Prior Lake native Becca Kufrin began 2018 as an ordinary Minnesotan. Then she appeared on Arie Luyendyk’s season of ABC’s reality romance The Bachelor in February, became a fan favorite, and ultimately starred in The Bachelorette. Now she’s a bona fide celebrity, and Minnesota businesses are reaping benefits by association.
For example, Minnetonka Orchards, where Kufrin took Luyendyk for her hometown date. “We got a lot of calls afterwards, and a lot of people [now] come to our orchard just because The Bachelor was filmed here,” says Kelly Delisle, operations manager and event coordinator.
Delisle says calls came in right after the episode aired, and visitors were still talking about it through the end of apple-picking season this fall. And thanks to the exposure, Delisle says, four weddings were booked for 2019, which should generate at least $13,000 in total revenue.
Kufrin’s visit to the 2018 Minnesota State Fair also made a splash.
Her appearance on KSTP’s live Fair broadcasts drew a crowd of 500 to 1,000, says Amanda Tadych, KSTP/ KSTC programming director and Twin Cities Live executive producer. “We have seating for a few hundred ... and people were standing like 10 [rows] deep,” says Tadych, noting it’s the largest crowd she’s seen at the KSTP stage in more than 10 years with the station.
During the show, Kufrin gushed about the chicken and waffle cone from Blue Plate Restaurant Co.’s Blue Barn. Blue Plate co-founder Stephanie Shimp says they sold out of the dish that day, the only time they did so for the 2018 Fair.
Sean Schultz, manager of Charlie’s on Prior restaurant, isn’t certain if an Instagram post Kufrin shared of herself at the eatery directly resulted in new diners, but he notes that if Kufrin is a customer, the place buzzes. “People that are here actually appreciate it; they do photos with her and so on.”
KSTP’s Tadych credits Kufrin’s popularity not only to celebrity, but also to her personality: “She’s just really authentic. She mentioned Minnesota a lot during the season, talked about how she loved it, so I think people just really attached to her.”
With that kind of attachment to Kufrin, businesses can only hope for their own Bachelorette connection—and the boost that comes with it.