BEST OF 2021 READERS GIVE THEIR NODS TO HOMETOWN FAVORITES
Maple Grove’s Newest Neighborhood with private neighborhood pool, clubhouse, and park [ELM ROAD NORTH BETWEEN VICKSBURG LANE & LAWNDALE LANE]
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106 LARGE CUSTOM HOME LOTS LONG SCENIC VIEWS TRAILS TO 80 ACRES OF PRESERVED WOODLANDS
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AWARD-WINNING WAYZATA SCHOOLS MINUTES TO AMENITIES & DOWNTOWN MINNESOTA CUSTOM HOME BUILDERS
NIH ERIK MYHRAN
T HE R IDGE A T E LM C REEK.COM
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J U LY/A U G U S T 2 0 2 1 The North Star State, the Land of 10,000 Lakes, the Gopher State, the Bread-and-Butter State—though Minnesota has numerous trademarks, its culinary scene is also unlike any other. PAGE 28
IN EVERY ISSUE
Editor’s Letter 4 Noteworthy 7 On the Town 25 Tastemakers 28 Last Glance 32
Home and Garden 12
Arboretum recommends cabinfriendly plants and shrubs.
Readers give nods to their hometown favorites.
Health and Wellness 14
Sound therapy is making waves.
How about a little help from our friends and neighbors?
Shops and Retail 16
The Fashion of Sustainability Consider switching your closet to a more eco-friendly model.
Your Community, Your Vote
PHOTO BY CHRIS EMEOTT
2 JULY/AUGUST 2021
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Family owned & operated in the Twin Cities since 1951. 50th & France
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DONATO’S FLORAL EST. 1988
Summer of Peonies
FROM THE EDITOR Renée Stewart-Hester, email@example.com Send a bouquet of peonies this summer, an unforgettable beautiful gift!
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Full Service Florist Delivery to the Entire Metro Area
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elcome to the most anticipated issue of the year—the annual Best of Maple Grove Readers’ Poll results, showcasing community members’ favorite businesses and services, and, in my estimation, this issue can’t come soon enough. While our magazine has always supported “all things local,” including commerce, municipal programs and services and residents, our staff is particularly eager this year to highlight anything, everything and anyone, who has made living through this recent pandemic somewhat bearable, at times delightful and often wonderful. You’ll notice that our editorial team added a new category to this year’s lineup. Takeout and curbside dining hit an all-time high over the course of last year and into 2021, so we felt Best Takeout/Curbside was a must-have category. Without further ado … The winners are waiting for you on page 18. But wait, don’t forget to visit page 20 for my Editor’s Picks, where you’ll meet a group of local pastors, who wondered what could be done to be an additional blessing to the community. Discover how a Maple Grove group is working to make the city a greater place for seniors and the ways a business owner turned her attention toward mask making during the early days of the pandemic. Learn how a local cafe and its customers took special care of healthcare workers, and find out how a couple of college freshmen developed a business that, unbeknownst to them, ended up being very pandemic-friendly. Until next time,
We are excited to be named a Best Dental Practice Finalist in Maple Grove Magazines’ Best of 2021 Readers Poll. Thank you!
Doctor-owned, locally loved
9600 Upland Lane N, Suite 200 Maple Grove, MN 55369 763-416-0037
See what we’re doing behind the scenes and around town! parkdental.com
MAPLE GROVE MAGAZINE @MAPLEGROVEMAGAZINE
On the Cover Artwork by Em Handy
PHOTO BY TATE CARLSON
Easy online scheduling
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A DIFFERENT KIND OF FIRM, A DIFFERENT KIND OF WEALTH MANAGEMENT
VOL. 17 NO. 4 maplegrovemag.com
publisher SUSAN ISAY
editor RENÉE STEWART-HESTER
managing editor ANGELA JOHNSON
associate editor HAILEY ALMSTED
Client Focused: Our family is the largest client of the firm
staff writers AVA DIAZ, MADELINE KOPIECKI
editorial interns MEGHAN BISHOP, LAUREN FOLEY, OLIVIA RIVERA
editorial advisory board
Experience: Josh has been a money manager in the Twin Cities for over 40 years. Judd spent almost 20 years on Wall Street at 3 of the largest hedge funds in the industry
Kate Becker, Kate Becker Photography, owner Eric Hagemann, Osseo Area Schools, communications specialist Lise Spence-Parsons, Maple Grove Arts Center, president/executive director Heidi Nelson, City of Maple Grove, city administrator Alison Krueger, The Shoppes at Arbor Lakes, property marketing manager Birgit Gruess, writer and editor
senior managing art director SARAH DOVOLOS
art directors ALLISON NOLDEN, EM HANDY
Performance: Since 2016, our proprietary client portfolio has generated net returns of +230.4% compared to 80.6% for the S&P 500 1
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We offer a free, 48-minute no cost, no obligation consultation on your investment portfolio. We regularly meet with clients in our Edina Office.
