River Valley Woman February 2024

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Candee 222532

e l a S For Candee. Candee Deichman REALTOR®


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WHERE DESIGN BECOMES A REFLECTION OF YOU 1650 Tullamore Street | Mankato, MN 56001 | t-507.386.1699


expand upon the salon, but their construction and property operations as well. In turn, the city could transform unused land into retail space. Win, win, win. We like their style. is a well-worn slogan for a reason. Bacon and peanut butter comes to mind. Along with the famous chocolate meets peanut butter. Or, peanut butter teamed with just about anything. Whether hanging out together, playing together, singing together and, as this month’s Side-by-Side theme implies—working together— a winning combination of people is also better together. Sure, there are exceptions, such as mixing peanut butter and toothpaste, or a lumberjack joining a ballet troupe. But this issue’s stories of successful pairings are an example of balance, perseverance and that special sauce to top it off. In fact, when I reached out to find couples who worked together I was surprised there are so many of them! Even though I can certainly relate. In addition to this RVW editor gig, my husband and I have run a creative services agency for nearly 25 years. While there was an adjustment period transitioning from our individual jobs to working for ourselves, our best work is a collaboration of talents. We keep it together throughout the workweek by using humor. Our office is a cool renovated garage behind our house, with a beautiful river view. But quite often one of us declares that we can no longer work under these conditions, or tolerate the insubordinate behavior of the other, stalks to the door, and announces in a huff that we are quitting (while the other responds in kind with “Hit the road!” or “You’ll beg to come back!”). Of course we are only going into the house to go to the bathroom, but it keeps us amused. Coming from a long line of entrepreneurs, our cover couple, Kim and Ben Daschner, know that owning not one, but three businesses, isn’t for the weak kneed. But they’ve got a system down—one thing at a time. Combining talents of beautician and carpenter, they were able to grow Dasch Salon by teaming with the City of Eagle Lake. This not only helped them


RIVER VALLEY WOMAN | february • 2024

Banking on the family business for Katie and Bob Beadell is just that. Community Bank Mankato’s commercial lending VP Bob, and marketing and business development director Katie, are in line to carry on ownership of the financial institution down the road. Both tellers at one point in their careers, they feel that was the best way to learn about customers and build relationships. Working in the same industry has given them a better sense of teamwork both at work and at home. That’s money. The idea of working with one’s spouse might give anyone the jitters. Not so for Tallen and Kristine Wald, owners of White Boxer Coffee Company. Currently both presidents of two of thriving family businesses, they didn’t set out to start one of their own. But long nights drinking not-so-great coffee as a former overnight nurse and business school student, Kristine vowed that one day she’d be able to afford the good stuff. But not only drink it…make it. Now a full-fledged family affair, the couple and their kids all play a role in the growing company named after their beloved late dog. White Boxer’s 18 different blends are distributed and served across southern Minnesota. Cool beans. Dynamic duo Adam and Jess Preuss, put their art and soul into everything they do together. Their unique creations transform communities with whimsical historical references in the way of murals, colorful walkways and more, telling the stories of the area. Their goal is to make viewers happily curious. They credit each other with making one another artistically stronger. The couple also owns the Falls Cafe & Canoe in Granite Falls as a gathering place for culinary variety as well as family and friends. In this case, dream work makes the team work. Raven and Shay All Runner want you to take it easy, so they’ve made it easy for you to eat healthy on a regular basis. Launching Well Made, LLC, in 2023, this meal prep service, featured on our EATS page, takes the hassle out of getting food on the table while you’re on the go-go-go! Our Side-By-Side Short Stories spotlight couples who punch in and out together in ventures including tree trimming service, holistic wellness, manufacturing and more. Two’s company. It’s pretty clear our featured couples spend a lot of time being better together—laughing, planning, coordinating, and growing their businesses. Who can work under these conditions? They can. Now pass the peanut butter.

Contents FEB 2024


6 12 18 24







Editor’s Column

Adam and Jessica Preuss

Mankato Clinic

MN Valley Pet





System for Success

Couples Share

Between the Bridges

Connect to Opportunities





Banking on Togetherness

Gislason & Hunter

Cedar Hills Health




They Know Beans

Well Made

Empowered by Nature

Publisher: LUXE Quarterlies, PO Box 504, St. Clair, MN 56080 luxequarterlies.com Managing Editor: Eileen Madsen, 507.354.6158, emadsenrivervalleywoman@gmail.com. Please send editorial inquires here. Sales Manager: Natasha Weis, 507.227.2545, weisnatasha@gmail.com Sales Team: Roxanne Birr, LuAnn Marti Magazine & Ad Design: Exposure Creative Cover Photographer: Offbeat Artistry River Valley Woman is published monthly and distributed free in the Minnesota River Valley area. The content used in this magazine is copyright 2024 River Valley Woman and may not be reprinted in part or in whole without written consent by the publisher. All articles and editorial material represent the opinions of the respective authors. The publisher reserves the right to edit, reject, or position any advertising. In the event of any error, River Valley Woman will rerun the incorrect part of the ad or cancel charges on the incorrect portion.

Ben and I can get through anything. Your relationship with your partner comes first. — Kim Daschner


RIVER VALLEY WOMAN | february • 2024


Coming from a long line of entrepreneurs, opening their own businesses was a natural evolution for both Kim and Ben Daschner. Together the pair own Dasch Salon & Spa, Daschner Construction, and Daschner Properties in Eagle Lake. Owning a business is not for the faint of heart, but owning a business with a spouse— that’s a whole different ball game. A whole different sport. Many people might cringe at the idea of working and living with their partner, but Ben and Kim have worked out a system of communication and support. Since they opened their first business in 2005, they have grown as business owners, as a married couple, as parents, and as individuals. Fresh out of cosmetology school in 2002, Kim hit the ground running. She started her career at a salon in New Ulm. By 2005 she was selfemployed at the Alexis Salon in Mankato. It just so happens, that’s where she met Ben, the brother of her co-worker and friend. The couple was married in 2010, and within a year they opened their first business. Dasch Salon opened in 2011 in Eagle Lake. Their partnership officially extended from married couple to business partners. Dasch Salon was small when they started. It was in an 800 square foot space of a building built in the 1920s. With Ben’s skills as a carpenter, they were able to renovate the space for the salon themselves. The salon had two chairs and one receptionist, Kim’s cousin. By 2015 Dasch Salon had outgrown its space. Kim and Ben were in conversations with the City of Eagle Lake about building a new salon on a vacant parcel of land on Parkway Avenue. The couple knew they wanted to keep their business in Eagle Lake and be a part of the growth of the community. Through Ben’s connections

in the construction industry, they were able to help the city find various contractors to transform the unused land into retail space. The project took about ten months. When they were done, they had the new, expanded space for Dasch Salon which in turn allowed for the expanded services of a full salon and spa including massages, facials, eyelash extensions and waxing and much more. Right next door, the couple began work on a location for their second business, Daschner Construction. “Once she was established I wanted to do my own thing,” said Ben. After working his way up to foreman for a local construction company, Ben decided it was his time for ownership. Ben brings 25 years of carpentry experience to Daschner Construction and specializes in home remodels and garage door installation. When COVID hit, Dasch Salon was forced to shut down, which gave Ben a chance to build up his business while Kim stayed home with their young daughter, Violet. “Ben will be the first to say it was the best three months of his life,” said Kim. “And I got to cook. I love cooking.” But really, Ben was happy his family was safe at home during an uncertain time. “A lot of people in his industry and my industry left because it was so unsettling,” said Kim. “Everything is based on the economy when it comes to our growth.” At that time, people weren’t building houses and they weren’t getting out for self-care at a salon. People were staying home. Ben took advantage of that time and went through the rigorous process of becoming a contractor in Minnesota. Coming from a long line of entrepreneurs, they were not deterred by the uncertainty of owning businesses during COVID. 

RIVER VALLEY WOMAN | february • 2024


 “I think having that as a stepping stone is a pivotal brick in our growth,” said Kim. “A huge portion of who we are is because we have amazing mentors.” Those amazing mentors have helped the couple through hardships and growth, but Ben and Kim also have their own system of success as a couple in shared business. Working together, they play on each other’s strengths as support for each spouse’s primary business. Their roles overlap with each spouse taking on specific duties for their businesses. In addition to his work as a self-employed contractor, Ben manages the new Dashner Properties business and their first rental located next door to Daschner Construction. He also manages the lawn care, plowing and maintenance of both of their properties. Kim is responsible for the accounting, filing of taxes, marketing, public relations, community sponsorships and social media for all of their businesses.

Right now, Ben is taking care of three properties without hiring out for any of the maintenance they may need. He also is taking the lead as the parent responsible for any emergency that comes up for their daughter or even just managing the rides to dance class. “It’s the juggling act of being professional and being a parent,” said Kim. “It’s so rewarding, but there is some much that goes into running these businesses.” Their family life has been a huge priority for the couple, with an emphasis on a solid relationship as a couple. “Ben and I can get through anything,” said Kim. “Your relationship with your partner comes first.” According to Kim, that comes from making your home a safe space. She suggests doing things you enjoy as a couple. For them, it’s cooking. Being deliberate about a happy home while growing their businesses has positively impacted their daughter, Violet.

The partnership extends to their home life as well. Ben often has what they call “daddy-duty” for their daughter Violet due to the service hours of Dasch Salon and Spa.

“The benefit is the growth that we’ve seen in each other and Violet seeing what hard work looks like and being good examples for her,” said Kim. “She has a good home life and she understands that hard work does pay off.”

During their busy seasons, the responsibilities at home flip flop. Ben is most busy in the summer months, while Kim’s busy season is over the winter, specifically the holidays.

Another shared joy is community involvement. They participate in parades, sponsor t-ball teams and are proud of being a part of the economic development of Eagle Lake.

The power couple keeps it together in part because of organization.

“We wanted to be really immersed into the community,” said Kim. “We’re investing in the community as much as they have supported us and the infrastructure of growth.”

“Schedules,” said Ben. “Everything is planned. There is no spur of the moment stuff.” They are also creative with their time, having meetings in their car or making child swaps at their places of business. “No one that owns a business clocks in and clocks out,” said Kim. “We’re always working.” Work life and home life are nearly impossible to separate or balance with three shared businesses. Kim paraphrased a quote saying if you are an entrepreneur, self employed or you have businesses, don’t ever think you’ll have balance. You just have to trust yourself that with each situation you can handle it. “Trying to find balance - there is none,” said Kim. “You try to go day by day and week by week. You have to trust that you can get through some of those harder times.” Trust has proven to be a big part of the equation for Ben and Kim. They trust each other to share responsibilities both at work and at home. They are navigating through each day together. Ensuring they stay on top of work and life, communication is also key for Ben and Kim. Ben calls it pillow talk. Their conversations don’t stop at the end of the work day, they are always collaborating. Just like any business owners, they have had their challenges, but loving what they do keeps them moving forward. “You gotta love what you do,” said Ben. “If you don’t it’s just a pain in the butt and you’ll fail because your heart isn’t in it.”

