Real Ranger: Loonies is about promoting mental health

Updated: January 19, 2021 05:41 PM
Created: January 18, 2021 12:54 PM

Loonies just wrapped up their first week of business in downtown Virginia. And things are heating up, with custom cappuccinos and cheesy, wood-fired pizzas.

"I want people to leave feeling satisfied. And we really focus on high quality food," explained Cassandra Hainey, co-owner.

This all started when she and two others, Jeff Zupetz and Allen Lewis, attended the Blandin Leadership Training together. They decided to open up this shop, with the main goal of improving mental health.

"We can use some of the profits to donate to mental health services and access for folks. And have continued conversations in our community to reduce the stigma. Even our name, Loonies, is a play on us being silly," Hainey said.

The plan is to have speakers come in, and even host mental health meetings here, once the back area is cleared out. Again, being mindful of the needs in their community.

"Our staff has gone through mental health first aid training. And we hope other businesses in the area will follow suit, and use our space to do that," Hainey said.

In the spring, they want to add live music. A welcoming and wonderful spot to feel anything you need to. Especially, hope and healing.

"We just want this to be a space to really feel welcomed, and cared about. We'd like to see this become a community space," Hainey added.

And it just happens to have some really great options for your hunger pangs, too.

Loonies is open weekdays 7am-2pm. Their location is 235 Chestnut Street, Virginia.

#Real Ranger is an online community focused on all the great things happening on the Range. WDIO has partnered with the Mesabi Tribune, Giant's Ridge, and Iron Range Tourism Bureau to bring you the stories.

Copyright 2021 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

Duluth & St. Louis County at the Capitol Days prioritize broadband expansion

Grandma's Sports Garden to reopen as event center

New 'Duluth Aging Support' nonprofit focusing on providing essential resources for seniors

Essentia Health launches 24-hour substance use hotline

One in custody, fire put out after standoff in Superior

Minnesota COVID-19 Update Thursday