Rochester Greeters
Welcoming Newcomers to Rochester

Rochester Greeters has helped welcome many new people to the city for over 26 years. Realtor Kathy Johnson started the business after leaving her career as an accountant. Johnson is originally from Rochester and moved back to town after living in a few other states and experiencing being the new person in other places.

Who are Rochester Greeters?

Rochester Greeters, Johnson says, exists to welcome new people to Rochester. “Rochester is a different breed of city, a transient community,” shares Johnson. “Hospitality is a huge thing. There’s so much we can do in the community to be hospitable to people in Rochester.” Johnson mentions an example is helping nurses new to town go from not knowing anybody to finding a group.

Johnson says, “I meet incredible people. I feel like I’m making a difference and taking care of people.” Johnson owns and runs the business but has help in the summers.

What do Rochester Greeters do?

Rochester Greeters visit newcomers to Rochester for 30 minutes or more in their homes or other locations such as coffee shops. “You go in homes and make them feel welcome. You cry, laugh, hold babies and pet dogs. It’s a blessing to me,” reflects Johnson. Johnson also mentions how greeters learn about other cultures and traditions. 

New Rochester residents get a welcome packet from Rochester Greeters, with a variety of items such as copies of Rochester Women magazine, Experience Rochester magazine and bike trail maps. The information for a variety of businesses is included, such as health care resources, restaurants, grocery stores, the library, car services and more. The Rochester Greeters website states the welcome packet includes “city and county maps, community information, clubs and organizations, civic information and hundreds of dollars’ worth of coupons and gift certificates from local merchants.” The welcome packet is free for newcomers.

“One new person said they loved how we explained how the city was set up in quadrants, with Center Street and Broadway dividing them,” remembers Johnson. ::

:: get connected 

How can people get connected with Rochester Greeters?

People can contact the Rochester Greeters on their website and request a visit. Someone will then reach out to them to set up a visit.

About Author

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Alison is a writer and editor living in Rochester, Minnesota, with her two dogs and her cat.

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