Growing Destinations

Growing Destinations

Focused on destination development and a wide range of topics including tourism, entertainment, hospitality, retail, entrepreneurism, economic development and more. Conversations are engaging and relatable. Presented by Experience Rochester Minnesota.

Episodes

September 22, 2022 24 min

Muharem Dedic (Mo) and Midhat Mujic (Mido) are Bosnian immigrants who, along with their families, left war-torn Bosnia more than 20 years ago and settled in Rochester, Minnesota to start a new life. Mo and Mido met each other through soccer and became friends and business partners. In 2018, they started a soccer club called Rochester FC. Through that club, they are now bringing the highest level of pre-professional soccer for men a...

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One of the biggest challenges small business owners face is how to get their business started. Amanda Leightner is Executive Director of the Collider Foundation in Rochester, Minnesota. Collider provides ecosystem navigation to help guide early stage entrepreneurs in the right direction by providing valuable resources, education, storytelling and co-working space. Amanda knows firsthand the challenges entrepreneurs face. In additio...

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For the past 25 years, Victoria's has been a staple in the dining scene in downtown Rochester, MN. Located around the corner from Mayo Clinic, it's popular among the Clinic's patients. Along with family members, Natalie Victoria founded the Italian-inspired restaurant in 1997. Now, the next generation of the Victoria family is joining the ranks of restauranteurs.

Natalie's son, Jordan, and niece, Nadia, recently ope...

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August 11, 2022 24 min

Craft cocktails are all the rage. Andy Ferguson and Josh Krall are the owners of Bitter and Pour, a popular cocktail lounge in Rochester, Minnesota. Along with two other partners, they opened the downtown Rochester hot spot in 2018. They discuss the history of craft cocktails, a specialty of theirs, and why they've become so popular. They also talk about the importance of fresh ingredients and consistency. With 40 craft cocktai...

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Food Trucks are not new concepts, but they are growing in popularity and variety. Two culinary professionals share their entrepreneurial journey in the food industry, which has evolved into Food Trucks. Joseph Phillips is owner and operator of Jersey Jo’s, serving authentic cheese steak sandwiches in Rochester, MN and Chandu Valluri is a partner with Pine Island, MN based Infuzn Foods, delivering the fresh taste of Indian inspired ...

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Luke Hendrickson is a musician from Rochester, Minnesota. The four-time Midwest Country Music Awards nominee shares his story as a self-taught musician. He writes his own music, and since 2020 has released two full-length albums. With the pandemic hopefully behind him, Luke says it's full speed ahead with his musical career.

Luke Hendrickson
Experience Rochester, MN

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Tiffany Alexandria loves travel and experiencing authentic places. She grew up in Taiwan and moved to Rochester, Minnesota in 2017 with her husband, a Rochester native.  As a lover of food, Tiffany started a foodie website, focusing on recipes from Taiwan, which also showcases her amazing photography skills. She's a big supporter of farmers markets, sourcing local ingredients and BIPOC start-up businesses. In 2021, Tiffany crea...

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The summer travel season is heating up and revenues at hospitality businesses are the strongest they’ve been in more than two years. Two MN tourism professionals offer unique perspectives on growing the tourism economy: 

Linda Jurek is Executive Director of Visit Cook County in Northeastern Minnesota. Kris VonBerge is Executive Director of Visit Little Falls in Central Minnesota. Both tourism regions are rich with amenities for the ...

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Doug DeGrood has been a fixture in the Minneapolis advertising community for over 30 years. His award-winning work has touched many well-known brands. After he and his business partner sold their ad agency at the height of his career, Doug was diagnosed with cancer. This life-changing news brought a whole new perspective and a new appreciation for life. An avid golfer, Doug published a book titled The Right Side of the Fairway: 18 ...

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The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly impacted campus life for college students over the past two years. MyLe Luong, a student at University of Minnesota Rochester and Alex Strelow, a student at Winona State University, both located in Southeast Minnesota, share their experiences of virtual learning, lessons learned during the pandemic, and the importance of being together.

University of Minnesota Rochester
Winona State University
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In 2019, a new travel site emerged called Shrpa.com. It's an exploration platform connecting content creators with communities with an end goal of making it easier for people to get out and explore.

Chris Lukenbill is the co-founder of Shrpa.com. He's a serial entrepreneur from Rochester, Minnesota who found funding success for this new venture at pitch competitions. In 2021, Shrpa got the endorsement of the state tourism o...

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In 2014, Ann and Steve Teget left their highly successful jobs in corporate America. Inspired by new adventures, the empty nest Midwesterners began publishing the Postcard Jar travel blog highlighting their many travel adventures. Ann and Steve will admit starting the blog wasn't easy, but they've learned a lot along the way, including how to live healthier, thanks in part to the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program. Over the...

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Events are important to communities. From 5K runs to farmers markets and festivals, events provide many benefits. The shock of the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted the industry. In this episode, two leaders in the events industry share their perspectives:

Mary Anderson is President of Anderson Race Management. Her 25-year-old business, based in the Twin Cities, is involved in 200 running events a year throughout the country.

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For nearly a decade, John McGivern traveled up and down the state of Wisconsin for a travel program on public television. In 2022, he debuted a brand new travel show on commercial TV. It's called "John McGivern's Main Streets" and features 13 communities from six Midwestern states. After filming in Rochester, MN last summer, John recently came back to the city for a preview party of the Rochester episode. In this po...

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February 23, 2022 25 min

He's been described as the Immigrant Pizza King of Rochester, and his pizza business has proven pandemic proof. His name is Pasquale Presa, and he's the namesake owner and operator of Pasquale's Neighborhood Pizzeria in Rochester, Minnesota. Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, and his ability to pivot quickly, Pasquale's business has flourished and diversified.

Pasquale's Neighborhood Pizzeria
Experience ...

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In 2019, Minnesota featured nearly 200 craft breweries. COVID-19 stifled the industry's growth and created challenges, but also opportunities. Dawn Finnie, owner of Little Thistle Brewery, and Annie Henderson, owner of Forager Brewery, are two leaders in the craft beer industry from Rochester, Minnesota. Both are collaborators who successfully pivoted and credit the support of their local community to help them weather the COVI...

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February 18, 2022 39 min

The tourism and hospitality industry has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic, but there are signs of a recovery. Two leaders in the tourism industry sit down for a conversation on the impact of the pandemic, the current state of affairs, and why they are bullish on the road ahead. Melvin Tennant is President and CEO of Meet Minneapolis, and Joe Ward is President of Experience Rochester, Minnesota.

Experience Rochester's ...

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