Clean Gas Stations are the True Test of Place

Several years ago, Todd and LaNae Johnson were looking for a change. The couple operated a dental clinic in Champagne, Illinois. The Johnsons weren't comfortable with the thought of starting a family in the city of more than 100,000.

"We would constantly hear sirens," said LaNae.

The couple considered opening a clinic in either Green Bay or Wausau, and settled on central Wisconsin largely due to the affordable real estate market.

"It's prettier here, too. It's just a beautiful area." said Todd.

LaNae shares a different story on what led the couple to relocate to Wisconsin.

"We moved here because of Kwik Trip!" said LaNae. "We were passing through Wisconsin on a trip to Minnesota, and stopped at a Kwik Trip. It was amazing! The bathroom was so clean and I was so impressed with the healthy food that was available."

"After seeing how incredible each Kwik Trip was, I said 'We are moving to Wisconsin someday! The gas stations and their bathrooms are amazing!'" added LaNae.

Todd and LaNae opened Mountain Bay Dental in Weston in the summer of 2017. Todd is the dentist at the practice and LaNae works as the office manager. The couple's children, Kennedy and Clayton accompany Todd and LaNae to the office each day.

"It works out great!" said LaNae. "The kids have their own room at the office to nap."

The transplanted family has its roots outside of Wisconsin.

Todd grew up in Woodridge, Illinois and attended Western Illinois University before attending dental school at Southern Illinois University.

LaNae is a native of Salt Lake City, Utah.

The couple met while Todd was practicing as a dentist in sourthern Illinois. "He was my grandma's dentist for five years." said LaNae.

The entire family loves living in central Wisconsin and enjoy how 'family friendly' the area is.

"We love the wildlife here, including all of the cool insects and birds up here." said LaNae. "It's exciting to see the birds that would migrate briefly through Illinois stick around longer here."

"The ticks are the only thing we don't like." joked Todd.

With many deer living in the woods surrounding their rental property near Marathon, Todd decided to give deer hunting a try.

As Kennedy and Clayton grow older, the Johnsons are beginning to weigh their schooling options.

"It's nice in Wisconsin that you can go to any school you want." said Todd.

In the years before school begins for the children, the family plans to explore the many parks found in the Wausau region.

"We love the parks, especially Doepke Park in Rib Mountain and Riverside Park in Mosinee." said LaNae. "We hosted a company fishing derby at Big Eau Pleine Park and couldn't believe how nice it was. There were plenty of outlets, tables, trash cans and bathrooms nearby, it was perfect and a great price."

"We're looking forward to our first full summer here," said LaNae. "We look forward to going to local events, checking out the library and exploring more parks."
Members of the couple's extended families have visited and have also fallen in love with the area.

"Our family members who have visited think it's gorgeous here." said LaNae. "Todd's dad loves The Mint downtown, my uncle loves Sconni's and we love eating at 2510 Restaurant."

"The people are more friendly and polite here," said Todd. "When you pull up at a stoplight, people smile and wave. Where I grew up, you avoid eye contact while driving."
"This is a great place for families." he finished.

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