BELLEVILLE — According to Reader's Digest, a finalist for the "nicest place in America" is a tiny coffee shop in Belleville, Wisconsin.
The Lingonberry Llama has livened up the town of 2,400 southwest of Madison, according to Samantha Olson. She nominated the cafe for the title of America's "nicest place."
The town's gathering places consisted of bars and bowling alleys, according to Olson. When the Lingonberry Llama opened in 2018, it breathed air into Main Street.
“When I would go for walks through downtown, it used to be a ghost town,” said village resident Lindsey Koch. “Not anymore! Kids ride their bikes there for ice cream and breakfast treats, families walk together to grab a sweet treat or lunch, and the inside is just buzzing with warmth and hospitality. The Llama has lit a fire in our town, and I can’t wait to see it continue to attract even more successful businesses.”
The finalists were selected from more than 1,000 stories of great places around America. Reader's Digest editors and a panel of judges selected one for every state.
“When I would go for walks through downtown, it used to be a ghost town. Not anymore!" — village resident Lindsey Koch
"This year we sifted through over 1,000 stories of places where people stick together because of kindness, and these are the best from each state," said Reader's Digest Editor-in-Chief Bruce Kelley. "In doing so, we learned something amazing, which is that no matter what's going on in the news or social media, the truth is that there's goodness all around us. We hope these stories lift spirits and inspire all of us to be better neighbors, friends and family."