Why I Do What I Do from Wolcott, Indiana

Why I Do What I Do from Wolcott, Indiana

When I bummed around Wolcott, Indiana looking for somewhere to eat, I happened upon this depressing sign scotch-taped to the window. I don’t know how long John and Darlene were in business. I don’t know how long they have been closed. I don’t even know who they are.

This is why I do what I do. Personally, I know there are many people in my area who have lost their job.  Businesses keep closing all over little Indiana and it is heart-breaking.  But, it isn’t all bad. We are all pulling a little closer together, creating a community, spending more time together instead of at the mall.

The next time you are toodling down I-65 or just passing through and are hungry–well, isn’t it about time you stopped hitting those same tasteless places and venture around to one of the many incredible Indiana towns all around you? Every time a small business dies we all share the blame.

Why I Do What I Do

Why I Do What I Do: Wolcott, Indiana

Why I Do What I Do: Wolcott, Indiana

Small Towns: Destinations, not Drive-Thrus! I’m Jessica Nunemaker and THIS is little Indiana!

Find pictures in Indiana on my Flickr photostream or on the new little Indiana Tumblr blog.

Just don’t forget to tell ’em that  little Indiana sent you!

Wolcott, Indiana in White County

View Larger Map

Don’t miss a moment. Subscribe to little Indiana and receive instant updates to stay on top of everything “little.”

little Indiana: Where to Stay, Play, and Eat in Small Towns in Indiana. Discovering Indiana’s best small towns! Now get little Indiana on your Kindle.

Targeted. Relevant. Affordable! little Indiana advertising.

You don't want to miss this. Sign up for free updates.

About the Author:

Jessica Nunemaker is the Owner of Little Indiana.com. More than a website, Little Indiana is a book, "Little Indiana: Small Town Destinations" (IU Press) awarded first place in the "Best in Indiana Journalism for a Nonfiction Book" by the Indiana Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Little Indiana is also a bi-monthly newspaper column in a local paper and a PBS segment on the former Emmy award-winning program, "The Weekly Special."


  1. Ryland May 9, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    I’m from Wolcott. The pictures are really nice and the town is fighting on. Most of the local people kind of avoided the old Country Inn. That was where the sign was hanging. There used to be a Pizza King attached to it. There’s another cafe open in the old theatre building now. The back end of it, where the screen was, has been full of apartments for a long time. The pizza shop opened in the building that used to house an old family drug store and is called Bell’s Pizza Plus. The drugstore closed because the owner couldn’t find another pharmacist willing to buy it with the income that it made. I really enjoyed the website, and Wolcott now has a facebook page.

  2. Jessica Nunemaker April 29, 2010 at 10:18 am

    Thanks to everyone for such wonderful comments! It really made my day! 🙂

    @Lisa — That sounds delicious! There’s really nothing like those one of a kind restaurants, is there!

    @Catwalk — Interesting…I’ll have to look at that!

    @Rete — Oh, I am so sorry to hear that! Wal-Mart is a small town killer.

    @Jill — Woot! 🙂

    @Cindi — I’ve got to check that out! 🙂

    @Julie — Exactly! Look at what Blockbuster did to small towns – moved in, drastically lowered prices, drove out mom and pops, then raised the prices to match the insane prices of all the other shops
    @Tanisha — That’s sad to hear. Change can be really hard for some little places. Most mom and pops don’t have websites or even advertising. It’s really hard to find them!

    @Gilliauna — Yes! There are many farmers markets around the area — and the prices (and quality!) is just unbelievable! Like, I can pick up 10 farm fresh jalapenos for a buck. I’ve bought a 14 lb head of cabbage for just nothing. LOVE that! 🙂

    @bluecottonmemory — I’m so sorry to hear that. (and thanks for the compliment)

    @Jodi — I hope they can hang in there! 50 years is a long time!!!

  3. Jodi April 28, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    Great blog! Hope you are having a great SITS day! I’m a small town girl myself, who LOVES the great things about country life! My family owns a small business and has for almost 50 years now. It’s getting really hard for them. They are very scared and concerned about their future – even after so long. Thanks for reminding people what made this country so great and the fact that we should all be supporting them!
    .-= Jodi´s last blog ..Countdown To Sierra Leone Has Begun! =-.

  4. bluecottonmemory April 28, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    The small town we just moved from only wants “tech” jobs – so they are letting factory jobs go. Those factory jobs give diverse people many job opportunities. Sadly, it’s a lesson in “trickle down economics” where job loss eventually squeezes the small business man out of business just because people cut back – and do not eat out or by gifts from the cute market, and bypass the cute mom and pop coffee shops. Wonderful job creating a visual awareness!
    .-= bluecottonmemory´s last blog ..Memories and Mama’s Violet Jelly =-.

