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.”

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“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.

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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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