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Lawndale Ln N
Bass Lake R d
Vicksburg Ln N
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NOTEWORTHY Best of Maple Grove FAQ
GET AN INSIDE LOOK AT OUR READERS’ CHOICE POLL.
CON G R AT UL AT ION S TO A L L O F O U R LOC A L F IN A L ISTS A N D W IN N E R S in this
year’s Best of Maple Grove Readers’ Poll! Voting was open online during the month of January with three simple rules: 1. One entry was allowed per person; each ballot needed to include an email address. 2. Ballots must have been completed by 5 p.m. on January 31, 2021. 3. Voters needed to vote in at least five categories to ensure their ballots were counted.
*Any rule not adhered to may have resulted in entire surveys being discarded, and all results were subject to editorial discretion. HERE ARE THE ANSWERS TO SOME FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
How do you choose the categories? Each year, our editorial and management teams evaluate survey categories to include topics our readers find most relevant. We always take into account feedback from our readers and appreciate hearing about categories you’d like to see added or eliminated. How does voting work? From January 1–31, we invited readers to go online and vote for their favorite local businesses and service providers in each category. How did businesses get nominated/listed on the ballot? Top vote-getters from the previous year, along with some editor’s picks, were listed on the survey ballot. A write-in option was also provided. My favorite business wasn’t on the ballot. Each category includes a write-in field. If a preferred choice didn’t appear on the ballot, voters could sim-
ply write it in. Businesses with a significant number of write-in votes are often added to the following year’s ballot even if there were not enough votes to become a finalist in the current year’s contest. What’s a “finalist” vs. a “winner”? The top three vote-getters in each category become finalists and are announced in the spring, and the top vote-getter is the winner and is announced in the summer. When votes are tabulated, our editorial team factchecks the address and contact information for each finalist. If a finalist is no longer a valid selection due to a closed business, etc., the next highest votegetter(s) moves up to become a finalist. Can a business or organization be a finalist if it’s located outside of the magazine’s coverage area? In order to qualify as a finalist in the survey, each business or organization must be located in the community and/or provide services to local residents. I’m a business owner. How can I get on next year’s ballot? We rely solely on readers to select or write in their pick for each category. If your business wasn’t a top vote-getter in last year’s contest, it may not have been listed on this year’s ballot. But if voters wrote in your business this year and it received a significant number of votes, your business could be listed on next year’s ballot, even if your business wasn’t a finalist in the current year’s contest. I’m a winner! How do I purchase a framed cover? Winners can request a free digital copy of the Best of 2021 magazine cover design, which also indicates your winning category and your business or organization name. Winners can also purchase a printed and framed magazine cover design (size is 14 x 17 inches and features a black wood frame.) The cost is $95 each and includes shipping and handling. A link for ordering will be available online beginning July 1.
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N OT E WO RT H Y »
L I ST E N
“We knew that people were feeling anxious, depressed and their lives had been turned upside down in 2020,” longtime resident Jeff Cavins says. “We wanted to provide hope and a foundation on which people could trust.” Therein is the motivation behind The Bible in a Year podcast with Fr. Mike Schmitz, a priest in the Catholic Diocese of Duluth, speaker and author, and featuring Cavins, biblical scholar and creator of the Great Adventure Bible Timeline. “We put the word out in December  that we were going to do the podcast, and social media went viral,” Cavins says. The podcast was number one in religion and spirituality on Apple Podcasts from December 22, 2020 to at least May 26, 2021, and was in the top spot in all categories from January 2–18 and top five from January 2–March 2. “These two guys from Minnesota surged past [comedian] Joe Rogan, [political commentator] Ben Shapiro and all the typical top 10 podcasts. This is what makes it so surprising,” Cavins says.
Why is the podcast so popular? “Many people want to read through the Bible but lack two things,” Cavins says. “… They approach the Bible like it is a book, so they start in Genesis and try to go to the Book of Revelation. They usually give up in March, if they started in January, because they run into Leviticus, and they have lost the narrative thread. [Secondly], people don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to reading. We thought it would be a good idea to provide the audio version of the Bible, and read it through chronologically using The Great Adventure Bible Study method. The method divides the Bible into 12 periods of history and then follows the 14 narrative books as the foundation ...” As the podcast moves to each new period, “… We stop and explain the major characters, events and difficult places where people typically get lost,” Cavins says. “I act as a trail guide for the listener.” The Bible in a Year is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and other podcast platforms. —RENÉE STEWART-HESTER
PHOTO COURTESY OF ASCENSION
Cavins hosts a chart-topping podcast.