  5. Tanisha April 28, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    I understand the detriment that small towns have faced during this economic uncertainty. I presently live (and grew up) in a small town in Alabama. We were dependent on textile manufacturing and timber and both of those bubbles burst. So we’re seriously trying to recover. However, unfortunately we are not adapting to change very well. Many in our towns don’t understand the importance of reflecting on the past, while moving forward. I appreciate your post to bring awareness to the small towns of America. Congratulations on your SITS day! Keep up the great work;-)
    .-= Tanisha´s last blog ..Release The Parachute & Soar =-.

  6. Cindi @ Moomette's Magnificents April 28, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    Congratulations on your SITs Day!

    I’ve never been to Indiana and doubt I’ll get there soon, but I totally agree with you about supporting small businesses. Here in CT, my DH and I make it a point to try to go to family-owned restaurants, and I avoid the mall as much as possible, even when shopping. I try to support local businesses. Sadly, there isn’t much around Main Street USA any longer. I have some wonderful Wordless Wednesday photos of Main Street USA in my area, because you “never know what you have ’till it’s gone”. Thanks for the reminder.
    .-= Cindi @ Moomette’s Magnificents´s last blog ..Blogging Tips: Time Management Coaching Session Giveaway =-.

  7. Julie (Knitting and Sundries) April 28, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    Came over from SITS and glad I did! I could NOT agree with you more! The big boxes come in and because they undercut in prices, the small biz owners are stuck in the dust! I don’t know about you, but I’d rather pay an extra few dollars here and there for better, more personalized, local service!
    .-= Julie (Knitting and Sundries)´s last blog ..Take Back the Night (PSA) =-.

  8. Shari April 28, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    Stopping by from SITS.
    I totally know what you mean! I live in a mid sized town but boy is everyone struggling! My husband lost his job due to the golf course he worked at being in foreclosure! It’s a crazy and scary time. I love supporting small towns (I used to live in one) and I love supporting handmade (I make some). Thanks for raising awareness!

    .-= Shari´s last blog ..Something for the kid in all of us…. =-.

  9. Tanya ~ The Chatty Mom April 28, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    Thank you for posting this! And hello from SITS!
    As a daughter of a construction business owner, I fully support the mom & pop business community. They are what built this nation to begin with…and yes, they definately need our help. Great post!
    .-= Tanya ~ The Chatty Mom´s last blog ..Porchetta & Roasted Veggies =-.

  10. Kelly April 28, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    I have recently launched a similar blog for my small-town area, and the response has been overwhelming. I’ll be combing your site for ideas since you’ve done such a fabulous job here!

  11. Gilliauna April 28, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    It’s always so important to support your local markets and businesses. So many people don’t realize that the *reason* that in some towns the shops along the main street change so quickly is because they’re not getting the community support they need.

    Here where I live, there’s a lot of stress on buying produce, etc from local growers. I think it’s important that people in the community look beyond that to the mom and pop shops, diners and other establishments and become an active part of their community by shopping local as much as possible.

    Thanks so much for the wonderful post!
    .-= Gilliauna´s last blog ..Environmentally Responsible – Another by Leal =-.

  12. Young Wife April 28, 2010 at 11:45 am

    Stopping by from SITS. I’m a believer in mom and pop shops and diners and try to support them.

  13. Heidi-D April 28, 2010 at 10:58 am

    Happy SITS day! Inspiring blog post… Enjoy your day – and if I ever make it your way I will be sure to stop in and spread some love in your home town!
    .-= Heidi-D´s last blog ..Suggestions Anyone? =-.

  14. Lisa April 28, 2010 at 10:28 am

    new to sits….my first day. congrats on being FB!!

  15. Rete April 28, 2010 at 10:12 am

    I grew up in a small town and it was depressing to see how many doors were darkened in the town square when Wal-Mart came to the edge of town. Now there are still a few old-town holdouts but more and more fast food and convenience stations edging out the locals.
    .-= Rete´s last blog ..How I learned to Knit and Crochet =-.

  16. Nuy April 28, 2010 at 9:50 am

    I live in a big city (NYC) and I still see the same trend pushing out small businesses here. It’s awful. Great post! – Nuy – http://www.nuybeauty.com

  17. beautywoome April 28, 2010 at 9:47 am

    It’s sad how convenient Big Food makes their roadside restaurants, isn’t it? Convenience is king in America and until curiosity and desire to support each other trumps cheapness and ease, we’ll keep going in this unfortunate direction.

  18. MariLee Parrish April 28, 2010 at 9:32 am

    I love this post! Couldn’t agree with you more! Thanks for posting and happy SITS day!

  19. Marie Cole April 28, 2010 at 8:55 am

    Ohhh that sign is sooo sad…I hate to see that. 🙁
    .-= Marie Cole´s last blog ..Gummi Love =-.

  20. Sheri Carpenter April 28, 2010 at 7:42 am

    happy SITS day. Congrats on your feature. I am off to look around some more.
    .-= Sheri Carpenter´s last blog ..Scentsy May Warmer Of The Month ~ Sneak Peak =-.

