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Steve Cahalan: Coulee Scrubs to open in Onalaska
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Steve Cahalan: Coulee Scrubs to open in Onalaska

From the From Tribune files: Openings and closings of La Crosse area businesses series
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Holli Burch and her sister, Erika Helgerson, plan to open their new Coulee Scrubs store sometime this week in the former Beef Jerky Outlet location in Suite C at 1226 Crossing Meadows Drive, in the Crossing Meadows Shopping Center in Onalaska.

They plan to hold a grand opening celebration on Sept. 5 at the store, which will sell scrubs (the sanitary clothing worn by such people as surgeons, nurses, physicians, veterinarians, nursing home staff and dental staff) as well as scrub caps, orthotic shoes, tactical pants, compression socks, stethoscopes, badge reels and novelty items such as coffee mugs and T-shirts.

“We’re dedicated to taking care of caregivers,” said Burch, who worked in the revenue cycle department in the Gundersen Health System for 20 years. Helgerson has worked at Gundersen for the past five years. The sisters grew up in Onalaska and still live in the area.

Coulee Scrubs’ store hours will be 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Curbside pick-up will be available, and the store soon will have a website that will allow people to buy products online.

For more information, call the store at 608-783-5000 or visit Coulee Scrubs’ Facebook page.

The Cost Cutters hair salon at 9348 State Hwy. 16 in the Crosseroads Center in Onalaska has closed because of the impact of the local spike in confirmed cases of coronavirus on sales at the two Onalaska Cost Cutters locations, co-owner Cyndi Kennedy said Thursday. July 28 was the last day for the Crosseroads Center location.

Four of that salon’s employees have transferred to the Cost Cutters in the Onalaska Walmart store and the fifth employee has left, Kennedy said. Both Onalaska salons have been operated by Kennedy & Kennedy LLC, of Waunakee, Wis., which also owns a Cost Cutters in Tomah and a Cost Cutters in Prairie du Chien.

Wisconsin hair salons and a number of other businesses such as restaurants closed temporarily because of the stay-at-home order issued by Gov. Tony Evers to slow the spread of coronavirus. Kennedy said her family’s four Cost Cutters salons reopened May 26, after the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down Evers’s order on May 13.

“We were probably at pre-COVID levels (at all four locations) after reopening, Kennedy said. “Our sales were strong through the end of June” at the two Onalaska locations. “But as soon as La Crosse County had its outbreak, our business dropped within a few days by 40 percent” at the Crosseroads Center salon, and by about 50 percent at the Onalaska Walmart salon.

“Having two (Onalaska) locations with sales down that much didn’t make sense,” Kennedy said, so her family decided to close the Crosseroads Center location permanently.

Kennedy said her family’s salons are taking many coronavirus precautions, such as limiting the number of people (a combination of customers and staff) in each salon at any one time to 10. Usually, no more than six to eight people are in a salon at the same time, she said. The hair salon industry has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic, she said.


Ben Lasche and Seth Merten opened Impact Nutrition on Aug. 1 in Suite 3 at 111 S. Walnut St. in downtown La Crescent. Their new business is next to the La Crescent Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism office.

Lasche and Merten are Herbalife distributors, and their new shop makes and sells protein meal replacement shakes, protein coffee and Lit Teas such as bubble tea, using Herbalife products.

Impact Nutrition’s hours are 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and closed Sunday.

For more information, call 920-318-9617 or visit Impact Nutrition’s Facebook page. The business soon will have a website.

Steve Cahalan can be reached at stevecahalan.reporter@gmail.com or 608-791-8470.

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