Rockford's Independent Newspaper

Thrive Cafe opens downtown location

By Jim Hagerty

ROCKFORD — Thrive Cafe is now officially part of the downtown community.

Well, almost. The popular health-conscience eatery started a soft opening for “Thrive Cafe On the Go,” at 326 E. State St., Thursday. 

“We haven’t really told anybody but we already have people coming in,” Owner Jason Rager said. “We know they will put it on social media. So, Monday we are going to blast it out there.”

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.

Thrive On the Go offers a full juice bar and packaged food, some prepared at the Loves Park location and some downtown. 

“We don’t have a hood down here so we aren’t preparing any of our hot bowls,” Rager said. “But we have our ‘Grab ‘n Gos.’ Those can be either heated at work or heated at your house. We have all of our salads, Overnight Oats, and our muffins.”

Other downtown menu items include a variety of Thrive favorite like chia pudding, wraps, smoothies and peanut butter balls.

Depending on how things go, Rager said he may remodel in the future to accommodate a full kitchen at the new location. 

“We like this area,” Rager said. “We like the building.” 

Thrive is located in the space formerly occupied by Bath & Body Fusion, which consolidated its operation to the adjacent storefront at 324 E. State St. The businesses announced the move earlier this year. 

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

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