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O RG AN IZE
Create your own “best of” list.
Whether I’m scrolling through social media or picking up a magazine, I am always drawn to the “best of” lists. Having those recommendations can make life a bit easier. Let me share with you my can’t-live-without home organizing products. »» Air-tight canisters for cereal, flour, sugar and rice: This product not only extends the life of food, but can be easily labeled and stacked for effortless arrangement. »» Label makers are essential around the house and at the office. The advantages in identifying the contents of a bin or folder are to simplify, reduce stress and save time. »» Honeycomb drawer organizers can be invaluable for arranging socks and underwear for easy access and selection. »» Consider items that serve a dual purpose, including a storage ottoman, a laundry basket with a built-in ironing board or a workbench with a wood top, storage drawers and electrical outlet. Give these items a try or create a list of your own by identifying your needs or “pain points” (paper piles or disordered closets, etc.), and find products to address those issues. Consulting with an organizing expert is also helpful in finding the best products for you and your family.
Kira Vanderlan operates a decluttering, organizing, staging and design company; zestfuldesign
6/8/2021 1:26:01 PM
Where Love Grows
N OT E WO RT H Y »
Picture This! We want to see your best photographs.
Catholic Church & School Located at the blessed juncture of Brooklyn Park, Osseo and Maple Grove
READERS’ CHOICE AWARD Hitching a Ride by Rita Mickle
* Dr. Corey Jensen*, Dr. Jennifer Bertrand, Dr. Brett Moore**
Built on a Foundation of Excellence, Artistry and Comfort.
1. Activities & Events
3475 Plymouth Boulevard, Ste 100, Plymouth, MN 55447 763.537.1238 | smiledesigndentistry.com Convenient appointments: 7:30 am - 7:00 pm and Saturdays
At Maple Grove Magazine, we aim to showcase this great community in many ways, including through your artistic and observant eyes. If you’ve snapped photos in the area over the past year, consider entering them into our annual Focus on Maple Grove photo contest in August. Whether it’s a picture of your family or beloved pets, an iconic or hidden Maple Grove landmark or a striking landscape or cityscape you came upon while in the community, we want to see it. Submissions are accepted from August 1–31. Submitted photos are reviewed by our editorial and art departments to determine finalists and winners. Winning photos are decided by consensus, so each submission is carefully considered. Though we certainly take into account subject and photo quality, our favorite photos are the ones that convey the community through the perspective of the photographer. Readers can also vote online (during the month of September) for their favorite photo submission in the Readers’ Choice category. Photos in the following categories receive consideration for placement in an upcoming issue of Maple Grove Magazine and on our website and social media pages. (Runnersup and honorable mentions are chosen as the number and quality of photos allow.)
2. City Landmarks 3. People & Families 4. Pets 5. Wildlife & Nature
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Versatile whisky tops this list. Join us in welcoming Dr. Patrick Harlan to our team!
PHOTO COURTESY OF KEVIN CASTELLANO
763-420-4400 Maple Grove 55369 lyndegreenhouse.com
For me, there is nothing better than sipping terrific bourbon. This barrel is exclusive to our store and, in my opinion, worth every penny. We sampled from several barrels sent to us by Old Forester from its single barrel program and picked our favorite. This comes in at 90 proof, with rich notes of caramel, vanilla and baking spices. This is a versatile whisky, which is very smooth for sipping but a staple for whiskey-based cocktails, as well.
Nominated Best Landscape Designer & Garden Center for 2021!
Locally Grown: Celebrating 50 years in Maple Grove
Kevin Castellano is a lake area wine and liquor expert; wayzatawineandspirits.com
PHOTO CONTEST RULES & DETAILS »» Submissions are accepted at maple grovemag.com from August 1–31. »» Entrants must live, work or attend school in Maple Grove. »» Readers’ Choice voting takes place at maplegrovemag.com in September. »» Entrants may submit up to five photos, with no more than three in any category. »» Photos should be taken in Maple Grove. »» Generally, photos should have been taken within a year of the submission date.
6/8/2021 1:26:03 PM
D E PA R T M E N T S » H O M E & G A R D E N
Green Acres Arboretum recommends cabin-friendly plants and shrubs.
