“It’s no secret that I love Rochester. Rochester is a place where you need to peel back a layer to find out what’s going on under the surface. It’s affordable and provides opportunity to accomplish so many things — like starting a business, being an artist, or simply living and enjoying all that’s happening here.
“I love visiting local shops like Needledrop Records and checking out music at the Bug Jar. It’s one of my favorite local music venues because I get to see great bands in an intimate setting. Plus they have shows featuring any genre under the sun that you can think of — Psych, Stoner, Rock, Punk, Garage, Noise, Indie — I could keep going.
“My family visits one of the many vegan friendly restaurants at least once a week — like The Owl House, The Red Fern, Fiorella, Swillburger, and Voula’s Greek Sweets, to name a few. We’re also fortunate that specialty coffee is exploding in our city and a wonderful community is being created. If I’m not already serving at my pop-up espresso bar Ugly Duck Coffee, I am enjoying a drink at Joe Bean Coffee Roasters, Fuego Coffee Roasters, or Pour Coffee Parlor.
“Rochester also has a budding and creative community of skateboarders that you can find at Krudco Skateshop — a place that has been a hub for Rochester’s youth culture for almost 20 years and was a significant part of my life growing up. I hope that the City will support the public skatepark because it will bring new people into the City and give kids something positive to do.
“When talking about our community it’s easy to get lost in reasons why it can be frustrating or what it’s lacking. I think the greatest thing about Rochester is that you have an ability to change it for the better.”
—Rory Van Grol, North Winton Village
Ugly Duck Coffee