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New ways to stay connected on Rochester's menu

Columnist Steve Lange shares more stories from local restaurants.

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Last week, we ran a few stories -- life lessons, really -- that local restaurant people shared with us.

Lessons learned over the last 12 months.

They gave us stories about staff stepping up, about customers standing beside them, about a community coming together.

And we got plenty more.

Here are a few more of our favorites. (For the full story, check out the April edition of Rochester Magazine.)

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From Michelle Provance, server, Canadian Honker:
“I have learned over this past year the happiness that simple human interactions can bring. We do this job because we love people, and we have the ability to make someone’s day brighter. Having a positive attitude, a smile, and lending a listening ear can make all the difference for someone who is going through a hard time.

"I’ve also learned that I take for granted my relationships with my coworkers. When they were taken away so suddenly it was quite the shock to my system. I missed knowing what everyone was doing over the weekend, and what their kids were learning in school.

"So many small businesses have had to make what seem like impossible decisions during this pandemic. I will never take for granted how fortunate I was during the past year to work where I do, in a community as giving and caring as Rochester.”

From Jennifer Becker, owner, Bleu Duck:
“There is a silver lining to all of this. We have realized the importance of how crucial supporting local is and have made so many dear friends who are fellow small business owners, welcoming them into our space and working together as a team. ...

"We began offering local delivery paired up with other local companies. We have offered our space to create Local Vendor Markets, giving space to 16-18 other local vendors to sell their products with us.

"We would not have known these people, otherwise. It has been beautiful on so many levels. We are thankful every day for all the good people there are in the community!”

From Michelle and Myrol Salz, owners, Twigs Tavern and Grille:
“As the cold weather loomed, we knew we were going to lose our patio seating and we became more and more concerned. Then came the second round of closures, and we truly didn’t know how things would turn out.

"Just as our hearts became heavier than we thought they could become, outdoor dining opened back up. Cue patio seating in the midst of snowflakes and 30 degree weather. And in true Minnesotan style, Rochester showed their love and support in droves! They came and dined around our cozy fire pits and heaters, wrapped up in snuggly blankets with spiked hot drinks in hand.

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"The Rochester community has stood by our side through all of this. It brings tears to our eyes. We can’t thank this beautiful community enough.”

Steve Lange is the editor of Rochester Magazine. His column appears every Tuesday.

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