  21. Catwalk Threads Vintage blog April 28, 2010 at 7:30 am

    A very thought provoking post and one that applies to all towns everywhere. You might be interested to read about one of our British comedians, Dave Gorman, who travelled across America and insisted on using only independent gas stations and motels/hotels along the way. It wasn’t an easy journey but made for fascinating TV. Some of the people he met on his journey were experiencing exactly the same difficulties as those mentioned in your article although some had managed to avoid being ‘bought-out’ by the big corporate giants – who shall remain nameless!

    There’s only one way to beat the corporate giants and that’s to start shopping at your local independent.

    Here’s the link to Dave Gorman’s documentary, ‘Unchained America’

    Thanks for sharing.
    .-= Catwalk Threads Vintage blog´s last blog ..Beautiful Butterflies by Catwalk Creative Vintage =-.

  22. Lisa April 28, 2010 at 7:30 am

    Congrats on your special SITS Day!
    I do try to support the mom and pop stores in our town… and I’m sad when I go in a great little restaurant and it’s empty… my kids still talk about, La Rustica, on Long Island,which closed about a year ago, a different pizza restaurant that made a ‘Nutella’ dessert pizza and a great buffalo chicken thin crust pizza!
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..Fedora On! =-.

  23. Alice April 28, 2010 at 7:23 am

    I loved your post – it’s inspiring, but a bit depressing at the same time. I’d love to stop in small towns if I knew they had a gas station, a place to eat, and a bathroom. Almost every time I’ve stopped in a small town (off a highway), I’ve had to drive a long way to find those 3 essentials. I think we need a better calculation of what’s available at the next exit to help make these decisions. Stopping by from SITS!
    .-= Alice´s last blog ..Hangin’ Out =-.

  24. Christa April 28, 2010 at 7:07 am

    We try to shop at local businesses for the same reasons, but it’s not always easy since boutique shops have to charge more since they can’t buy in bulk. We can’t always afford to shop locally, so we end up buying a lot on Amazon.
    .-= Christa´s last blog ..Sometimes You Get the Worst of Both Worlds =-.

  25. Rachel April 28, 2010 at 6:48 am

    Happy SITS!

    I like this post. I grew up in a not-so-small city, and I’ve always encouraged my brothers to buy in small stores, because they’re what gives our city so much character. It’s so sad that some stores have to close because of the recession.

  26. Babes about Town April 28, 2010 at 6:46 am

    Great post. I blog from London to let people know about how cool (parenting in) my city is and while I try to cover the capital, I also write a lot about my area, Islington, which has a strong community ethic and great resources for kids.

    It’s essential to support our local businesses and I’m a big fan of any enterprise started by fellow parents – including mummy bloggers! Well done for highlighting this issue and giving us a glimpse into your life in Indiana. And Happy SITS day 🙂
    .-= Babes about Town´s last blog ..Pizzeria Oregano: A slice of Italy in N1 =-.

  27. Cheryl April 28, 2010 at 5:59 am

    Well said.
    .-= Cheryl´s last blog ..Smiles That Make Me Smile =-.

  28. Abigail April 28, 2010 at 1:25 am

    Funny, I was just typing up a post on the same subject.
    Much as I enjoy browsing round the big Tokyu Hands craft department in the city, if I want gorgeous (and locally manufactured, for the most part) yarn and great service from somebody who actually knows her customers, I’ll go to my favourite local yarn store. Of course, I realise how lucky I am to actually HAVE a great LYS, which is why I try and give the place props whenever I can, and never leave the shop without buying something (not that that is difficult!!)
    It’s sad walking down Honmachi and seeing how many storefronts are boarded up while malls like Apita are booming. Will the staff in a big box store be delighted when you go in wearing a dress you made from their fabric? Will they give you a sample skein of a particular new yarn because they’ve remembered your buying habits and know you love bright coloured self-stripes? Does the barman in the big chain pub remember what you drink and remark he saw you in the local paper last week even though you haven’t seen him for two months? Nope, you’re just another number.
    .-= Abigail´s last blog ..Magic loop knitting – cabled shrug =-.

  29. Jill April 28, 2010 at 12:45 am

    I love this post!

    I come from a smaller town in IL. As much as I can, I try to avoid Wal-Mart… shopping as much as possible at the small businesses that need me.

    Congrats on your SITS day!

  30. Kristina at Me and My Momma's Money March 13, 2010 at 11:34 am

    I LOVE this idea and wish I lived in Indiana to experience some of the places you talk about! I know there are plenty of little places around me in Pittsburgh, though, to try as well.

    Happy Saturday SITSta!
    .-= Kristina at Me and My Momma’s Money´s last blog ..Dear Lord, Please take care of Penny =-.

  31. Holly L February 6, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Happy SITS Sharefest Saturday!

    I adore small towns! I live in a small town and over the last couple of years have watched so many business close shop…it is sad. And I try to shop, eat, etc. at local indpeendent places as much as possible. What a wonderful blog and message you are sending.
    .-= Holly L´s last blog ..Rethink…Finding Yourself =-.

Leave A Comment

This website uses cookies and third party services. Ok