You gotta love what you do. — Ben Daschner


RIVER VALLEY WOMAN | february • 2024

Although their businesses draw from the tri-county area and beyond, Eagle Lake has a special place in their hearts. “I wanted to open here versus a salon in a big city because I love knowing that kids can ride their bikes up to the salon,” said Kim.

A DASCH OF ADVICE HAVE PATIENCE - Building a successful business takes time. KEEP COMMUNICATING - Your relationship with your partner comes first. UNDERSTAND THE SACRIFICES - Much of your time and energy goes into your business. WORK HARD - Owning a business is not for the faint of heart. PRACTICE GOOD TIME MANAGEMENT - For both business and family. BE RESILIENT - There will always be critics. USE YOUR MENTORS - Don’t reinvent the wheel. LOVE WHAT YOU DO - You’ll fail if your heart isn’t in it.

“That’s the best part.” Not only do they support their local community, but Ben is also growing out his hair for the third year so he can donate it to Wigs for Kids. Sharing a business with a spouse can be difficult, but with the right approach and respect for each other it can be a beautiful partnership that benefits both parties. “The businesses we do have are small,” said Kim. “But we’ve also grown individually, in our marriage, as parents and in business over the course of the last five to ten years.” RVW

A huge portion of who we are is because we have amazing mentors. — Kim Daschner












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“We have goals for the bank and goals for the family. We’re a team here and a team at home.” – Bob Beadell

By BROOKE WOHLRABE Community Bank Mankato has a couple great things going for it—vice president of commercial lending, Bob Beadell, and director of marketing and business development, Katie Beadell. This dynamic couple will be tasked with carrying on the family business, owned by Bob’s grandparents, in the future. Bob was born and raised in Mankato, and Katie has called it home since she was a young girl. Despite going to different schools— Bob went to Loyola and Katie to Mankato West—the two had crossovers in their friend groups, which continued as they got older. “We were all out in Mankato one night after college and were re-introduced. That was it,” Katie said. That was in 2011. In 2014, the couple officially tied the knot and they’ve been working at the bank together since.



12 RIVER VALLEY WOMAN | february • 2024

Bob’s grandparents, Quentin and Carolyn Beadell, bought the Vernon Center Bank in 1973. Since his family took over, the bank has expanded to five branches with two locations in Mankato, one in Eagle Lake, one in Amboy, and the original in Vernon Center. There is also a subsidiary title company and insurance agency and in total 77 employees. “Quentin comes in daily. He just turned 91,” Katie said. Growing up Bob said there wasn’t really an expectation that he would continue on in the family business, but that it was something he naturally gravitated toward. “Once I got to college I didn’t have a great desire to work at the bank but I took a job here as a teller in 2010 and I enjoyed the interactions with the customers and got more interested in the banking, and began to enjoy it more and more. It’s become a great passion of mine,” Bob said. In college Katie began working at another bank before she switched to retail work. After getting married to Bob and having their first child, Bob suggested she come work at his bank where he worked.

“I promised myself I would never go back to banking because I hadn’t liked my experience,” Katie admitted. However she gave it a try, also starting off as teller at Community Bank Mankato and came to appreciate all of the aspects of working at a smaller, local bank. “That’s something we’re big on with our staff—the philosophy is that the staff knows our customers and knows them from the ground up,” Katie said. Bob reiterated on how beneficial it is for someone to begin working as a teller in the bank and how that’s been especially true at Community Bank Mankato. “You’re often times the face of the lobby and it’s a great way to know your customer base and build that network,” he said. Working together isn’t something many couples have the opportunity to do, or choose to do, depending on how you look at it. Katie said that by working together she feels like she is able to understand the work that Bob does and the situations that arise so quality advice can be given rather than just simple phrases and basic advice. “You can really speak to the situation. It would be hard for me to give advice if I wasn’t engaged,” she said. Bob said their goals are aligned both personally and professionally which he thinks is a benefit. “We have goals for the bank and goals for the family. We’re a team here and a team at home,” he said. However, working together as a couple is something that they’ve both needed to be conscientious about.

Katie and Bob Beadell and their children, Blake and Jack, at Community Bank Mankato.

“It’s all about finding the balance,” Bob said. Katie is stationed at the St. Andrews Branch and Bob is at the Madison Avenue location. Katie is on the marketing side while Bob is on the lending side of things so they don’t have a lot of overlap. “Early on, it was hard not to talk about it at the dinner table, but as we started to have kids, that’s taken up a lot of our outside free time and we’ve been able to find that work-life balance that’s important and healthy to have,” Bob said. Katie added that while there’s not a lot of day-to-day overlap in their jobs, when it comes to making decisions, they’re both involved. “Our kids understand that we work together and when they come to the bank, it feels like a second home to them. They’re very comfortable and love being here,” Katie said. She acknowledged that there have been moments where it’s been a little “dicey” but that over the years they’ve learned when enough is enough and have been able to turn off the work conversations while at home. Katie shared this advice for other couples working together: “With all relationships, communication is key. If there’s something I can tell is bothering Bob, at that point I need to be his spouse and not his co-worker. You’re going to have to communicate through things and know when to be a spouse and when to be a co-worker. It’s good to be cognizant of that.” Outside of work, Katie and Bob are both involved in the community. “Being a small community bank, the philosophy has always been that we serve the communities that we call home. When we say that, we don’t only mean with the services or products that we offer, but that with our time and talent as well,” Katie said.

“With all relationships, communication is key. If there’s something I can tell is bothering Bob, at that point I need to be his spouse and not his co-worker.” – Katie Beadell

Because of this belief, they’ve both gotten involved in the community outside of serving it through the bank. Bob sits on a few boards including the finance committee at Loyola Catholic School, the Mankato Area Foundation and the YMCA Board. Katie volunteers with Greater Mankato Area United Way and sits on its Fire and Ice committee. She also volunteers with Feeding Our Communities Partners (FOCP). “We’ve both embraced giving back with our talent and time,” Katie said. Bob pointed out that it’s not just a belief they have and follow, but one that the bank as a whole follows and that many other staff members are engaged in the community and contribute in their own ways. RVW RIVER VALLEY WOMAN | february • 2024 13


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Kristine & Tallen Wald

They Know Beans About Business Story & Photos by BROOKE WOHLRABE

Husband and wife team, Tallen and Kristine Wald, combined their strengths and interests to launch White Boxer Coffee Company. This new business, based in New Ulm, provides high-quality locallyroasted products. While Kristine grew up in Litchfield and Tallen in Montevideo, the two met at Minnesota State University, Moorhead, where they were both college athletes. There Kristine majored in nursing and business, and Tallen in sociology. Later, they got their master’s in business from the University of St. Thomas. “We were the first husband and wife to go through their executive MBA program. We did that together,” Kristine said. They finished seven years ago and despite going through the program together, they didn’t originally have plans to run a business together as they’re both successful in other full-time jobs. “We’re both presidents of two of our family businesses. She runs one, I run the other and our offices are next to each other,” Tallen said. They ended up in New Ulm because as a member of a second generation family business, RITALKA, Tallen said they moved to New Ulm when they opened the SpecSys location of the manufacturing branch 12 years ago. As for how they ended up opening their coffee business, Kristine said, “I worked as a nurse while I was going through business school, and I drank some really gross coffee as I worked overnights in the palliative care unit. I told myself someday I wanted to, as a broke college kid, afford good coffee.” Not only did she want to drink good coffee, she wanted to make good coffee herself. While in her MBA program, Kristine wrote a business plan to own her own coffee company someday. After sitting on it for a number of years while the couple worked full-time and started raising their family, the time came a year ago where they sprang into action. “We had the opportunity to start dabbling in it as a hobby, but we kind of only have one pace—and we get pretty aggressive with things. The hobby quickly turned into a business,” Tallen said. The couple has three children, Elle, Natalia, Haakon, who help out with the business, too, making it a family affair.

16 RIVER VALLEY WOMAN | february • 2024

Kristine and Tallen Wald with their children, Natalia, Elle and Haakon, at the White Boxer Coffee Company roaster facility in New Ulm.

“Figure out your strengths and weaknesses and leverage them. It’s a lot of togetherness. You can’t do everything.” —Kristine Wald

“They can’t do the heavy equipment stuff that we build at SpecSys, but they need to understand what business and working hard is at a young age,” Kristine said. Haakon, places all of the labels on the bag, Elle, does all of the deliveries in town, and Natalia is learning supply and demand, and helping with the Excel sheets. “From day one they’ve been involved,” Kristine said. “We’re using it to teach them business but it’s also focused on funding their future college, and showing them what business is like,” Tallen added. The name of the business, and its logo, is tied to the family as well. Kristine explained that while she and Tallen were dating they got a white boxer dog, Ares, who had a bright pink collar. “She passed away about a year and a half ago, and I felt like we needed to do something,” Kristine said. The entire logo is an ode to the beloved dog and she’s also integrated into other aspects of the business.

“We’re both presidents of two of our family businesses. She runs one, I run the other and our offices are next to each other.” —Tallen Wald

“Our espresso is called ‘hot laps’ because boxers run in really fast circles when they have a lot of energy so our kids always yelled, ‘Ares is doing hot laps,’” Kristine said. About six months ago the business moved into commercial space next to SpecSys. While it’s not a store-front location, White Boxer Coffee is available online and ships all over the U.S. It’s available in New Ulm at A to Zinnia, and the Coffee Keller also exclusively carries their beans. “We actually collaborated with Coffee Keller owner, Chay Henle, and created her own blend, the Keller Blend. She told us what she wanted to notes to be and we made that blend,” Kristine explained. Other coffee shops across southern Minnesota carry their coffee beans and they also create private labels for corporations. Right now there are 18 unique coffees, each are offered in 12 oz. bags or K-cups. “We go tip to tail on family-oriented. Our importer of the beans is a second-generation familyowned bean importer out in California. They travel to all of their relationships around the country to make sure they are running an ethical business which is sustainable,” Kristine said, explaining that that aspect was important to them. When it comes to how the pair works together, Tallen said he’s extremely growth-oriented and ‘aggressive’ in his manner.

