In Business: Family Aims To Provide a Healthy Lifestyle In Park Rapids
Two buildings that were once used as a dairy store and a garage have been providing a healthy lifestyle in the Park Rapids community since 1986.
“How can we make granola without bulk oatmeal?” Cathy Peterson asked, and with that one question in mind and a want to provide a community with a healthy and organic lifestyle, one woman’s question is now a family business.
“3rd Street Market started in 1986 by my mother, she’d also been interested in natural and health foods and were co-members of the Wholesome Harvest Food co-op in Park Rapids which had a fire and the board decided not to rebuild, so at that point gave us a perfect opportunity to start our own health food store, and this building that we’re in which was a dairy was available, and it was just a barebone empty building, so we completely re-bought it, remodeled it and in November, December of ’86, the 3rd Street Market started,” said Bella Caffé and 3rd Street Market Co-owner Thom Peterson.
The building next to 3rd Street Market was used as a garage for the old dairy store, but in 2003, the Peterson family bought the building, which is now known as Bella Caffé, an Italian espresso wine bar.
“I lived in Italy for 2 ½ years by Pisa, Italy and was so enamored by the country and the people and culture and so forth that I always wanted to have a coffee shop in Park Rapids that would be a social cultural center, and we’ve been blessed to have it turn out that way,” said Peterson.
By providing a healthy way of living and a family oriented style of service, customers who visit the businesses say they spend most of their day here.
“At one time, it was the only coffee shop in town and we kept coming here because a lot of people that we know started coming in here and we started this little group,” said customer Dick Kimball. “It kind of started off with 4 or 5 of us and as I mentioned before, we’ve had as many as 17 people around here, staff here are great people. It’s very comfortable place to talk.”
“We love our customers, it’s kind of a connection and we like hearing someone coming in at 3rd Street, ‘oh, this works so well on my skin’ or ‘I had ear issues,’ we have ear oil and ear candling and just different things they weren’t able to get help with on the medical model but through some natural products, so I think that’s very special about having a small business, getting connected and knowing our customers,” said Bella Caffé and 3rd Street Market Co-owner Cathy Peterson.
Providing a healthy lifestyle for people is an essential part in this family’s business, and although they might not have everything you need, just say the word and they’ll order it for you.