RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) - Complete with balloons, cupcakes, and delicious food, five MidTown merchants decided to throw a birthday party.
"Junkee's turning 6 years old, Sippee's, our children's store, is turning one, Happy Happy Joy Joy is turning one, Gourmelt is turning three, [Lil Sipper Coffee is turning one],” says Virginia Esty, a worker at Junkee.
It's well-known that many small businesses have a difficult first year, sometimes even failing, but these local business owners are celebrating their anniversary after surpassing that milestone and looking forward to more success in the community. They're happy to celebrate together as part of the MidTown revitalization effort.
"All of our neighbors here in MidTown have been so welcoming and really supporting what we're trying to do,” says Jessie Watnes, co-owner of Gourmelt, the popular grilled cheese food truck. “ It feels like such a family."
She says, “It was always our dream to open our truck. We were hoping the truck would be a stepping stone for us to open a brick and mortar one day. And really take off from there. "
It's becoming a reality. Two chicks restaurant will be opening in July in MidTown.
"Looking back three years ago, [at] how we started, so much has changed, and we have grown so much,” says Watnes.
She says starting a business was scary. That’s something Lil Sipper Coffee owner, Ashley Hughes, also learned this year.
"This is really scary,” says Hughes. “I've never done any kind of business by myself. And a huge learning curve. Even pulling a trailer. "
But now celebrating the little red coffee trailer's one year birthday, she says it was worth the effort.
"It's really changed the whole face of the Reno area, especially downtown.”
By supporting and celebrating with each other- this corner of MidTown hopes to reflect that positive growth.
“It's all about locals, and keeping it local, and all of us working together for the bigger project,” says Watness.