White Boxer Coffee offers 18 unique blends of coffee which are freshly roasted.

“When she said let’s try and dabble in this coffee thing, I skipped about 15 steps and bought a commercial roaster,” Tallen said with a laugh. Kristine adds her strengths by filling in the gaps of figuring out the details, as well as the artistic side of the marketing. When giving advice on how to work together as a couple, Kristine said,“Figure out your strengths and weaknesses and leverage them. It’s a lot of togetherness. You can’t do everything.” Tallen said another thing is coming to terms with the fact that different doesn’t mean wrong. “You can get to a good solution from a lot of different directions,” he said. The two have big goals for their business. In the first year they sold about 5,000 pounds of coffee and ended up growing by about 50 percent quarter over quarter. Tallen expects they will continue to grow and said the space they’re currently in can handle about 100,000 pounds a year. “I expect to be about 10,000 year two and we’ll continue to push growth from there,” Tallen said. While they have big goals, they’ve been enjoying the journey so far. Kristine said she has enjoyed meeting various coffee shop owners and striking up conversations to understand both their needs and their preferences. “We’re both business-minded people and there are a lot of business-focused people that family can come off as secondary. We like the fact that we can blend everything together. We have a hobby that’s a business, and we can blend that and get a lot of time together, while focusing on the career side as well,” Tallen said. In addition to operating a coffee business, the Walds have been working on a software business for a number of years and are always evaluating other business opportunities as they come up. Outside of work, the family snowboards in the winter and boats in the summer. It’s also involved in a variety of athletics and Tallen coaches wrestling while Kristine coaches gymnastics. RVW

The ‘Hot Laps’ label for espresso beans, which is named after the family’s dog, Ares.

RIVER VALLEY WOMAN | february • 2024 17


About Adam & Jess

Community Artists Adam and Jessica Preuss

Adam was born and raised in southwest Minnesota and is a member of the Upper Sioux Tribal Community. He graduated from South Central College in 2005 where he studied marketing. He has been the art contest winner for the USC Wacipi event art over 15 times. Jess was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio and the surrounding communities and is very proud of her Armenian heritage from her mother’s side, which is often reflected in her art. She received her bachelor’s in political science from the University of Arkansas. Both have a strong background, starting at a young age in visual arts and have received various awards/competitive grants.

18 RIVER VALLEY WOMAN | february • 2024

They met in 2018 in Granite Falls at the local art gallery where Jess was renting an art studio space off the main gallery and was scheduled as the exhibiting artist for the month. Jess was asked by the gallery owners to assist an artist, Adam Preuss, coming in to label his gallery pieces. There was an instant connection but because we were both so shy and naive, it took many months of arts-based community interactions before they realized they were each trying to flirt with the other, inviting one another to local concerts, gallery nights, etc. But once they figured it out, they became the “dream team or Dynamic Duo” as Adam calls them. They married in 2021 and have a happily blended family with three boys, now ages 10, 15, 18.

Olivia Main Street Program for two permanent public art installations On the 2-story storefront mural Jess painted the abstract corn cobs and Adam created a band of clouds and sky to make up the background, also repairing the mortar at the entrance.

Some of their favorite art projects they’ve collaborated on or supported one another in include:

Dowling Square concrete park mural in the shopping district was themed for the historic Yellowstone Trail that cuts through Minnesota and Olivia. Area native, Michael J. Dowling (1866-1921), who is buried in Olivia, was incorporated into the design work for the park. Painted benches were also installed and planters updated. This made the park more accessible to all ages and physical abilities in the true Dowling spirit.

2019 Granite Falls Prohibited Acts/Painted Piano

2021 Micro Grant Bench Design Adam and Jess’s winning bench designs are still displayed in downtown Granite Falls.


When the couple met, Jess had an already planned grant project called “Prohibited Acts” which she had orchestrated a multi-art form dive into Granite Falls Prohibition Era history as the home of Andrew Volstead (author of the Volstead act that outlawed alcohol). She designed the project for the modern day citizens of Granite Falls to experience and learn about taboo history of the period through interactive exhibits, including an elaborately painted piano that now sits outside the couple’s cafe. For the last four years, Adam and Jess have been selected by the Southwest Initiative Foundation to host Welcoming Week activities in Granite Falls. Welcoming Week is a national yearly event meant to promote neighborly interaction, diversity and inclusion in communities. For more information visit granitefallsnews.com/fallscafe-offers-guests-tastesfrom-around-the-worldfor-welcoming-week/ When doing visual art Jess works in acrylics, watercolors, spray paint and detailed sketches. Adam uses all same visual art mediums as Jess, with the added occasional use of oil paints. Our other less tangible mediums are: conversation, storytelling and interactive installations design (light carpentry and set building) 


Their Collaboration through Art and Food: 

“We have worked as community artists collaborating together on numerous projects since 2019. We also bought a downtown Granite Falls building we began renovating as a breakfast and lunch cafe in summer of 2020,” said Jess. “We opened for business in January of 2022.” In a broad sense their installations and murals reflect a community’s legacy and cultural history. For example they have completed outdoor murals standing 2 stories high, artistic park benches to line a downtown, creatively painted crosswalks for walkers to skip across as well as temporary installations meant to inspire discussion and creative play. According to the couple, they don’t believe in just designing a pretty picture that works anywhere. They meet with community stakeholders, the residents, as well do historical research in order to design something unique for a town. “Every place has a story, we just try to paint a glimpse of it that we hope makes viewers happily curious,” they explain. “We’d like to say we have made one another stronger and braver in an artistic sense,” said Jess. “I feel like I can go bigger than I knew how to before with visual art thanks to Adam. He’s fearless when it comes to art literally on a grand scale.” “I believe Jess’s attention to details is inspiring,” said Adam. “Her thought process always seems to be to know as much as possible about a place and to stretch a small budget as far as possible for that place.”

Creative Crosswalks

What do you enjoy most about working together, and what is the most challenging Jess: “What I enjoy is seeing the test of his mettle, his courage, his resilience, his energy, and I know no matter how big a wall is to paint or whether we have a horde of hungry customers, Adam will always be my equal if not my better. You can’t see the fullness of a project coming, but with my best friend as my teammate, it is near impossible for life to throw a curveball one of us can’t hit.” Jess: “The challenge is I am very detail oriented. Adam is not. He’s a big picture guy. On the rare occasion this difference can bog down a conversation between us. But we have discovered this ends up being a 50/50 split. About half the time I am wasting my energy worrying about something not worth worry, the other half the time, I am rambling about something that actually turns out to really save the day. So Adam has grown more understanding of my mad scientist inquiries and I have been thankful for his voice sometimes telling me to give my worries a rest.”


Both selections of the couple’s creations were chosen during this paid competition. Adam’s crosswalk was designed to invoke the community’s cooperative spirit and Jess designed a crosswalk full of abstract colored spirals representing the many twisting paths everyone experiences throughout life.

Adam: What I enjoy but can also be a challenge is Jessica’s limitless enthusiasm and passion. It can also keep us both up at night, hahaha! She is always thinking and working on ways to offer more, do more, create more. It makes her a great partner when we are in the weeds on any project, because her determination and quality never waivers. Her last brush stroke or plate made of the day is always as beautiful as the first. This used to be a challenge for me as sometimes I am focused on just getting something completed, and I didn’t always immediately see the value in the extra seconds she spent. However, I have learned with my own eyes and feedback from customers and clients that her extra seconds really do matter, sometimes they make all the difference.”

Falls Cafe & Canoe Adam and Jess’s cafe is in downtown Granite Falls and started with the intention to offer more food options for the community. “Our town has really limited food options, being in a rural area and even more limited was breakfast. There was nowhere in town to get French toast, pancakes, or an omelet, nowhere to really sit for a big brunch and visit,” said Jess. “We started to dream about running a little cafe to bring something beneficial to our town, and to provide another gathering place, a place for nourishment and family.” They purchased a building just as the Covid pandemic was shutting many establishments down across the country, so they took a little over a year to focus on remodeling the building. “By time we opened, the world was ready for us!” she said. Falls Cafe & Canoe serves breakfast and lunch and throughout the year they house specialty dinner nights, arts events and host education meetings for various nonprofits. RVW

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n o i t a c a V



Brigette Douglas BROWN

About your business/job: We own and operate Brown Tree Service LLC. We are a full operating tree service with trimming, removals, and stump grinding. Doug worked for a previous tree service for 15 years and has owned ours since March of 2021.

What are each of your rolls and how do you collaborate? We both work hands-on in our business. Doug plays all rolls in the business, including operating the bucket truck, trimming, falling trees, and stump grinding. While Brigette does almost everything including using a saw, feeding the chipper, driving the dump truck, operating the skid loader, raking, roping down limbs, dragging brush, and loading brush. Brigette also handles most of the office work.

What are the joys as well as challenges of working together?


For the most part we love working with each other and being our own bosses. We feel we have a good solid relationship to help us be business partners and life partners. We have been together since 2005. We get to spend a lot of time together, which does have its pros and cons. We enjoy each other’s company and do work well together. In our business we both have to physically and mentally work side by side to complete a job. Some challenges we face are differences in opinion. We like to say Doug is the boss at work and Brigette is the boss at home. So, it evens out that way.

How do you think your business benefits from working side by side? Our business definitely benefits from both of us working side by side. When a customer hires us, they get the actual business owners to work for them, who truly care about making them happy. Without our customers, we would be nothing as a business. We care about our business succeeding, so we always do the best we know how!

24 RIVER VALLEY WOMAN | february • 2024

Jen Brandon SCHMIDT


Sarah Dustin VANHALE

About your business:

About your business:

About your business:

Husband and wife team Brandon and Jen Schmidt have owned PlumbRite Plumbing, LLC since 2019, and offer over 20 years of plumbing and customer service experience.

G&S Manufacturing, LLC is a welding shop located in Courtland. We are excited to be entering into our 31st year of business! Our team specializes in welding mostly steel, in mainly structural projects, such as supporting structures, generator stands, hoppers, dust collectors, and more.

We have two businesses together, Total Lawn Care & Landscape where we provide lawn care, irrigation, landscaping, snow removal, and trucking services to our customers. We also have Total Landscape Supply where we have a landscape supply store in Madelia and Mankato. We are adding a greenhouse to our Madelia location in spring 2024!

Master Plumber Brandon has been in the plumbing industry since 2001 and is very well-versed due to the opportunity to work in almost every facet of the industry. Jen brings over 20 years of experience in real estate including managing and owning a real estate company and #1 team in the state. She also has been an apprentice plumber since 2020. Plumb-Rite Plumbing specializes in residential remodels and service work.

