Discover Downtown Rochester

How Quick Collaboration Led to Downtown Rochester’s Creative Outdoor Dining

If the COVID-19 pandemic has provided one life lesson, it has been to creatively adapt to changing situations, sometimes with the help from others. For those in the restaurant industry, this was the name of the game. Find out how local eateries reimagined dining with the help from design firms, local organizations, and government to creatively adapt to COVID-19.

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Announcing the Keep it Local Grant Recipients

Fifty-five local businesses are innovating and partnering with other local entities to propel themselves into a world beyond COVID-19. With gracious financial contributions from the City of Rochester and Destination Medical Center, the Keep it Local, COVID-19 Innovators Grant program distributed $100,000 among these businesses to collaborate on new technology or business models in response to COVID-19.

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Community Spotlight on Olmsted County

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. It seems now more than ever with the COVID-19 pandemic, people may need mental health services. Thankfully, Olmsted County is fortunate to have resources available 24/7. Hear from Olmsted County Commissioner Stephanie Podulke why the county is well positioned locally and how Commissioner Podulke is impacting mental health services across greater Minnesota.

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Community Spotlight on Big Bang Companies, Rochesterfest, and Olmsted County Fair

"What limited skill set do I have that I can use to help out my community?"
That's the question Brandon Helgeson of Big Bang Companies, the Olmsted County Free Fair, and Rochesterfest asked himself once COVID-19 started. Turns out, there's a lot of virtual programming he can offer to the Rochester community. Find out what keeps him staying positive in an uncertain time and how you can tune in to the virtual events.

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Community Spotlight on City Market

Inspiration can come from anywhere at any time. Find out how City Market in downtown Rochester became inspired by a California restaurant's meal program and how its adaptation is helping the local Rochester community.

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Community Spotlight on the Rochester Public Library

The Rochester Public Library in downtown Rochester is accustomed to being a gathering place for the community and staff are used to using resources to answer questions. Since the onset of COVID-19 closed the Library to the public, they've put their skills to use elsewhere. Find out from Audrey Betcher how the Rochester Public Library is operating as part of the City of Rochester's emergency operations center.

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Community Spotlight on Powers Ventures

What happened when restaurants and those in the food service industry had fresh goods as COVID-19 became a reality in our area? Hear how Joe Powers of Powers Ventures is partnering with Channel One Regional Food Bank and local restaurants to re-purpose the produce and food from restaurants and those in the food service industry.

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Community Spotlight on Mayo Civic Center

When you talk about collaboration, here is a great example of how Rochester area nonprofits, restaurants, and city government have come together to provide consistent service to those most in need. Hear from Rochester Mayor Kim Norton and Joe Ward of Experience Rochester and the Mayo Civic Center about this unique partnership in response to COVID-19.

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Community Spotlight on the Rochester Nonprofit Consortium

Thirty to 40 nonprofit organizations have united under one mission to serve the community in response to COVID-19. Learn from Brooke Carlson, the Rochester Nonprofit Consortium's strategist, how each organization is using its expertise and focus to collaborate to provide helpful and reliable information to the community.

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Community Spotlight on People's Food Co-op

"We are called to serve a community, and… it’s never been more concrete as it is now.”
People's Food Co-op is downtown Rochester's grocery store that is helping provide locally-produced goods for the community at large during COVID-19. General Manager Lizzy Haywood shares some beautiful thoughts for how the Co-op has innovated its services and is supporting each other and the community.

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Community Spotlight on Pasquale's Neighborhood Pizzeria

Being able to adapt, especially in the restaurant business, is key. And Pasquale's Neighborhood Pizzeria in downtown Rochester has proven they can do just that while creating zero waste of food. Learn how Pasquale and his team have adjusted in response to COVID-19 and his special shout-out here.

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Community Spotlight on the Salvation Army

The Rochester Salvation Army staff is passionate about making others' lives better and that focus hasn't changed amid COVID-19. Major Lisa Mueller of the Salvation Army in downtown Rochester shares how the organization has tailored its services in response to the needs of the community during COVID-19.

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Community Spotlight on Yoga Tribe MN

Breathe in, breathe out. It sounds simple but taking time to breathe is important. Yoga and meditation can help you live in the moment and be grounded back to reality. Yoga Tribe MN owner Heather Ritenour-Sampson shares how a simple 30-minute virtual session can help alleviate stress and anxious feelings and help boost your outlook in this Community Spotlight feature.

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Community Spotlight on Victoria's Ristorante

Victoria's Ristorante in downtown Rochester, Minnesota is perpetuating the good during COVID-19. Owner Natalie Victoria shares how their free meals for kids has grown and expanded to other community members in need.

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Community Spotlight on Neon Green Studio

"Don't stop creating" is good advice during this time of COVID-19. And Neon Green Studio in downtown Rochester is bringing the art to you while you're at home. Find out the different ways to brighten your day through creativity as well as that of a family member, friend, or neighbor.

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Community Spotlight on Grand Rounds Brewing Company

Grand Rounds Brewing Company in downtown Rochester, Minnesota has opened its doors to school-age kids in need of meals during this time of COVID-19. Grand Rounds' founder, Tessa Leung, shares the reasons behind her persevering in response to COVID-19.

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Community Spotlight on the Roch Strong app

Collaborators at BrandHoot and Collider Coworking invented the Roch Strong to help support local businesses during COVID-19. Hear how the app was created in only two days and how these two organizations are further helping local non-profits and entrepreneurs.

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Community Spotlight on Rochester Area Economic Development

Introducing our Community Spotlight series, highlighting the uplifting and positive things happening in our downtown Rochester community. Local businesses, this one is for you: Rochester Area Economic Development, Inc. (RAEDI) will help you navigate the City of Rochester, MN's Emergency Economic Development Loan Program. RAEDI President Ryan Nolander also shares some positive thoughts while our community responds to COVID-19.

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Community Spotlight on Rochester Area Family YMCA

During this time of COVID-19, Rochester Area Family YMCA is rising above and putting into practice its organizational areas of focus: youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. The Y is offering childcare for Tier 2 workers’ (essential and critical care workers) children for both infant through preschool and kindergarten through sixth grade. That means people who work in the food industry, utility workers (gas, electric), transportation, and childcare–all that is Tier 2. Executive Director Virginia Kaczmarek shares how this new system of support aligns with the Y's mission while being a departure from normal operations.

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