Rockford's Independent Newspaper

What’s Local: Bath & Body Fusion, Thrive Cafe join forces downtown Rockford

By Jim Hagerty

ROCKFORD — Two area small businesses with common goals are joining forces downtown Rockford.

Loves Park health-food restaurant Thrive Cafe will bring a juicing operation to Bath & Body Fusion, 324 E. State St. The cafe will occupy the east half of the Bath & Body Fusion retail space.

Jennifer Ralston, owner of Bath & Body Fusion, and Thrive Cafe’s Jason Rager, say the collaboration is a “big win for downtown.”

“Both companies thrive off of their commitment to fresh, quality ingredients,” Ralston and Rager said in a joint news release. “The two fusing together will allow the Rockford community to feel their beauty from the inside out.”

Ralston started what has become Bath & Body Fusion nine years ago in her grandmother’s kitchen. Before opening a storefront downtown, she sold her handcrafted bath and body products at City Market and farmer’s markets.

A 15-year fitness instructor, Rager founded Thrive Cafe in 2015 inside Peak Sports Club on Perryville Road after creating protein smoothies, grab-and-go meals and cold-pressed juices to connect his clients with nutritious foods. He opened his first storefront in 2017 at 731 Broadcast Parkway.

The businesses plan to start making the transition week. Thrive Cafe should be up and running by mid- to late May. It will offer a full juice bar and packaged food prepared at its Loves Park location.

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