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Tag: Crete Featured Business

Featured Business: Polaris Martial Arts

“Traditional Taekwondo is our core art. We also have an adult Krav Maga program that is practical, effective self-defense. It’s ‘what do I need to learn to get myself home safely and deal with any sort of threat’,” founder of Polaris Marital Arts, Mace DeVries said.

Polaris Martial Arts is located on 1336 Main St, and was started by Mace DeVries.

Mr. DeVries grew up in Crete and went on to Northwestern University on a scholarship, after graduating from Crete-Monee High school.

“In college my girlfriend broke up with me and said that I was a little boring. I was desperate to prove her wrong. And a buddy of mine said, ‘Hey, I do this martial arts thing, you should come try it.’ That’s how I took my first martial arts class.”

Polaris Martial Arts founder, Mace DeVries

Mr. DeVries says he soon realized that the training provided a sense of security and self-reliance that he enjoyed, and that the decision to open his own martial arts academy in Crete was based on the lack of similar activities when he was a child.

The name, Polaris, was chosen for its historical traditions, and the symbolism associated with the interstellar namesake.

“We called it Polaris because it is the one star in the sky that is always in the same space. It’s the North star, it doesn’t move, it’s in the big dipper, and sailors used to navigate by it. It was always something that I thought could help people find the direction.”

Today, that direction has led Polaris Martial Arts to become a popular hub of recreational activities for children, teens and adults, teaching not just how to kick and punch, but also how to deal with a variety of real-life challenges.

“We teach life skills, discipline, respect, courtesy and communication. We believe there are four stages of character development: Structure, emotion, knowledge and legacy. Structure is being able to have a little bit of discipline. Emotion is the ability to control those emotions. Knowledge how to kick, how to block, how to punch. Legacy realizing the impact that they have on the people around them.”

Mr. DeVries says that earning a medal isn’t the purpose of training or winning competitions; rather, it is the process of training and building courage and confidence to be judged by strangers that is the real prize.

A student hangs in mid-air while performing a jump kick

“It’s that ‘aha moment’ when they break a board, or do a weapon manipulation and they catch it in their other hand, without it clattering on the floor. That sense of joy where they realize that the work that they put in just paid off.”

This training philosophy has proven popular with Crete area families, many of whom were enrolled as children and are now assisting with the training as teens. Ten-year-old purple belt, Justine, has no difficulty articulating why she enjoys attending Polaris Martial Arts.

Polaris Martial Arts Purple Belt, Justine

“Taekwondo has definitely been teaching me a lot of discipline. I love being here. There are amazing people, amazing friends you can make. Once you hit beginner class, you never wanna go away. It’s just an amazing experience to have, that not every kid gets to do, so you feel really special when you walk in.”

Polaris Martial Arts students hugging after practice

Asked to define the single most important thing Mr. DeVries hopes the children will learn from attending Polaris Martial Arts:

“The ability to understand what grit is. Determination, resilience in a single word. Life is going to come along and knock you down. This happens to us on a daily basis. Can you get back up, can you brush yourself off and be able to go forward?”

Polaris Martial Arts offers Taekwondo and Krav Maga classes in Crete and Frankfort:

Polaris Martial Arts – Crete
1336 Main St
Crete, IL 60417

Polaris Martial Arts – Frankfort
10850 W Laraway Rd
Frankfort, IL 60423


Featured Business: Closet Collectibles

Closet Collectibles is a local toy store that buys, sells and trades new and used items, along with other collectibles for all ages. Closet Collectibles has locations on Wood Street in Crete and Oak Park Avenue in Tinley Park, and they also do business on eBay –

From Hot Wheels to Star Wars

“From Hot Wheels to Star Wars, anything to do with collecting is just fun,” says store owner Chris Pluymert.

The dream of dealing in toys and collectibles started in childhood for Chris, redecorating his room to accommodate the passion.

“I started when I was a kid doing baseball card shows, and always just played stores as a kid too. In my bedroom I got rid of my bed and put a display case […] and took off my closet doors and made it a pretend store,” Chris explains.

About four and a half years ago, Chris opened his first store, with over 4000 square feet of new and used toys and a variety of different collectible items.

Store Manager Michelle shows DC Marvel items

“DC Marvel, Masters of the Universe, sports cards, $1 Hot Wheels, Star Wars, Wrestling, train stuff, new toys, old toys, Nerf guns, action figures, and, we have a dragon,” store manager Michelle says.

The six-foot dragon has become a bit of a store mascot, according to Chris.

“The dragon came in from somebody who had it in their house and their girlfriend made them get rid of it. We’re not really looking to sell the dragon because everyone likes him and he’s a cool centerpiece to the room.”

Closet Collectibles owner Chris Pluymert and the store mascot dragon

Chris says he wants the store to be a place where people can be comfortable and hang out, and where kids can play with the toys.

“We have awesome customers. Sometimes they hang out for hours on end. We have customers who come in and help us fix things. We’ve met some really cool people over the past four years and the best thing with a job like this is you become friends with the regulars.”

The appreciation for collectibles and toys is about cherishing the simpler times in life, according to Chris.

“They’re not really buying a toy; they’re buying a memory. They’re bringing it back to when they’re picking up that toy from under the tree they got for Christmas.”

Closet Collectibles is located on 1626 Wood Street in Crete and 17236 Oak Park Avenue in Tinley Park. They’re open Wednesday to Sunday, 11am to 5pm.

Visit their Facebook page at or give them at call at 708-279-7045.

The Edge Coffee House & Roasting Company

This week’s featured business is The Edge Coffee House & Roasting Company.

Founded 11 years ago as a place for the community to fellowship outside of church, it remains a popular gathering spot for residents and visitors, seeking good food, good beverages and good company.

Crete Featured Business: Dairy Queen

Crete Dairy Queen owner, Sam Patel, grew up in a small village. When he saw an opportunity to become a franchise owner in Crete, he felt it was a perfect fit.

Dairy Queen Crete is currently open for drive-thru only, and is located at: 1006 E Steger Rd Crete, IL 60417 (708) 304-2447

Crete Featured Business: Dairy Queen

Crete Dairy Queen owner, Sam Patel, grew up in a small village. When he saw an opportunity to become a franchise owner in Crete, he felt it was a perfect fit. Dairy Queen Crete is currently open for drive-thru only, and are located at: 1006 E Steger RdCrete, IL 60417(708) 304-2447

Posted by Village of Crete on Tuesday, August 4, 2020