What are each of your roles and how do you collaborate? We co-own the business. I run the business side of things. Brandon runs the plumbing side. And we come together every evening to discuss both sides and get each other’s input. We are incredibly collaborative.

What are the joys as well as challenges of working together? Honestly, we don’t have a lot of challenges as we work really hard to always make sure we are communicating effectively about the day- to-day so we can do the best job possible for our clients—no matter what is going on in our personal life. We love working together and being able to see each other so much. It’s a true blessing for us.

How do you think your business benefits from working side by side? We truly compliment each other in every area—what I am not good at, he is and vice versa. Our business is a true collaboration to create the best possible experience and job done for each client.

What are each of your roles and how do you collaborate? Laura helps in the safety, maintenance, consumable and parts inventory, and the paint departments. Pat handles most of the quoting, the shop production schedule, forecasting and enjoys spending time in the shop working alongside our team. We each have separate duties broken up by department which helps to prevent that ‘who is doing what’ situation. We will discuss ideas within specific departments, and offer suggestions to each other when we see it, etc. We meet weekly with our general manager, Dale, and discuss what is happening in each department, what’s coming up, align shop schedules, etc.

What are the joys as well as challenges of working together? The joy of working together is that we can take our business and make changes to it, right or wrong. Each year we talk about what our focus will before the upcoming year. Some years it’s growth or equipment purchases, and some years focusing on our employees and what they need to make their job easier. The challenges are trying to take time off together. We work around this by taking off over holidays so that coverage is not as big of an issue. Also, we have a rule not to ‘talk shop’ outside of work—so some days it is very quiet at our house!

How do you think your business benefits from working side by side? Our business benefits as our business styles complement each other. Pat looks at the big picture of what we should be doing and what direction we’ll head in. I’ll take the ideas and back them up with facts and statistics and when approved, break them down into projects that can be implemented. He creates, I clean up. He will look at the whole pie and I break it apart into manageable pieces that are easily understood by others.

What are each of your roles and how do you collaborate? Dustin is more of the doer. He is the boots on the ground make-stuffhappen kinda guy! He coordinates the install crews and does project management. Sarah is mainly in the office fielding calls, customer relations, and doing the bookkeeping for the businesses. Every once in a while Sarah gets to sneak into the field and do some landscape design work! Our rolls intertwine throughout each and every day, whether we are talking about the progress of current projects, preparing for future projects, and discussing the overall progress and goals for the two companies.

What are the joys as well as challenges of working together? It has been so enjoyable growing our businesses and knowing we are doing it with each other at our sides—setting and accomplishing our goals together! It can be a challenge at times to turn the work mode off while at home trying to manage a positive work-life balance for our marriage and three busy children!

How do you think your business benefits from working side by side? We both are go-getters, wanting to see the best in ourselves and our employees. We know our roles and have trust in each other’s opinion—even when it might differ from our own! 

Short Stories continued

Jim Lisa PROM

 About your business: Jim has been building homes since 1986, and is also a licensed general contractor. In 2012 Jim discovered and learned about SoftWash Systems. Today, we are Spray Away SoftWash and we do exterior cleanings of commercial buildings, homes, businesses and even boats and campers in Mankato, surrounding areas, and into Iowa! We also do pressure/power washing, flat surface cleaning like sidewalks, driveways, pool surrounds, and fences. We specialize in safe, gentle limestone cleaning as well.

What are each of your roles and how do you collaborate? Jim is our main salesperson/ territory manager, as well as our lead washing technician. He climbs on the roofs and ladders to clean gutters. He loads the truck with chemicals/ soaps, maintains all the equipment, as well as billing. My job is to take care of everything on the ground. I photograph the before/ after pictures on job sites, the plants, and any previous damage for the homeowner. I do all the watering and fertilizing, keep track of our hoses to be sure nothing gets broken, including delicate plants/flowers, yard decorations, etc. Jim will do all the washing, I do all the rinsing.

What are the joys as well as challenges of working together? Jim and I actually really like working together. We’ve been together almost 40 years, and it helps us spend time together. We spend time communicating during the drive to sites, we get to eat lunch together and we have fun, most days! Granted, we are married so occasionally, we have a bad day. If a hose blows or a valve needs replacing on the fly, it can create a little tension, or messes with the schedule. But on hot days, you may see us spray each other, we try to have fun!

How do you think your business benefits from working side by side? We are a husband & wife, or a mom & pop small business. We know what each other is thinking without saying it. We just know what has to be done and how to do it. I think it helps us have a stronger relationship. Our customers also love that we are a husband and wife team, working together. Many say we are very lucky to be able to do so. I agree! With it mostly being just the two of us, it also keeps employee costs down.

Ashley Matt KUEMPER

About your business/job: Fit & Grit Training is a veteran-owned business that offers custom-tailored coaching in the areas of fitness, mindset, and nutrition. We offer flexible coaching methods to help create healthy, achievable, long-lasting habit changes that fit into your real life. No crash diets or insane workouts here! Just simple strategies and support that works.

What are each of your roles and how do you collaborate? Matt is a personal trainer with a focus on foundational and functional fitness, as well as a group fitness instructor, while Ashley is a personal trainer, yoga instructor, mindset specialist, and nutrition coach. We’ve found that most clients don’t need just fitness or just nutrition so having each of us have complimentary skills allows us to collaborate on clients’ training and goals. When it comes to the behind the scenes work, we try to take turns completing tasks, or we tackle larger tasks together. Additionally, we function in the roles of mom and dad. We’re often childcare for the other person so clients can meet when it’s best for them.

What are the joys as well as challenges of working together? One of the main joys of working together is that we actually, really like each other. We love learning new information together, building plans together, and being a sounding board for each other. On the flip side, it can be hard to stay focused and get the boring part of business done. We can also get on each other’s nerves at times because in addition to working together, we also live together, it can be a challenge to leave work at work. But mostly, the challenges we face being in business together are minimal. The benefits of working together, on the other hand, are invaluable.

How do you think your business benefits from working side by side? We are very complimentary to each other. Matt’s strengths are Ashley’s weaknesses and vice versa. We also benefit from having each other to bounce ideas off of to get alternate perspectives in order to offer our clients the absolute best training. Working together means can we can face problems together so it can make challenges less daunting. We have some interchangeable skills as well, so we can stand in for each other in a pinch and have a solid support system we can each rely on.

Jodi Paul KUNKEL

Maddie Matt MAISCH


About your business:

About your business:

About your business/job:

We can be found at Between the Bridges Healing Center in Mankato, along with Dr. Jeff Kotulski and other clinical and support staff. We are an integrative medical clinic that focuses on addressing the root cause of disease, while using safe and effective medicines and therapies, in addition to lifestyle management.

We own Ghost Dog Media, LLC and Maddie’s Moments Photography. We strive to be a one stop shop for our clients by providing coaching, videography, photography, social media management, website design and maintenance. We also work with families, and brides and grooms, providing them with valuable moments as images or videos.

What are each of your roles and how do you collaborate?

Matt is our video guru. He is dedicated to creating the vision our clients have into a seamless and engaging video for their business. Maddie is our brains. She organizes all of the strategy for our marketing clients and helps them with their website, social media, continuing their education and photography!

Divine Echoes Esoterica specializes in offering spiritual and metaphysical books and products, as well as holistic wellness items and services. We have a wide selection of products and services available, covering a vast range of spiritual paths and religious beliefs, as well as space to hold small gatherings, workshops, lectures and talks, or just be in the positive atmosphere we strive to provide.

Jodi is a naturopathic doctor and Paul is a chiropractor. We love to collaborate on client cases and decide who may be able to most effectively treat certain conditions. What are the joys as well as challenges of working together?: One of Jodi’s joys is being able to leave the home stuff at home, and always maintaining professionalism at work—it actually seems to strengthen our marriage! We start off our work day happily married, and we are still happily married at the end of the work day. If one of us gets disgruntled over something silly at home, it doesn’t affect our relationship at work, and we seem to more easily overcome it. Paul says the biggest challenge is the lunchtime honey-do list that is frequently placed on his desk, which usually prevents him from being able to enjoy his lunch break to the fullest.

How do you think your business benefits from working side by side? In addition to our positive energy, we are excited to provide wellrounded care for our clients. We recognize that more people are seeking non-conventional medical care, and both of us strive to offer a one-stop shop for just that!

What are each of your roles and how do you collaborate?

What are the joys as well as challenges of working together? Working together is one of the best things. Being able to collaborate on things in our professional life gives us a better appreciation for each other. We rarely have challenges working together, but we each have our own office space that the other respects. If one of us has our door shut to focus we know that is not a time to disturb. We also are very good about separating our personal life from our professional life. We avoid “work talk” after hours and anything said during work hours is not taken personally as our goal is to be the best us for our clients.

How do you think your business benefits from working side by side? By understanding each other’s workflow and thought processes it makes it very seamless to work on projects together. Many times we can answer the question for each other without needing to engage in a meeting. We are able to frequently work side-by-side on a project without speaking as we know what each other will do next based on our habits. In our industry it also is a huge benefit being husband and wife, it allows our brides to only choose one vendor for photos and video for their wedding and they know that each will work hand-in-hand providing the best quality result.

What are each of your roles and how do you collaborate? Scott maintains the day-to-day retail activities, opening the store and greeting customers, as well as the behind the scenes duties of business. Echo is present in the evenings and on weekends (after her corporate job), to offer consultations, education, and guidance to customers. We collaborate through careful communication, including bouncing ideas off each other and checking in with each other often.

What are the joys as well as challenges of working together? The biggest challenge and joy is the same, we’re just beginning - giving ourselves and each other grace through learning experiences is paramount.

How do you think your business benefits from working side by side? We perfectly compliment each other with our different perspectives and experiences, while having the same goal of helping seekers find what speaks to them for growth and healing.

Selling Simplified.

We Sell More Because We Do More 222530

WOMAN | february • 2024 507.345.1111 | 300 St Andrews Dr Suite 110, Mankato | mankatocommunitygroup.com 28 RIVER VALLEY Each Weichert® franchised office is independently owned and operated.



Lab Services 222544

THE WAY YOU ARE TREATED is JUST AS IMPORTANT as the TREATMENT YOU RECEIVE. River’s Edge Hospital uses state-of-theDAT Walk-in testing art equipment to provide a variety of Monday - Friday 7:30 am - 5 pm laboratory clinical testing to diagnose, monitor and prevent disease. And for your 1900 North Sunrise Drive convenience, Direct Access Testing (DAT) (507) 931-2200 | www.REHC.org is available so you can receive commonly asked for tests without an order from your physician. No appointment necessary!


