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River Falls proves prime spot for new businesses

September 20, 2012

Yo-Joe's yogurt shop
Yo-Joe’s is one of the many new businesses that has opnened in River Falls. (Billy Thao/Student Voice)

During my time here in River Falls, you may have noticed that our quiet home has turned into a city that is always changing.

It seems like there is always something new popping up.

Whether it is a new construction project or a new business, there never seems to be a dull moment.

According to the information from the River Falls Chamber of Commerce, within the year, there have been 18 new businesses that have decided to nestle into our small town.

However, not everything is brand new. Econo Foods is now known as Family Fresh, and Bubba’s Fried Chicken has re-opened their doors.

Elizabeth Madson, owner of Elizabeth’s Fine Jewelry, Mary Lam, owner of Tip Top Nails and Laurie Levine, owner of the frozen yogurt and coffee shop, Yo-Joe’s chose River Falls as the home for their store.

Madson said that the number one reason they moved from Hudson to River Falls was because of the location. They already had a large customer base in River Falls, so it just seemed fitting to open up shop that was more convenient. Elizabeth’s Fine Jewelry gets a lot of cyclical business, definitely around the holidays, and overall business has been pretty good.

Tip Top Nails opened in May and, so far, they have been getting steady business as well.

Lam said that being from Minnesota, she really liked the location and she also liked the small town feel.

Levine co-founded the popular frozen yogurt and coffee shop, Yo-Joe’s. After opening in August, business has been booming.

She has family that went to school here. She said she has always wanted to have a store in River Falls so, naturally, it just seemed right to locate here. Levine also said that she likes the history of the building.

The building in which Yo-Joe’s is located was a hotel once upon a time. When designing the store, Levine wanted to preserve as much of that history as possible, so she has exposed all of the original brick and re-designed the original windows.

Levine also has another store in Cottage Grove, and sometimes she finds it hard to juggle back and forth. At nights and on weekends, the place is crawling with college students who are either studying or taking a study break.

Yo-Joe’s also opens early, for people who want to grab a cup of coffee on their way to class.

UW-River Falls students Max Dalton and Calie Short knew of the businesses, but the only place they have really checked out was Yo-Joe’s. They both enjoy the variety of choices and the atmosphere.

Dalton thoroughly enjoyed the coffee shop feel, and Short said, “I thought it was just fabulous!”

Overall, it seems as though River Falls is becoming a new business hot spot.