Four new Highland businesses and one recently relocated to the downtown offer diverse shopping opportunities for area residents.
RSO Jewelry, which stands for Robert Stephen Originals, offers custom-made jewelry. RSO, which opened in November, is located in Highland’s downtown at 2647 Highway Avenue.
Owner Robert Hansen said he and his co-owner wife Avarie chose Highland because that is where they both grew up and where they live and are raising their children.
“We liked the downtown and we wanted to be part of bringing more business there,” Hansen said.
RSO specializes in custom designed and hand-made jewelry.
“We are able to customize rings, necklaces and pendants the way anyone would like it,” Hansen said.
Hansen said his business has received a good reception from the community.
“A lot of people like the fact we are here,” Hansen said. “They appreciate getting custom repairs and getting custom pieces made. We get a lot of positive comments on our overall style and look.”
Yoga on 45th
Located at 2008 Porte De L’eau Plaza, Yoga on 45th opened April 22.
Previously, co-owners Allison Haugh and Rose Oprisko taught yoga at another location. When that owner “changed directions,” Haugh and Oprisko decided to look for a place to bring their students.
“We really liked this location and it was the size we were looking for,” Oprisko said. “It was facing onto 45th, had good exposure and the landlords worked well with us.”
Oprisko said the community reception has been very good.
“Lots of people come through and are really happy we are here,” Oprisko said. “There isn’t another yoga place near the area.”
Oprisko said Yoga on 45th offers yoga classes in a safe, friendly environment with friendly instructors.
“We offer classes from beginning all the way to advanced levels,” Oprisko said. “We offer a class that is suitable for more advanced students and teachers wishing to take their asana practice to a higher level.”
Tasty Olive, owned by Al and Lynn Gandolfi, opened at 2014-45th St. March 11. Lynn Gandolfi said the location was chosen for its high traffic volume, ample parking and Highland’s community atmosphere.
Gandolfi said the store has received a good reception from the community.
“People are either really excited that we are here or they have never seen anything like it because you can taste all of our oils and balsamics,” Lynn Gandolfi said. “You can taste almost anything that we have in the store before you buy it.”
“The nuts and bolts of our business are our high-quality olive oils and balsamic vinegars,” Lynn Gandolfi said. “We also have handmade pastas from Italy, biscotti made locally in Munster and a few specialty items like spices and sea salts and some olives.”
The Comfy Couch
The Comfy Couch, owned by Julie Glenn, moved from another Highland location to the downtown at 2631 Highway Ave. in 2012.
A Highland resident, Glenn thought the downtown location would be a great place for her furniture consignment business.
“It was partially because there are the Bible Missions Thrift Store and Paws Humane Society Resale Shop downtown,” Glenn said. “Like Crown Point with all its antique stores, I thought it would be nice to have a grouping of consignment and thrift stores that people would be able to go to.”
Glenn said the community support of their business has been excellent. “People are happy we are here bringing retail life to the downtown,” Glenn said.
The Comfy Couch is a 5,000 square foot consignment shop selling used furniture, everything from kitchen tables to dining room tables, couches, love seats, chairs, outdoor furniture and other household items.
“We have everything decorated in little vignettes,” Glenn said. “We have a lot of household items including florals and candles, sconces, pictures and kitchen items.”
Comfy Couch carries some small electronics like electric can openers.
“Everything that you need for your home we have,” Glenn said. “It is just previously owned.”
Glenn said consignment furniture tend to be better quality items which people don’t want to throw away or donate because there is a lot of life left in them.
Culver’s Frozen Custard and Beefburgers
Culver’s Frozen Custard and Beefburgers, owned by Fred Terpstra and his son-in-law Mike Wondaal, opened in April at 3950 Ridge Road. Terpstra was granted ten-year property tax abatement for the new business.
The 98-seat fast-food restaurant joins Terpstra’s Culver’s franchises in Merrillville and Lansing.