417 N Riverfront Dr., Mankato | 507-469-8015 | bellissimopaint.com


RIVER VALLEY WOMAN | february • 2024 29

Mankato's workwear HEADQUARTERS


We have the largest in-stock selection of Carhartt® insulated and year-round workwear in the Mankato area.


Winter Boots for the Entire Family CHILDREN AND WOMEN’S SIZES 5-12, MEN’S SIZES 7-17

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An Employee Owned & Local Business Since 1957



Get Protected!

March 2, 2024 | 9am-1pm Register to be a vendor and showcase your services and products to over 600 families

We are a family owned business servicing the area for over 15 years. We offer the highest quality Line-X spray on bed liners with the most experienced staff in the area. We also offer a wide variety of quality aftermarket car and truck accessories. Our goal is to provide our customers with the highest quality service at the lowest prices.

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RIVER VALLEY WOMAN | february • 2024 31

Anti-Fraternization Policies and Love Contacts:

When Couples Work Together We are social creatures. Many employees spend thousands of hours working alongside their colleagues every year. It is no surprise that the workplace has become the dating pool for many people. Unfortunately, this can raise several problems for employers. Obvious issues may include productivity and decency concerns. Couples working together may spend work time discussing personal matters and engaging in public displays of affection. Safety concerns may also arise when employees are in an abusive relationship, or one partner gets jealous and confronts a colleague or customer about interactions with their partner. A less obvious issue for employers is the potential liability for unlawful sexual harassment in the workplace. Both federal and Minnesota law prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex. Sexual harassment based on one’s sex is a form of unlawful discrimination. Sexual harassment occurs in the workplace when an employee is subjected to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature whereby: • Submission to or rejection of such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment or basis of employment decisions; or • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, a hostile, or an offensive work environment. Fundamental to a sexual harassment claim is that the conduct is unwelcome. When the relationship is great, work couples may be flirtatious and engage in verbal and physical conduct of a sexual nature at work. This is inappropriate and can make their colleagues uncomfortable. Problems can also arise when the relationship involves a supervisor. A supervisor engaging in behavior with sexual connotations or undertones at work, even if the behavior is only directed to the person whom they are in a relationship with, can unintentionally foster an environment where sexual harassment thrives. For example, the supervisor may be less likely to address and discipline employees for engaging in unwelcome verbal and physical conduct of a sexual nature in the workplace (e.g. making sexual jokes, sexual gestures, and discussing sex) when the supervisor engages in the same behavior with their girlfriend or boyfriend at work. This can result in sexual harassment claims. Moreover, claims can arise when the supervisor treats the subordinate in which they are in a relationship more favorably than others under their supervision. There are also concerns that can arise when the supervisor-subordinate relationship ends. What if the subordinate disputes being in a consensual relationship and claims he/she only acquiesced to the supervisor’s unwelcome sexual advances to remain employed? Some employers use anti-fraternization policies and love contracts to minimize their liability exposure for sexual harassment claims. The policies can accomplish the following goals: • Prohibit supervisors from managing, directing the work of, or influencing the terms, wages, or conditions of employment of any individual they are in a romantic or intimate relationship with. • Require employees to disclose workplace romantic or intimate relationships to the employer. This disclosure can help the employer avoid placing the couple in a supervisor-subordinate reporting relationship and minimize potential claims of quid pro quo sexual harassment. The disclosure also memorializes that

32 RIVER VALLEY WOMAN | february • 2024

the interactions between the employees and relationship are consensual at the time the relationship is disclosure. • Prohibit employees from engaging in public displays of affection or inappropriate touching, discussing sexual matters, and bringing their personal matters into the workplace. • Reiterate the employer’s policy against discrimination and harassment, including the reporting procedures, and employees’ responsibility to report violations if they feel they are subjected to or witnessed discrimination or harassment. Employers may find these policies have limited effectiveness because not all employees will report their relationships. Nevertheless, these policies are helpful tools in reinforcing an employer’s policy that verbal and physical conduct of a sexual nature in the workplace will not be tolerated even between partners in a consensual relationship. That prohibition alone can minimize sexual harassment. Another tool utilized by some employers are consensual relationship acknowledgements or, as they are more affectionately called, love contracts. Employers may ask employees to use love contracts to notify employers of consensual romantic and intimate workplace relationships. Love contracts are not absolute defenses to sexual harassment claims. However, in the face of an employee’s claim of sexual harassment (complainant) against an individual they previously identified with whom they were in a relationship, serves as evidence that the complainant, at least at the time complainant disclosed the relationship to the employer, was in a voluntary and consensual relationship with the alleged harasser and acknowledged that such relationship was not the result of ongoing sexual harassment. The love contract further serves as evidence that the complainant knew they could report any discrimination or harassment to the employer at any time. Good love contracts contain the following information and acknowledgements: • Disclosure that the employees are voluntarily in a consensual romantic or intimate relationship, which the employees can end at any time. • Acknowledgement that the employees understand that neither their employment nor any terms or conditions of employment are dependent upon the existence of the relationship between the parties. • Reminder that employees are prohibited from engaging in public displays of affection at work and should not engage in inappropriate touching, discussions of sexual matters, or bring their personal matters into the workplace. • Reiterate the employer’s policy against discrimination and harassment, including the reporting procedures, and employees’ responsibility to report violations if they feel they are subjected to or witnessed discrimination or harassment. • Acknowledgement that employment remains at-will (if accurate) and that the love contract does not alter the employment status of the employees, which is and remains at-will. Love and relationships can be beautiful. Employers should consult with their attorneys about anti-fraternization policies and/or love contracts and how these tools can minimize their liability exposure for sexual harassment claims.

BRITTANY R. KING-ASAMOA Partner and Attorney Gislason & Hunter LLP

DINE. RELAX. REPEAT. The Rathskeller at Turner Hall


Minnesota's Oldest Bar

THE RATHSKELLER Reservations Recommended | Private Space Available 507-354-4916

AT TURNER HALL Dine. Relax. Repeat.

Hours: Monday & Tuesday: Closed Wednesday: 3 pm to 8 pm Thursday -Saturday 11 am to 9 pm Sunday: 11 am to 7 pm (seaasonal)

Reservations Recommended Private Space Available



507 354 4916 102 S. STATE STREET NEW ULM newulmturnerhall.org

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Healthy Eating is

WELL MADE By SHAY AND RAVEN ALL RUNNER It can be difficult to eat healthy in today’s busy world. With the rise of fast food and restaurant chains, it's easy to fall into the trap of eating out or grabbing a quick bite on the go. Eating healthy can be time consuming, costly, and hard work. That is why Shay and Ravel All Runner launched Well Made LLC, a meal prep service which opened May 2023 based out of Franklin. At the time Shay was a busy, full-time graduate student and working long hours at a hospital, and Raven was a full-time mother managing three boys and a full-time career, leaving little time to source healthy and flavorful meals for their family. Well Made was created for everyone, taking the hassle out of meal prepping, and helping you to eat well every day. Well Made originally started off renting a commercial kitchen, but business quickly grew and expanded into their own commercial kitchen a few months after launching the business. As of this year, Well Made has expanded their territory into New Ulm and the Mankato area. Shay, 34, originally from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota as a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, while Raven, 32, was

born and raised in Franklin, Minnesota. Both received degrees from Southwest Minnesota State University. While there, Shay obtained a bachelor’s in culinology, complementing a master’s in clinical nutrition from Logan University, while Raven received a bachelor’s in business finance. For many couples, the thought of mixing business with pleasure might seem like a relationship minefield to be avoided at all costs. But the All Runners have learned the importance of being a team when it comes to running a business together. Shay has 15+ years of culinary/nutrition experience and Raven brings to the table the extensive knowledge and skills in business management and finance. “I’m so glad Raven is as organized with our business as she is because, without her, we wouldn’t be as successful as we are,” said Shay. Educating Our Clients: Too many people are hung up on the wrong things regarding food. It’s become popular thinking that carbohydrates are bad, while low-calorie foods are good. Well Made focuses on

Mango Salsa Recipe

offering all those yummy foods our clients enjoy but in a healthier way with proper portions, even variety of protein/carbs/fats, and healthier ingredient alternatives. “My passion for delicious, well-prepared, healthy, chef-curated foods and my commitment to educating and making a difference in my clients’ lives is my driving factor,” said Shay. How Well Made meal prep service works?

Preorder meals on the website. Meals are then delivered/ready for pick up the following week. For detailed information visit wellmademealprep.com. As for the future of Well Made, Raven said, “Never tell anyone your plans, show them your results instead. As much as I would love to scream our future goals from the rooftop in excitement, never share plans until they are ready to happen. But just know we have some BIG plans!” “Our goal in 2024 is to bring you the best meal prep experience possible”, said Raven.

Blueberry Cheesecake Protein Balls

2 whole ripe mangos peeled & diced ½ red bell pepper diced ¼ tomato diced 1 Tbsp. pickled red chili peppers ¼ c. chopped fresh cilantro 2 limes juiced Salt and pepper to taste 2 limes juiced Salt and pepper to taste

½ c. Whey Protein Vanilla Powder ½ c. Coconut Flour 3/4 Tbsp. Stevia Powder 4 Tbsp. cream cheese dairy or dairy-free ¼ c. blueberry puree

In a large bowl, stir all ingredients together until combined. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.

Give it a quick taste and add stevia powder.

Refrigerate until ready to eat. Nutrition Calories: 6 cal per serving 30 servings | Carbohydrates: 2g Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g

34 RIVER VALLEY WOMAN | february • 2024

Mash blueberries or puree in a small blender. Mix protein powder, coconut flour, blueberry puree, and cream cheese together, using your hands to knead and get the dough to come together. Add more coconut flour if the dough is too soft, add a teaspoon or more of puree, water, or almond milk if the dough is too thick. Roll the batter into tablespoon sized balls, refrigerate for 15 minutes to set. Notes For the best color, add a splash of lemon juice to the blueberries when mashing or pureeing! The acidity of the lemon juice helps keep these blueberries vibrant and purple in color. Nutrition Calories: 52 cal per serving | Makes 10-12 balls Carbohydrates: 5g Protein: 5g | Fat: 2g


RIVER VALLEY WOMAN | february • 2024 35


Foodie-Inspired Gifts for Your Valentine

The key to most everyone’s heart is through their stomach, especially around Valentine’s Day. But instead of gifting chocolate boxes and candy conversation hearts, let’s do sweets a little different this year. Show your love and keep everyone’s heart happy and healthy with a dietitian-inspired gift guide.

