A number of new businesses moved into the Northfield area this fall, including a highly anticipated movie theater, a juice bar and a third liquor store.
The theater, Cannon Valley Cinema 10, and the liquor store, MGM Wine and Spirits, are both located in a business complex in Dundas, located on Highway 3 just beyond Target.
Business owners Christopher and Amber Brown bought the complex and run both MGM and Cannon Valley Cinema. The property is a short nine minute drive from St. Olaf’s campus. Cannon Valley Cinema is the second movie theater that the Browns own.
Cannon Valley Cinema 10 had its soft opening over Thanksgiving weekend. The theater houses 10 screens with 2-D and 3-D capabilities. Moviegoers can enjoy the leather reclining chairs while treating themselves to typical theater fare like popcorn, pretzels and nachos. The theater plans to show blockbusters and independent films.
Healthy Focus is a new shake and smoothie bar in downtown Northfield. Dubbed a “healthy bar,” Healthy Focus sells shakes, teas and energy drinks. Besides refreshments, Healthy Focus also hosts fitness classes and seminars relating to different nutrition topics. Their goal is to promote healthy lifestyles for all people.
Jill Bender, a full-time partner of Healthy Focus, talked about the store’s role in the community.
“We have a great sense of community,” Bender said. “We make an effort to get to know our customers by name. This is a place where they belong. I want them to know that this is their happy place.”
Carving out a space in the community is important for every new business, and the Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce assists with that. The Chamber hosts multiple events throughout the year which benefit and highlight businesses in the Northfield area. Along with hosting events, the Chamber also creates a network of business owners.
“People do business with people they like, know and trust. We want to build those connections between our members,” Director of Member Services Lindsay Reddy said.
Businesses come to Northfield for a variety of reasons: some owners grew up in the area, some like the town feel and others like the abundance of college students. For Healthy Focus, these factors were important to their decision to open here.
“The diversity of this community is what drew the owners to Northfield,” Bender said. “The fact that there are two colleges, that this is such a growing community and there is such a huge age range.”
The two colleges play an especially large role for Healthy Focus. They want their business to be a place where all people – but especially college students – will come. Healthy Focus hopes to be a more health-conscious Caribou Coffee, with free Wi-Fi and study spaces.