BY GABE LICHT
DELANO, MN Those who haven’t been inside 234 River St. N. in Delano recently would be surprised to see how the space has changed.
Retail space in the front and an apartment in the back have been removed to make way for Roots Salon, which opened there at the beginning of May.
“This is all brand new, everything in here,” owner and stylist Brandi Van Allen said.
The salon is new to Delano, but the stylists aren’t.
Van Allen started her hair career at J. Olson Salon in Delano in 2001, after learning the craft at Scot Lewist Beauty School in Plymouth.
“When J. Olson closed, Jodi took over and turned it into Bella (Hair and Nail Design), and I stayed with her,” Van Allen said of Jodi Hartneck, who has been doing hair since 1985, and now works at Roots Salon. “I worked with Jodi six years when it was Bella.”
“I used to go to the salon where they worked,” said stylist Cassandra Schaust, who has been working with hair for six years, most recently with Van Allen at Roots Salon in Loretto.
Van Allen started working in Loretto four and a half years ago.
“Two months after I started working there, that’s when I took over the existing salon and I changed it to Roots,” Van Allen said.
The name was a no-brainer for her.
“I grew up in Loretto, so I was essentially going back to where I grew up, going back to my roots, and hair roots,” Van Allen said. “I kind of put two and two together.”
All three stylists consider Delano a part of their roots, as they each graduated from Delano High School.
They’ve known each other for years. Not only did Van Allen cut Schaust’s hair when she was in high school, but when Van Allen was in high school, Hartneck cut her hair.
“I’m not that old, so I don’t know how that happened,” Hartneck said with a laugh.
Roots Salon provides lash extensions; nail services; and all hair services, including cuts, perms, colors, foils, and waxing.
Van Allen is seeking three more hairstylists, as well as a massage therapist and an esthetician to provide services such as facials.
Roots Salon is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and Friday and Saturday by appointment, and can be reached at (952) 300-8206 or on the Roots Salon Facebook page.
A grand opening will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday. Businesses participating in the grand opening include Lupine Brewing Company, Bonde Bistro, Bridge House Coffee & Café, Delano Floral, 4th Street Design, Lulu’s Retail Therapy, Iron Barre Yoga, and Lip Amour by Lipsense. Individuals will have the opportunity to enter drawings to win gift cards from those vendors.
Van Allen is glad to be back in Delano doing what she loves to do.
“I like being back home, in a sense. I like the small town feel, yet the town is growing,” Van Allen said. “I love being able to make people feel good about themselves, and just making friends with all my clients. They feel like extended family in a way. I get to know their kids and grandkids.”