SWEETHEART OVERNIGHT CHIA OATS Total Time 4 hr 20 min Prep Time 20 min Servings 2 1 ¼ c. Hy-Vee plain nonfat Greek yogurt, divided 2 tbsp. water 2 tbsp. Full Circle Market organic chia seeds 2 tbsp. Hy-Vee honey, divided 9 Basket & Bushel strawberries, plus additional for garnish ¼ c. Basket & Bushel red raspberries, plus additional for garnish ¼ c. Hy-Vee old fashioned oats 2 tbsp. strawberry-champagne jam, plus additional warmed for garnish Chopped Zöet 57% cacao dark chocolate bar, for garnish Combine ½ cup yogurt, water, chia seeds and 1 Tbsp. honey in a small bowl. Pour chia mixture into 2 (10-oz.) jars. Trim and halve 9 strawberries. Using 12 strawberry halves, slide 6 strawberry halves into the yogurt mixture against the inside wall of each jar with cut sides of strawberries against the glass; set aside. Place an additional ¾ cup yogurt, remaining 6 strawberry halves, ¼ cup raspberries, oats, 2 Tbsp. jam and remaining 1 Tbsp. honey in a blender. Cover and blend on high until oats are finely ground. Pour oat mixture on top of yogurt mixture in jars; cover with jar lids. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. To serve, garnish with chopped chocolate and additional strawberries, raspberries and warmed jam, if desired.


Strawberry-Champagne Jam

“You’re totally my JAM, Valentine.” This vibrant and lively sweet jam instantly adds a splash of elegance to your morning pancakes, waffles, crepes or overnight oats. Sparkling with sweet strawberries and bright champagne, this jam is perfect for Valentine’s Day.



Veggie Spiralizer

“I like you oodles and oodles like zoodles.” This isn’t just another gadget that will take up space and collect dust in your kitchen! A veggie spiralizer makes eating vegetables more fun and memorable by turning them into noodle-like shapes. More vegetables in your diet means more vitamins, minerals and fiber, leading to greater health benefits! Try out my favorites in the spiralizer: zucchini, sweet potato and carrot “noodles.”

Zöet Dark Chocolate Bars “You sweeten my day!”

It wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without some chocolate, right? The darker the cocoa content, the greater the health benefits like lowering LDL “bad” cholesterol, improving blood vessel circulation and – most importantly – mood-lifting! Pair any 70% dark chocolate bar with strawberries, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, coffee or even a glass of wine, and enjoy with that special someone.

SAVE April Graff, MS, RD, LD Hilltop Dietitian 507.625.9070 AGraff@hy-vee.com


Scan this QR code to find your Hy-Vee dietitian

Glass Travel Infuser Mug “You’re a hot tea.”

Your hottie especially needs to stay hydrated! This travel infuser mug lets you bring your highbrow tea experience to your morning commute, your evening dog walk, your hair appointment, and wherever else your day takes you. And it’s guaranteed to make your valentine smile!


Microplane Zester/Grater “I just PLANE like you.”

This is one of the best tools to use for the ultimate dish presentation or “wow factor.” Use for zesting fresh citrus, grating cheese, or dusting grated chocolate over dessert like in the Sweetheart Overnight Chia Oats recipe. Make it a Valentine’s Day to remember with these tasty treats and foodie-inspired gadgets from Hy-Vee. And if you still want to gift something extra thoughtful and homemade, the following recipe will make your morning breakfast together berry special!



Generics as low as $4 See your Hy-Vee pharmacist for details. A complete list is available at Hy-Vee.com.

Some restrictions may apply. Not applicable with all insurance plans. MN and WI state law restrictions apply. 222550

FREE Vitamin D Screenings

Do you know your vitamin D level? Vitamin D is necessary for a variety of functions, including helping support strong bones, facilitating normal immune function, and aiding in the absorption of calcium. Hy-Vee, in partnership with General Mills Big G cereal and Nature’s Way, is offering FREE vitamin D screenings in February. Space is limited, register by scanning the QR code.

MANKATO HILLTOP 507-625-9070 2010 Adams Street, Mankato, MN

MANKATO RIVERFRONT 507-625-1107 410 S. Riverfront Drive, Mankato, MN

NEW ULM 507-354-8255 2015 S. Broadway Street, New Ulm, MN

ST. PETER 507-625-9070 1002 Old Minnesota Avenue, St. Peter, MN


PRACTICE GRATITUDE Practicing gratitude is a small, but mighty, health habit. According to UCLA Health, research shows that giving thanks and being grateful daily can help people sleep better, reduce depression symptoms, lessen anxiety, relieve stress and support heart health. In fact, gratitude can help lower blood pressure and calm us. Due to busy schedules and chronic stress, we are conditioned to be on the defense, watching for our next problem or fire to put out. When worries and stress are the only highlight reel playing in our minds, it can seem this is the entirety of our life. Practicing gratitude can adjust the lens through which we see life. When we make a point to pay close attention to what we are grateful for – the good things in life – we can shift our thoughts more positively. Positive thoughts become positive feelings and positive feelings become healthy, sustainable practices.

How do you practice gratitude?

Keep a gratitude journal daily: Grab a notebook or use the Notes app on your phone and jot down a few of your blessings before you fall asleep or when you wake. Keep it simple, but specific – a good night’s sleep, a brisk walk, a warm breakfast. Be specific: The more specific you can be in your gratitude practice, the more effective it will be. For instance, we can be grateful to have a home or apartment to live in. Break that down further to the comforts of having a home: hot water, heat, electricity, a place to gather with friends and family. The more precise, the better. When being grateful for loved ones, name their personality traits such as compassion, wisdom or humor. Or think of their actions. Maybe you’re grateful for that friend who always answers your phone call or text! You can also be grateful for simple acts of kindness from others such as someone holding the door for you or the Door Dash driver who delivered your groceries. Gratitude prompts: One effective prompt is: Describe your favorite part of your typical routine or day. An online search for gratitude prompts will give you many to choose from: Name your favorite song, recall a time when you laughed so hard you cried or your top 5 favorite things in your bedroom. Look for the lesson: Write about positive or negative life experiences that helped shape who you are and the strength you have today. Practice being grateful for the lessons that have come in life. Thank someone: Has someone done something nice for you? Maybe your daughter did the dishes or your coworker gave you a hand. When you thank someone, be intentional. Tell them why. The actions you took to express your gratitude is also a great element to add to your journal. Prayer: In prayer, you can thank your God before you eat, when you wake or before you go to sleep. Gratitude Apps: There are a number of free gratitude apps for your smartphone. Delightful: Gratitude Journal is free on the Apple and Android app stores. Simply enter 3 things you are thankful for every day or choose to receive daily prompts and quotes. Have a grateful year!

ANNA JOHANSON, MSW LICSW Mankato Clinic Department of Psychology with Marie Wood

38 RIVER VALLEY WOMAN | february • 2024


Getting to the Bottom of Constipation Many physicians define constipation as fewer than three bowel movements per week. According to the American Gastroenterology Association, however, patients often report constipation as bowel movements less than daily, hard stools, incomplete evacuation, abdominal pain, gas/ bloating, straining and more. Though these symptoms are very common, they are not normal! Many patients are looking beyond the traditional prescription and OTC medications to treat their constipation, as they seek to address the root cause of their symptoms. Constipation is often ignored and may become a chronic concern. Discussing and evaluating with a doctor can rule out certain diseases and medications that may be contributing. Sometimes lifestyle guidance is provided, which usually includes increasing physical activity, as well as fiber and water intake which are essential for normal bowel function. Patients often resort to using laxatives, which can be easier than committing to lifestyle changes. Laxatives do provide constipation relief, but they don’t address the underlying causes of constipation. Naturopathic doctors and chiropractors are equipped to address frequently overlooked factors which may contribute to functional constipation. One frequent cause of many digestive symptoms is dysbiosis, which is a bacterial imbalance within the gastrointestinal tract. This can include an undergrowth of lactobacillus and bifidobacterium, overgrowth of candida species (yeast), small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and more. Stool, breath and urine testing can discover these causes, which can then be treated - usually without prescription medications. Nutrient deficiencies, especially essential fatty oils and magnesium can also be a causative factor. Food allergies and sensitivities are often associated with digestive symptoms, including constipation. Specialty testing can be used to evaluate for food allergies and sensitivities. As the body ages, digestive enzyme production diminishes and can lead to constipation, heartburn, and gas/bloating. Rushing through meals, eating on the go, and multitasking during meals take away from the digestive process, too. Stress, which can further suppress digestive enzyme production, should also be addressed - especially when anxiety and depression are reported. Serotonin, a neurotransmitter mostly produced in the gastrointestinal tract, affects bowel function and mood. Thus, digestive symptoms often go hand-in-hand with mood disorders. The obvious, but so often ignored, first step in addressing functional constipation is nutrition. Decreasing foods that lack nutrition is a

40 RIVER VALLEY WOMAN | february • 2024

challenge for many, with our easy access to processed foods and our overbooked schedules- leaving little time to prepare nutritious meals. Increasing water and dietary fiber intake (especially beans, leafy greens, broccoli, artichoke, cauliflower, etc), and chewing foods very thoroughly are important. Bitter herbs (gentian, ginger, dandelion, burdock, etc.) can also promote digestion, by stimulating the vagus nerve, which leads to increased bile and enzyme production. Lemon and apple cider vinegar in water can also have similar effects. Magnesium, probiotics, fish oil, flaxseed oil, and digestive enzymes are often prescribed by naturopathic doctors and chiropractors. Topical castor oil packs and abdominal massage can also help promote regular elimination. Spinal misalignments can affect our health more than we know. The central nervous system is responsible for the normal functioning and communication of all our body systems, including our digestive tract. This communication is transmitted through the nerves that exit your spine at various levels, and are responsible for both sending and receiving information. When spinal misalignments occur, it can disrupt this natural flow of communication, through nerve interference, and can result in many issues, including constipation. The most obvious causes of spinal misalignments include acute injuries caused by sudden traumatic events such as accidents and injuries. However, the often overlooked causes of spinal misalignments are the chronic type, and are caused by inadequate posture, stress, poor lifestyle choices and poor diet. Regular chiropractic care can eliminate nerve interference and allows your body to function on all cylinders. When our body is functioning properly, we have significant improvements in all areas of our health. Constipation is a common concern among Americans, and should be discussed with a provider. Identifying the root cause of constipation is key to developing an effective plan for correction. When obvious causes of constipation have been ruled out, naturopathic and chiropractic care can work synergistically to treat constipation. Providers often find that after treating various digestive symptoms, their patients didn’t realize how constipated they were before.

