Kate Leaman

Kate Leaman

Kate Leaman • Vibrant People of Elkhart County


“I love life. I love food. I love making food.” So exclaims Kate Leaman of Goshen. And when we say exclaims, we mean it. Kate is a bundle of optimism and energy. She speaks positively and confidently. Oh, she also has a great laugh.

Kate believes making food and sharing it is a family thing. Meals pull people together and family can be of the related-by-birth kind, by marriage or, well you know, “they are just family.”

Kate was raised in Goshen. After high school, she went to college in Virginia. There, she met her husband Jon. They stuck around the Commonwealth for a while, but Goshen was calling Kate to return home. In the summer of 2017, Kate, with Jon in tow, came back to Elkhart County.

“I’ve always loved where I grew up,” Kate says with no small amount of home-town pride. “As an adult, I love it even more.” She describes Goshen as “an uncommonly great place to live, work and visit.” Kate loves the people, she loves the variety of things to do, she loves Main Street and she really loves Shirley’s Gourmet Popcorn Company at 106 North Main.

Kate runs the place.

“I feel so blessed to be downtown,” Kate says. “The community has welcomed me.” Kate gets great pleasure from seeing people on the streets and talking to folks. She wants to make her shop a must-visit destination.

Even though she is not even 30, Kate has a special place in her heart for kids. In March, Shirley’s Popcorn celebrated National Reading Month. Over 300 students got on board and met the challenge. If you missed it, Kate plans to do it again next year.

Kate is another shining example of a young person who ventured out of Elkhart County for a while and came back home. That she brought back a good guy like Jon makes it even better.