little shop in the middle of nowhere where wonderful folks come from everywhere” is the 2015 Starke County Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year.
Kersting’s Cycle Center owner Jim Kersting and his late wife, Nella, opened a small engine repair shop south of North Judson on State Road 39 in 1960. The original building has grown to more than 37,000 square feet with more than 20 employees during the busy motorcycle riding season.
In addition to the motorcycle showroom and repair shop, Kersting’s is also home to The World of Motorcycles Museum. The 24,000 square foot building is home to more than 150 motorcycles, automobiles, antiques and memorabilia. Former Gov. Mitch Daniels, a motorcycle enthusiast, paid a visit to the museum during his second term. Visitors from around the world stop in to see the extensive collection of vintage motorcycles.
Each year a North Judson-San Pierre High School senior receives a scholarship in memory of Nella, who died in 2003. Jim also supports several charities, serves on the North Judson Board of Zoning Appeals and had a hand in founding the Kankakee Valley Harley Owners Group, or H.O.G. Chapter. That organization also supports numerous charities. Jim was also one of the founding fathers of the North Judson Mint Festival, which occurs every Father’s Day weekend.
Kersting’s Cycle Center will be recognized during the annual Starke County Chamber of Commerce Dinner on Thursday, Nov. 5 at the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center in downtown Knox. Social hour begins at 6 p.m. and will be followed by the dinner and awards at 7.