JODI KUNKEL Naturopathic Doctor PAUL KUNKEL Chiropractor Between the Bridges Healing Center


Jerry’s ABRA Auto Body & Glass Mankato Auto Glass Repair & Replacement National Lifetime Limited Warranty

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RIVER VALLEY WOMAN | february • 2024 41

Holistic Mental Health Care: What it is and ! t i e v o L e Why W

! s g n i t e e r G

My name is Laura Curtis, and I have had the honor of supporting individuals as they step into their mental health and wellness journey. As an active advocate for mental health awareness, I am looking forward to sharing some insight into a variety of mental health therapy services available to individuals who are seeking support. In today’s column, we will be looking at therapy services through a holistic, whole-body approach. During my education, I developed skills and tools to practice as a clinical social worker. After completing my final degree, I was able to lean into those skills, concentrate on areas of practice that I feel passionate about, and customize the types of services that I provide as a mental health clinician. Between personal and professional work, I have come to appreciate and find importance in focusing on a comprehensive, whole-body care, also known as a holistic approach. What does holistic even mean? Simplified, a holistic approach, in therapeutic terms, refers to client care that focuses on biological, psychological, and social aspects of the person, also referred to as biopsychosocial. As humans, each one of our parts are interconnected, and a holistic lens focuses on a person-centered approach, valuing dignity and worth of the individual. For example, your symptoms and diagnoses do not define who you are, and do not discount your value and worth as a person. This practice finds importance in creating and cultivating a lifestyle that best supports each person, focusing on strengths, to move towards healing and growth. Finding the cause and exploring ways to heal from the root issues, rather than only treating the symptoms. This type of approach empowers the individual to take ownership of their own wellbeing, by learning and practicing skills to help reduce and

42 RIVER VALLEY WOMAN | february • 2024


manage mental health symptoms, in efforts to foster a lifestyle that offers balance and peace of mind. Another component of holistic practice can include more modern and unique types of therapy, such as Animal Assisted Therapy and Ecotherapy. Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) is a mental health therapy approach that includes animals, such as canine (dog) or equestrian (horse) therapy. If appropriate for the client, having an animal included in the therapy session can provide feelings of safety, comfort, grounding and being in the present moment, and has proven psychological benefits. Animals can aid in the healing process and can offer several benefits for clients who choose to participate in this type of service. Ecotherapy is another type of mental health service, sometimes known by other names such as Nature Therapy, or Forest Bathing. Similar to including animals in the therapy process, spending time in nature has many therapeutic benefits for both the mind and the body. This type of service can be provided in nature and includes activities such as walking, jogging, grounding and visualization exercises, reflection, and breath work, all while being outdoors. When considering these types of therapy, it is important to consult with a mental health professional who is trained to provide such services, and together assess and determine if these options would be in the best interest of the client. I remind you to listen to your mind and body, to recognize if you are experiencing mental health symptoms that might be impacting your quality of life. Medication, talk therapy, or a combination of both could be a helpful option for you, especially during difficult stages of life. It is important to reach out to medical providers and mental health professionals for the appropriate assessments and discussion about treatment options. Remember to be kind and have grace with yourself during hard times. Try not to minimize what you have been through, who you are, and what you have to offer. Life can be very challenging, and we often could use extra support when the going gets tough. Remember there are supportive services available, so please reach out if you feel this could benefit you. I look forward to connecting with you next time to talk further about mental health and wellness, and living your best life!



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RIVER VALLEY WOMAN | february • 2024 43

Food Fundamentals: The journey to the right foods for you

Embarking on a journey of better nutrition may seem overwhelming for beginners, but fear not— making informed choices about what you eat can be simpler than you think. Listen to Your Body Begin by paying attention to how different foods make you feel. Notice energy levels, mood, and any digestive reactions. This intuitive approach lays the foundation for understanding your body’s preferences. And if you are craving a certain type of unhealthy food, look into what nutritional piece you are missing. For example, chocolate may mean a lack of magnesium.

Start with the Basics Focus on whole, unprocessed foods. These include fruits, vegetables, lean proteins (such as chicken or tofu), whole grains (such as brown rice, although you may find this is a culprit that makes you sluggish), and healthy fats (such as avocados and nuts). Keep it simple and build your meals around these staples.

Portion Control Pay attention to portion sizes. A balanced plate should include a mix of vegetables, a protein source, and a portion of whole grains. Learning to recognize proper portions is key to maintaining a healthy weight. And make sure that there are a rainbow of colors on your plate.

Hydration is Key Don’t forget about water. Sometimes when you are hungry, it is actually that you are dehydrated and need to drink more water. Staying hydrated is essential for overall well-being. Aim for at least eight glasses a day, and more if you’re physically active. But remember— know your body and find that balance for your body.

Educate Yourself Familiarize yourself with basic nutrition labels. Look for foods with minimal added sugars and saturated fats. Opt for products with shorter ingredient lists and recognizable, whole-food ingredients.

Seek Guidance Don’t hesitate to consult with a registered dietitian or nutritionist or someone in the holistic field. They can provide personalized advice, helping you make choices that align with your health goals and lifestyle.

Celebrate Small Wins Building healthy eating habits takes time. Celebrate small victories along the way, and don’t be too hard on yourself if you occasionally indulge. Consistency of fueling your body the right way to energize is key. Remember, the journey to healthier eating is a gradual process. By incorporating these simple steps into your daily routine, you’ll be well on your way to making choices that support your well-being.

SAMANTHA WENDT Generational Restorative Health Mentor Empowered by Nature Wellness Center


507-625-2695 | WOWZONEFEC.COM



Here for you today and tomorrow.


Mankato | Amboy | Eagle Lake | Vernon Center | cbfg.net RIVER VALLEY WOMAN | february • 2024 45

It’s a new year with all the promises and resolutions that come with it. Your pets may have some New Year’s resolutions they would like to start, (and drop in a couple months) as well! Clean eating Who doesn’t love the food from the kitchen table, milk bones, and PupPeroni stix? Did you know that one Pup-Peroni fed to a 10 pound dog is like an adult human eating a Little Debbie Fudge Brownie?! As humans, we often show our love and affection to our dogs with food. Try showing your dog that you love him by taking him for an extra walk, playing tug, or rubbing his belly a little longer. Although treats add up, be sure that you are feeding Fido an appropriate life- staged diet that is measured at each meal.

Exercise more Every dog and cat requires different amounts and types of exercise. Some pets are adrenaline junkies and love cardio, while others just prefer the walk from the couch to the kitchen. With winter upon us, it can be hard to fit in walks. If a walk isn’t an option for Fido, try tossing toys or treats down the hallway, hiding toys around the house or playing ball before bed. For Fluffy, try bringing home a new cardboard box, placing ping pong balls in the bathtub, interacting with a wand toy, or taking out a brown paper bag. Both cats and dogs can also benefit from eating meals out of puzzle toys. Not only do these things provide physical exercise but they also provide mental stimulation. No gym membership needed for these critters!

Pay more attention to personal hygiene When was the last time your dog or cat was brushed? Have they needed a new fresh hairdo? Help your pet freshen up and feel a little bit younger! Those tight mats behind the ears in dogs and on the backs of cats can be sore (picture a tight hair band around your wrist). Do they need a grooming appointment? February is dental health month. If you are smelling your pet’s bad breath, then chances are you are noticing dental disease. Help your pet out by getting those teeth cleaned and radiographed to be sure they are not suffering from any pain or discomfort. Bad breath makes it hard to make new friends—and snuggle with in the morning.

Learn a new hobby or skill


Our pets spend a lot of time sitting alone at home. They are often understimulated which can lead to unwanted behaviors. Teach Fido how to fetch the paper, give a high five, play dead or roll over. Teach Fluffy how to sit. When pets learn new behaviors, it increases their confidence and those “feel good” feelings. Dogs like to please us, show them ways to do just that!

Kick the bad habits Does it drive you crazy when Fido barks out the window or when Fluffy scratches on the couch? Instead of spending so much time getting angry at your pet for doing a natural behavior teach them what an appropriate response should be. Show Fluffy that a better place to scratch is on the fancy new cat tree in the living room by rewarding her for using it. Then make the couch unavailable or less satisfying. Instead of yelling at Fido for barking, redirect him and get his attention on something better such as a ball or a puzzle toy. Window clings on windows can be super helpful for letting the sun in but blocking the detail out the window.

Update your pet’s identification Does your pet have a collar with an ID tag? Are they micro chipped? Micro chipping is a great option because it’s something that never comes off and can’t be lost. It can, however, be inaccurate. In order for a chip to be accurate, you need to keep your phone number and address updated through the appropriate company.

Make a date with your vet for your pet The best way to stay ahead of illness is to visit your vet at least once a year. Since pets age quicker than humans do, it’s all about prevention and catching things early.

More sleep NICOLE LUECK, CVT MN Valley Pet Hospital Mankato

Although cats spend anywhere from 70-80% of their life span sleeping, they apparently do not choose to do this activity at 3 am. Wear your kitty out before bed and then shut your door to allow you to sleep. Make sure young puppies are getting enough sleep as lack of rest contributes to being overly tired and increases the play biting and chewing.

Limit Netflix and TV time

46 RIVER VALLEY WOMAN | february • 2024

After all, you don’t want your pooch letting any spoilers slip. Plus, owners just get jealous that they don’t have that kind of time!


Angie Owens Area Manager

Kelly Simmons

Customer Relations


Lindsey Westphal Intake Coordinator



Call ADARA at 507-519-4016 if you:

WE NEVER PROMISE MORE THAN WE CAN DELIVER. We strive to give the customer more than they'd expect.

• Are being discharged after a hospital or rehab stay • Are looking for additional support and services in an assisted living or private home environment. Skilled Nursing • Physical Therapy • Occupational & Speech Therapy VOTED BEST OF MANKATO


Talk to your provider or call us directly to to see what services you may qualify for and benefit from. Adara Home Health provides complimentary care needs assessments to assist with identifying resources, as well as payer options. Home Health Medicare services are 100% covered for those who qualify.

“Had a dead battery, so I called AAA, and they sent Autotronics over to fix it. Less than an hour after I called, Todd was at my work, assessed the issue and replaced my battery! Couldn’t be happier with the service I received. Thank you Todd for all your help!! You are awesome!!”


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Servicing Mankato, Fairmont, New Ulm, Owatonna, Faribault, Albert Lea, and surrounding communities.





