Rochester, MN

"Minnesota nice"

Rochester is full of people who are always willing to lend a helping hand to their neighbor or new resident in town. (Credit: Olive Juice Studio)

Rochester folks are some of the nicest, happiest, caring folks you will ever meet! No matter where you go, everyone is nice.  

Picture this: You move from CA to MN in the middle of winter for a job.  A year later, the company lays off your entire location.  Now what? Move back? Stay? All of this was going through my head one very cold day in January of 2000.

As I was leaving my place of employment for the last time, a snow storm came upon us.  I headed out to pick up my son from daycare, frazzled and scared.  As I make my way, I realize the storm was worse than I thought.  My little car was in trouble and I went down a ditch.  This had never happened to me before ever. I began to sob since I already felt low. After about two minutes, I hear commotion. I look up and there are several cars along the side of the road. Thinking they were just as stuck as I was, I pulled myself together and tried to figure out how I was going to get out. All of a sudden, several people walked over to help me. They brought shovels and started digging my car out of the snow! Of course, this restored my faith in people because complete strangers helped dig me out and send me on my merry way.

I heard there was a new grocery store opening and that they were giving away goodies to all their new customers. I decided to head there to check it out. I head to the new store and realized they were giving out bacon, ice cream, cereal and more!  I mentioned to one of the clerks that it was such a blessing to me and my family as we were just laid off the day before. Not realizing that others could hear my brief conversation, I begin to see other customers walking towards me yet again. They started putting items in my cart. Before I knew it, I had a full cart.  It was truly a blessing! If that doesn’t seal someone’s faith, I am not sure what does. 

I am happy to say that I decided to stay in Rochester and have been here for 19 years. I have encountered many “nice” situations like this in my town and am proud to be a part of it. After all, our state motto is that we are all “Minnesota Nice.”