CABIN OWNERS KNOW THE DRILL. Head up (or over) to the lake in springtime for opening, plant the garden beds and flower boxes, return home and hope for the best. Either at the next visit or any other time during the summer, arrive to find death-by-thirst plants or a florae crime scene, thanks to the local rabbits and/or deer populations. Alan Branhagen, director of operations for the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, offers ways to increase the odds of having
healthy plant life for your cabin life. Here’s the down and (garden) dirty of it all: DEER/RABBIT-FRIENDLY ELEMENTS: Annuals: Consider spiny suc-
culents (agave, aloe, crown-of-thorn, echeveria and sedum), herbs (basil, borage, cilantro, dill, lavender, parsley, rosemary and sage) and typical annuals (marigold, petunia, salvia and verbena). Perennials: Think herbs (thyme, hardy oregano, mint in containers and hyssop)
and wildflowers (anise-hyssop, coreopsis, baptisia/wild indigo, aromatic aster and showy goldenrod). Ferns (maidenhair, Christmas and wood-fern) are left alone. Traditional perennials (alliums/ornamental onions, bleeding heart, catmint, daffodils, meadow sage, iris and beloved peonies) are options, too. Shrubs: Most evergreens are favorite browse in winter, and the only exception is false cypress, which is not hardy in northern Minnesota’s zone 3. Northern
PHOTO COURTESY OF ALAN BRANHAGEN
BY RENÉE STEWART-HESTER
6/8/2021 1:26:05 PM
Intelligent shades, smart savings.
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bush-honeysuckle, potentilla, snowberry and coralberry are among the few shrubs deer leave alone. DROUGHT TOLERANT AND NO DEADHEADING: Try succulents and
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most herbs (listed above). Marigolds seem to rebloom, regardless of deadheading. Petunias (select Wave series) don’t require deadheading, and geraniums are drought tolerant. Don’t forget colorful foliage plants (coleus, dusty miller, helichrysum and silver falls vine) and Swedish ivy. The pendant blue succulent burro’s tail is making a comeback in popularity, too. Shelly's Interior Concepts 16043 Cir NE Michael, MN trees, BEST57th TIME TOSaint PLANT: Plant am - 9:00 shrubsM-F: and8:00 perennials inpm the fall, so they Sat: 8:00 am - 9:00 pm require less watering, as they are going Sun: 8:00 am - 9:00 pm into dormancy and focusing on root (763) 439-8568 growth. In general, watering protocol for www.shellysinteriorconcepts.net
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* Manufacturer’s mail-in rebate offer valid for qualifying purchases made 6/27/20–9/7/20 from participating dealers in the U.S. only. Each window fashions unit must include PowerView® Automation to qualify for rebate. Rebate will be issued in the form of a prepaid reward card and mailed within 4 weeks of rebate claim approval. Funds do not expire. Subject to applicable law, a $2.00 monthly fee will be assessed against card balance 6 months after card issuance and each month thereafter. See complete terms distributed with reward card. Additional limitations may apply. Ask participating dealer for details and rebate form. **PowerView App and Hub required. ©2020 Hunter Douglas. All rights reserved. All trademarks used herein are the property of Hunter Douglas or their respective owners. 20Q3MAGSOC2
on qualifying purchases
Hunter Douglas shades with PowerView® Automation move to schedules you set and work with many smart home systems.** Ask about rebates on select shades with PowerView and the associated hub.
* Manufacturer’s mail-in rebate offer valid for qualifying purchases made 6/27/20–9/7/20 from participating dealers in the U.S. only. Each window fashions unit must include PowerView® Automation to qualify
June 27–September 7, 2020 in the form of a prepaid reward card and mailed within 4 weeks of rebate claim approval. Funds do not expire. Subject to applicable law, a $2.00 monthly fee will be assessed against card balance 6 month month thereafter. See complete terms distributed with reward card. Additional limitations may apply. Ask participating dealer for details and rebate form. **PowerView App and Hub required. ©2020 Hunter trademarks used herein are the property of Hunter Douglas or their respective owners. 20Q3MAGSOC2
new elements varies based on the plant, soil and weather. The equivalent of an inch of rainfall is what is said for turf, but spring-planted trees and shrubs will need more, especially if they are in sandy soils. Clay soil is better at holding moisture.
bate offer valid for qualifying purchases made 6/27/20–9/7/20 from participating dealers in the U.S. only. Each window fashions unit must include PowerView® Automation to qualify for rebate. Rebate will be issued eward card and mailed within 4 weeks of rebate claim approval. Funds do not expire. Subject to applicable law, a $2.00 monthly fee will be assessed against card balance 6 months after card issuance and each mplete terms distributed with reward card. Additional limitations may apply. Ask participating dealer for details and rebate form. **PowerView App and Hub required. ©2020 Hunter Douglas. All rights reserved. All are the property of Hunter Douglas or their respective owners. 20Q3MAGSOC2
LAKE-FRIENDLY FERTILIZERS/ WEED KILLERS: Follow the directions
on the label, and more is not better. Lakefriendly fertilizers are those with none or very little phosphorous—the middle number in their nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium (NPK) rating. The NPK rating should be zero or very low. Most of our natural soils do not require added phosphorous, so it simply runs off and creates algal blooms in waterways. Target specific weeds, and don’t blanket spray. Follow directions, and read about the impact to pollinators and aquatic life.