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RIVER VALLEY WOMAN | february • 2024 47




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“We started with a business card size ad and now run a half page. Every time a new issue comes out, the phone rings off the hook for a few days! Advertising with River Valley Woman has been great exposure for my business!”

“I absolutely love this magazine! What a fantastic read and amazing advertising medium for my business. My clients always comment on seeing my ad in the magazine and it truly has helped my business and kept my brand top of mind. Thanks for bringing this wonderful magazine to southern MN every month.”

“River Valley Woman Magazine has been my GO TO publication to advertise in! I anxiously await each new publication as I always enjoy reading the fun stories of those living, and working throughout the reading area. As an advertiser, I always ask “How did you hear of Blinds & More?” 70% of our Southern MN clients say “River Valley Woman Magazine”! Thanks for putting out such a Fantastic Publication!”

Blinds & More



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River Valley Woman Magazine has been successfully reaching the woman decision-maker (your demographic) since 2013. RVW is the largest per-issue print quantity in the Mankato market. RVW Magazine has a pick-up rate of 99.6%. We guarantee that the magazine is being read. Women account for 85% of all consumer purchases including everything from automobiles to healthcare. RVW readers are sophisticated, intelligent and informed. RVW Magazine is a marketing tool that you will want your business to be associated with.

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“Community Bank has been advertising in RVW for several years.This magazine reaches local women in the communities we serve. It’s a perfect platform for Community Bank to share how our team of local bankers can help simplify finances for women of all ages. We look forward to partnering with RVW into the future!”

“RVW is a great place to acquire visibility for your business. We at Schmidt Siding and Window (RbA of Mankato) have advertised in it for several years and I am often approached by readers who have seen our ads; many asking if the man in the ad will be coming to install their new windows. The staff is very easy to work with and offers many creative ideas to generate more business. I am very pleased with this investment and happy to recommend this magazine to local business owners. Showcase YOUR business in the RVW Magazine– it works!”


Community Insurance

“Community Insurance is proud to be an advertiser in the River Valley Woman Magazine. The magazine does an excellent job of spotlighting our area women; showing their strengths, talents and business savvy. Our local communities and the women in them have much to offer. River Valley Woman Magazine has helped illustrate that for all to recognize.” 222563


CONNECT TO OPPORTUNITIES! River Valley Woman is changing the focus of our GO. BE. DO. CONNECT. pages! We will no longer list entertainment or community events as there are many websites and social media that publish these. Instead we will use this section for connecting readers to women's groups, volunteer opportunities, free fundraising events related to women and families, and other activities that connect women to information, education and outreach. Everything listed on GBDC must be free of charge. Going forward please send information using the following specifications for consideration to emadsenrivervalleywoman@gmail.com. Please put GBDC in the email subject box.

Deadline is the first of the month for the following month’s publication (March 1 for April publication, etc.). Please keep the GO. BE. DO. CONNECT. in your submission and no more than 300 words total. GO. Name of organization, group, class etc. BE. What one can gain, become or learn from participating/joining. DO. What one can expect to do by joining or being involved. CONNECT. Applicable dates. Contact information.

Develop leadership skills GO. Junior League of Greater Mankato BE. We lift up the potential of the women in our community by training them to lead others through community engagement. Members can expect to develop their potential as leaders and volunteers through training and connection. DO. Members can engage in League activities by volunteering in the community, participating in a League committee (planning League events, identifying new community partnerships, etc.) or attending training events. CONNECT. The JLGM conducts monthly membership meetings on the second Tuesday of the month. Interested members can contact us at jlgreatermankato@gmail.com, find out about upcoming events on Instagram (@jlgreatermankato) or fill out a membership application on our website (greatermankato.jl.org). We cannot wait to meet you!

Imagine the possibilities

Design your dream home with us! 222515




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507-642-8444 127 MAIN ST W • MADELIA


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Fibrex® is a registered trademark of Andersen Corporation.

Windows • Siding • Gutters • Roofing Ext. 22 RIVER VALLEY WOMAN | february • 2024 53



1. Infinity Windows - Built for life® Proudly installed by Lacina Siding & Window’s Inc. Enhance the look and feel of your home with Infinity Windows from Marvin. Made of Ultrex® fiberglass, Infinity windows are 8x stronger than vinyl. Ultrex® offers a superior bend and flex resistance to protect the integrity of your home. EverWood® is an engineered wood grain interior finish that looks, feels, paints, and stains like real wood but without the maintenance. We proudly offer a lifetime warranty. Sold exclusively by Lacina Siding & Windows, Inc. Call us today for a free in-home consultation from one of our home improvement experts. Lacina Siding & Windows, Inc. Your Friends In The Business 2104 N. Riverfront Dr. Mankato, MN 507.625.5064 lacinasidingandwindows.com








54 RIVER VALLEY WOMAN | february • 2024



2. Thieves Essential Oil A blend of clove, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and rosemary oils, known for their immune-boosting properties. Whether diffused or applied, this aromatic powerhouse supports overall wellness, making it a natural choice for strengthening your body's defenses. Body Concepts LLC 1615 N. Riverfront Dr. Mankato, MN 507.381.5467 bodyconceptsmankato.com 3. EMSCULPT NEO The first and only FDA cleared non-invasive body shaping procedure that provides simultaneous fat elimination and muscle building in a combined 30-minute session. Multiple treatment applications including abdomen, buttocks, arms, calves & thighs. Can treat BMI up to 35! Giddie Skin 530 N Riverfront Dr. Suite 130 Mankato, MN 507.381.7723 giddieskin.com 4. Scrubs, Medical Supplies & Accessories Shop our large selection of medical equipment and supplies including stethoscopes, compression stockings, scrubs, scissors and more! C&S Supply has a great in-stock selection of quality uniforms & footwear. Special orders also available at no extra charge. C&S Supply 1951 N. Riverfront Dr. Mankato, MN 507.387.1171 or 800.879.1938 candssupply.com

5. Love your Body this Valentine's Day Basin brings the relaxation of a spa to your home. With a refreshing line of sweetly scented bath bombs, scrubs and soaps that will help relieve your daily stresses. Scents range from Serenity or Electric lemonade and even Florida Sunshine, something to fit every mood. You can find Basin products at your Mankato Hy-Vee’s. Hy-Vee Mankato Hilltop 507.625.9070 Mankato Riverfront 507.625.1107 New Ulm 507.354.8255 St. Peter 507.519.1910 hy-vee.com


5. 222559

6. Express Your Personal Style Bold, distinctive, and meant to be seen. Our drapery, pillows and Roman shades come in hundreds of lush premium fabrics. Call Blinds & More today! Blinds & More Window Coverings 507.380.5019 blindsandmore.org

7. Renewal by Andersen Windows: Professionally Installed by Schmidt Siding & Window You can be confident in Renewal by Andersen® custom replacement windows, which are backed by one of the strongest transferable warranties in the industry. Soon you’ll be saying, “I love our new windows.” Schmidt Siding & Window expert crews install them all year round. Renewal by Andersen® windows are custom-made to fit within the exact space of an existing window. They are an easy, hassle-free way to enhance your home’s comfort and appearance without the major disruptions that often come with remodeling projects. Schmidt Siding & Window 901 N 5th St. Mankato, MN 507.625.6412 schmidtmankato.com



Prom Ready!



Prom Dresses Hemming Gown Resizing

Re-Beading Custom Garters & Veils Also offering full-service wedding alterations


Pins and Needles Alterations 728 N. Riverfront Drive, Mankato 507-625-5163

RIVER VALLEY WOMAN | february • 2024 55


Medicare Supplement Guaranteed Interest Advantage Plans Lifetime Income Medicare Supplement Guaranteed Interest Part D Advantage Plans Fixed Income Annuities Lifetime Income Veteran Plans 401K Rollovers Part D Fixed Income Annuities Individual and Family PlansVeteran Plans IRAs and Roth IRAs Individual and Family Plans

401K Rollovers IRAs and Roth IRAs


Fireplace Installs, Service, Cleanings and Stone Work

Call or Stop By Today!

Legacy Planning Legacy Planning Funeral Expense Planning Asset Based Hybrid Asset Based Hybrid Funeral Expense Planning Wealth Transfer Wealth Transfer Traditional Traditional US TODAY! CALL USCALL TODAY! Income Replacement Income Replacement Hybrid Life Hybrid Life 241 St. Andrews Drive (507) 345-8084 (507) 345-8084 Mortgage Protection Mortgage Protection 507.345.8084 241 ST. ANDREWS DR.,| MANKATO 241Mankato ST. ANDREWS DR., MANKATO

507.388.1000 mig-mn.com






Enjoy the natural beauty of custom cabinetry, quality countertops, fashionable window treatments and the latest in family-friendly flooring. 224 St. Andrews Dr., Mankato, MN | 507-625-3472

MCICARPETONEMANKATO.COM Store Hours: Mon-Thur 9am-6pm, Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 9am-2pm, Sun Closed



Get window treatments that truly fit your space. The Genesis® Collection from Lafayette Interior Fashions® is a shade that provides exceptional light control for any room in your home or office. Roller Shades, Roman Shades, and Panel Tracks are a practical option, offering easy-care, are lightweight to lift, all while giving you that simple polished look.

Schedule your FREE consultation Kaaren 507.810.9704 VALLEY WOMAN | february • 2024 58 RIVERwith

1107 Cross St, North Mankato, MN 507.625.3089 | rickwaycarpet.com


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A heartfelt thank you to our amazing community for driving generosity. Together, you’ve donated $11,500 and 250+ toys for Toys for Tots. Your support has fueled the joy of giving!

1281 RAINTREE ROAD | MANKATO 507-769-0348

160 ST. ANDREWS DRIVE | MANKATO 507-769-0359

Joint Replacement Surgery

Important Choice, Easy Decision


Recognized for Being the Best! For quality care, close to home, it’s OrthoEdge. The OrthoEdge Joint Replacement Program features two of the most experienced orthopaedic care providers in the area, The Orthopaedic & Fracture Clinic and River’s Edge Hospital. • • •

Over 6,000 successful hip, knee and other orthopaedic surgeries 250 years of combined orthopaedic surgery experience The only small hospital in the nation accredited as a Certified Center of Excellence

Getting the care you deserve and trust, close to home, makes OrthoEdge the right choice for joint replacement surgery. Learn more at OrthoEdgeMN.com

River’s Edge Hospital has been recognized as a DNV GL Healthcare certified Orthopaedic Center of Excellence for: • Hip & Knee Replacement • Shoulder Surgery • Spine Surgery Plus, River’s Edge Hospital is top rated for patient experience!

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