Here is a wish list of five establishments (food and other) we would love to see take residence in the Cedar Valley. This is already a great place to live, but imagine how awesome it would be if the following restaurants and stores set up shop in our city:

7-Eleven

Gone are the days when the Cedar Valley had 7-Elevens. There was a time when they were here, for example there was one at East 11th St and Lafayette... Home of the Slurpee and pretty decent pizza as I remember (though likely not as good as Casey's). 7-Eleven also delivers which is pretty slick. Sadly, they can't deliver gas to your car...

Cracker Barrel

Good down home cookin'! Gravy intensive, heavy comfort food like the southern grandma we never had use to make. I grew-up swinging into these joints as a kid when I went on road trips with my dad and always enjoyed the gift shop they had. It was an easy way to kill time if there was a wait. OH, and remember the peg game that's on every table? Good times.

The Cheesecake Factory

They don't know how good they've got it in our states capital! The nearest location is indeed in Des Moines. This classic American restaurant offers a variety of menu items, everything from pizzas, pasta, burgers, sandwiches, salads, steaks, fish and so much more. Apart from their huge menu, they are known for their more than 50 signature cheesecakes and desserts. How's that for a 2020 diet buster?

Trader Joe’s

I was introduced to Trader Joe’s when they moved into the Twin Cities, and quickly fell in love with, what is still for my mom, the neighborhood grocery store. What makes them so unique is that they offer great food and drink from around the world and locally as well as great prices. Oh, and cheap booze. Mhmm. Luckily we have a couple of Joe's cousin store Aldi.

IKEA

If for no other reason, the jokes! The Cedar Valley would be a unique fit for this European multinational store that designs and sells ready-to-assemble furniture, appliances, and home accessories, as well as their tasty food court options. Can you picture the big blue store being out on San Marnan? Maybe over by Crossroads. Cedar Vallyians (I made that up) would love a good furniture set, with a side of meatballs.