Naturally Rockford: Octane, Fuzz Salon offer new commitment to organics

With society becoming ever more vigilant about what one puts on the body or consumes into one’s system, the nation’s organic marketplace is seeing a consistent 20 percent annual growth. Conscious of this evolving consumer behavior, Daniel and Michelle Minick, owners of Octane, Upbeat, Casual Dining and Fuzz Salon—both located at 124 N. Main St., Rockford—have made a new commitment to the use of organic-based and organic-raised products in both of their River District businesses.

“Wellness and healthy choices can be practiced every day by people.” Minick said. “By taking control of our choices, we can become more independent, vibrant contributors to our families, friends, and community. Embracing organic products is a logical extension of our mission statements, which includes adding meaning to people’s lives.”

Fuzz Salon made the transition to organic product lines in April; however, extensive research went into the Salon’s decision to make the switch to organic hair-care lines.

“Stylist Sherri Hamby has spent considerable time researching various ingredients present in the majority of personal care products,” said Minick. “The FDA currently allows approximately 450 highly toxic and/or cancer causing ingredients to be used as fillers in low-cost personal-care products.”

Fuzz stylists are now stocking using styling products from Simply Organics, Kusco Murphy and Purology.

Simply Organic, the purest of the three lines, offers primarily shampoos and conditioners, contains no propylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfate, diethanolamine (DEA), or parabens.

Kusco-Murphy is entirely vegetarian-based, with no man-made (petroleum) products. This unique and hip line offers styling products in addition to an assortment of shampoos and conditioners.

Purology, the third line, is a 100 percent vegan line, offering a luxurious, anti-fade system of shampoos, conditioners, and styling products for color-treated hair.

“Hairdressers have a high rate of cancer. They have a high rate of blood diseases, and a large part of these health trends are due to the constant exposure to chemicals,” Minick said. “Chemicals are absorbed at all levels- from hair color, chemicals in perm solutions, or the chemicals in shampoo, conditioners and styling products. We at Fuzz Salon feel it is our duty to give these options to our clients and ourselves, because your health is the cornerstone for wellness and vitality.”

In addition to the new organic product lines, Kusco-Murphy and Simply Organic representatives recently held education classes at Fuzz Salon to share the unique personalities of their product lines with Fuzz stylists. The Minicks are currently exploring the possibility of Simply Organic hosting additional classes with Octane and Fuzz, including consumer education and mind-body-spirit-based classes, which would be open to the public.

Following the Minicks’ exploration of the All Things Organic Conference and Trade Show—North America’s largest, all-organic conference and trade show, recently held at Chicago’s McCormick Place—Michelle Minick and Octane Head Chef Jason Williams have been diligently researching and developing organic options for Octane, as well.

“We’re excited to add organic chicken, beef, and cheeses to our menu items! Octane’s healthier menu choices, including a wide range of Ornish, vegan, and vegetarian, have always been well received, but the expansion into organic gives everyone the option for more flavorful versions of their current favorites,” said Michelle Minick.

“Sampling at the All Things Organic Show was amazing—the tastes and flavors of the food are untainted by preservatives and chemicals. Daniel and I commented repeatedly that the flavors tasted like how you remember something tasting as a child: apples, mangos, chicken, and nuts, cheese. Delicious! We’re thrilled to be moving in this direction, because Jason has a flair for capturing vibrant flavors in a healthy manner.”

Minick concluded: “We’re listening to our guests for their input on what types of organic items they would like to see on the menu. Since organic products are still significantly higher in cost, we want to add the items that are in the greatest demand.”

To help introduce the local market to their new menu selections and product lines, Octane and Fuzz are planning an Organic Open House and Tasting for July.

Octane—Upbeat, Casual Dining and Fuzz Salon are at 124 N. Main St., Rockford. Beautifying Rockford-area residents since October 1995, it is Fuzz Salon’s quest to provide exceptional service in an atmosphere of urban elegance. With nationally recognized color educators on staff, the Fuzz team offers premier color services and consistent cutting techniques. Since 1997, Octane Upbeat Casual Dining has offered a creative spectrum of moderately priced lunches, dinners, inspired espresso drinks, wines, craft brews, cocktails, and desserts in unique combinations. Visit Octane on the Web at

From the June 1-7, 2005, issue

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