Biz Beat

This Modesto shopping center used to have a zoo. New boutique is part of its rebirth

Things are looking Bellissima in Roseburg Square these days.

The new Bellissima Boutique opened earlier this month in the shopping center and is among half a dozen new shops to move in over the past year.

This is the third location Bellissima owner Mary Herrera has opened; the other two shops are in Stockton and Tracy. Her boutique sells women’s clothings, accessories, jewelery and gift items. She started out making jewelry and then, 11 years ago, branched into retail with her stores.

While her store sells for all ages, she said it is targeted at women ages 30 and up with an eclectic selection of blouses and tops, as well as necklaces, earrings, handbags and home decor, and bath and beauty products. Longtime shopper Joan Corso, who has been to the Bellissima stores in Stockton and Tracy and was checking out the Modesto site for the first time, said she returns because of Herrera’s great taste in merchandise.

“She has the cutest clothes, the absolute cutest clothes,” said Corso, who owns the Main Street Inn in Ripon. “This store is awesome. They all are.”

Herrera said she was interested in the Roseburg Square spot, next to Divine Swine in the old An Affair to Remember space, because of the shopping center’s diverse array of stores. The center has a long and storied past in the city. First opened in April 1956 as the Ulrich Shopping Center, it at one point housed the city’s first and only zoo. Seriously, a zoo. In September 1979 it changed names and was revitalized under new management. The center’s current anchor, the O’Brien’s Market grocery store, opened in June 1987, and the always busy Yogurt Mill moved in June 1989.

In the past year the more than 60-year-old center has gone through a bit of a renaissance and has no vacancies for the first time in a long time, said the center’s property manager Susan Batty. Stores that have opened in the past year include Vintage Holes, a shabby chic antique and home decor store that debuted in December 2016; Treasures, an antique, jewelry and gift shop that opened in January; Hero’s Vault, a card and comics shop that opened in April; Elevate Community Yoga, a yoga studio that started offering classes in May; and First Impressions Barber Shop, which opened in July and also has locations in Ceres and Oakdale.

Opening soon in the one empty spot in the center will be the Dragonfly Tearoom. The eatery, which will specialize in high tea, is going into the space that formerly housed a laundromat next to O’Briens and should be ready this fall.

Find Bellissima Boutique at 821 W. Roseburg Ave. Its hours are 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to Friday and 11-4:30 p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday and Monday. For more information call 209-284-0007 or visit

Elsewhere around the Business Beat:

Speaking of those new Roseburg Square businesses, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the new Elevate Community Yoga is offering a kitten yoga class this weekend. Yes, you read that right, kitten yoga. I can hear your squeals of delight from here.

The special class is being held in conjunction with the Cat Network and it not only will offer folks the opportunity to stretch and play with cute kitties, but also hopefully get a bunch of them forever homes. The class will include a booth with information about adoption as well as spay and neuter programs. Proceeds will go toward the nonprofit Cat Network, which promotes trap, neuter and release programs for cats in the community.

The class is from 3-4:30 p.m. Sunday at Elevate Community Yoga, 899 W. Roseburg Ave., Modesto. The session is $25. For more information call 209-735-0604 or visit