Now open despite pandemic

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Owner Hannah Fisher, her husband, Jody, and son Lane stand for a photo in the center of Cattle Baron’s Boutique on the Bolivar square. 

Hannah Fisher said she recalls drinking coffee in the downtown Bolivar corner storefront her business now occupies. 

The building at 201 S. Main Ave., once The Well 4:14 coffee shop, then DJ’s Deals, is now Cattle Baron’s Boutique, owned by Fisher. 

It’s the business’s second location. The original Cattle Baron’s Boutique opened last July in Ava, the Southwest Baptist University graduate’s hometown.

“It was a dream of mine,” she said of opening the original store. “We wanted to bring life back to our little tiny Ava square. Now we’re getting to help do it here.”

Fisher said she met her husband at SBU. They’ve lived in Bolivar for the past six years. 

“We just had a little boy in December,” she said. “A 1.5-hour drive makes it hard to get down there and work the store. This kind of fell in our laps, and we just decided to jump in.”

The couple started working on the space in early March, she said, renovating it to fit her rustic, western clothes and accessories. 

“We just spent hours and hours and weeks and weeks trying to figure out how to best use it,” she said. “It's a gorgeous space, and we were really happy to bring it back to life.”

Fisher said the business held a soft opening earlier this month. She said she’s planning a grand opening in either late May or early June. 

Opening a new location during the COVID-19 pandemic was intimidating, she said. But, so was opening her first store. 

“Opening a business in general is scary,” she said. “We did it, and it worked out, but opening a second location in all of this was extra scary.”

Still, she said, she’s excited to actually get to spend every day in her store. 

“Now, I actually get to be here,” she said. “I actually get to meet my customers and help everybody out. It's really nice. I feel like this location is more my baby.”

Fisher said the coffee shop’s kitchen is now her office. A back room is now a space where she said she hopes to one day hold painting classes. 

“We’ve got a pretty spot on the square, and we’re excited,” she said. “We can’t wait to be a bigger part of the community.”

Rocco’s now open

Rocco’s Pizza, at 213 S. Main Ave., where the Nifty Cafe and most recently Naomi’s cafe once were, is now open. 

Franchise owner Kevin Allen said the chain restaurant, which can trace its roots back to the original Rocco’s in Trenton, New Jersey, opened Friday, May 8. 

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Rocco’s Pizza owner Kevin Allen spins pizza dough in the kitchen. 

Allen said the restaurant serves a New York-style pizza, with a large, hand-tossed thin crust, and fresh ingredients. 

“We cook our meat right here,” he said. “We shred our cheese right here.”

Allen said he chose to return to Bolivar after previously running a Rocco’s location in Marionville. He and his wife graduated from Morrisville High School and now live in Aldrich, he said. 

“We have family scattered all around the area, but Polk County is home,” he said. 

Opening amid a pandemic has been hectic, he said. But, he said even the coronavirus couldn’t stand in the way. 

“I haven’t slept a lot recently,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of help from friends and family. To open a business, you either need friends and family or you need money. I don’t have any money.”

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