PROTECT LANDSCAPING AT CLOSING: Fall-planted evergreens can
benefit from burlap protection against the winter sun and wind. Deer and rabbit excluding fencing ... can be critical in the winter. Hardware cloth wrapped around the base of fruit and ornamental crabapple trees can protect from winter voles, which may eat the bark from their runs under the snow. MG
MINNESOTA LANDSCAPE ARBORETUM 3675 Arboretum Drive, Chaska; arb.umn.edu
We want to grow and we know Crown Bank can help us. —Barb, Maribel, tara Co-owners, hen house eatery
From everyday banking needs to maneuvering through the PPP loan process, Crown Bank was there with Hen House Eatery to lighten the burden. Now Hen House Eatery is poised for growth and looking forward to sharing their home-cooked goodness well into the future. To read more of the story search news at crown-bank.com.
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D E P A R T M E N T S » H E A LT H & W E L L N E S S
Good Vibrations Sound therapy is making waves at local SuNu Wellness Center.
SOUND THERAPIST AND MASSAGE PRACTITIONER Jessie Daniels clearly remembers the first time she was introduced to Himalayan singing bowls in the summer of 2018. Sound therapy practitioner Kristin Elam came to Minnetonka-based SuNu Wellness Center wearing a heavylooking canvas backpack. “She carefully unpacked the most beautiful set of 16 metal bowls of various sizes, colors and textures and arranged them on the floor,” says Daniels, clinic coordinator. Elam put on a sound meditation concert for about six members of the SuNu staff, and Daniels says that, during the performance, she felt a profound response to the practice. “The resonance settled around me, and I felt a very different ability to hear myself think, feel and just exist,” Daniels says. “It was a different experience than I have had previously even in yoga, prayer, meditation or other forms of energy work.” Elam joined the practice that fall as an integrative health coach and sound therapy practitioner. As her practice began growing, Daniels found herself with the opportunity to study under Elam and explore her own burgeoning interest in sound therapy. When Elam moved out of state in 2020, Daniels was the natural successor to her practice. Forms of sound therapy can be found throughout history and often connect to religious and spiritual practices. Historians trace the invention of Himalayan singing bowls to Tibet, quite possibly around the time of the Buddha’s birth. Today, craftsmen in Tibet and Nepal still employ the same ancient methods to create the musical bowls, including the ones Daniels uses in her practice. “Most often, people come to Sound Therapy for balance; relaxation; ease with anxiety or depression; to become more grounded and calm; [and] to aid with meditation and self-awareness,” Daniels says. New clients are often sur-
PHOTOS BY HANNAH SCHMIT
BY MADELINE KOPIECKI
6/8/2021 1:26:06 PM
in digital format! The experience itself was meditative, insightful and moving. Feeling the waves of sound move through me and recognizing the different impact of each bowl’s sound and chakra association was remarkable.
Get free, anytime access to Maple Grove Magazine via our digital editions. Full screen viewing on your digital device allows easy cover-to-cover reading. Plus, it’s even easier to share your favorite Maple Grove Magazine stories with friends and family.
Learn more at maplegrovemag.com
CLIENT MICHELLE W.
prised by how deeply their bodies relax over the course of the session, she says. “Sometimes people fall asleep, sometimes tears occur [and] sometimes the ability for deep breathing returns. If they’ve never experienced it before, having the bowl-on-body portion tends to be the most profound.” A typical first appointment begins with a health history and an overview from Daniels about what to expect during the session. “I utilize a variety of protocols for relaxation, anxiety, energy clearing, focus, etcetera, by playing the bowls in different sequences around the body,” Daniels says. She also places the bowls on different parts of the body, such as the back, stomach and heart, using a mallet to “sing” the bowl. “Ideally, we are creating a safe and calm environment for people to relax and allow their body to awake into deep peace and knowing,” Daniels says. “It really depends on what people [need] for the session [in terms of ] what they receive.” Most clients come in monthly for a 45–60 minute session, but Daniels notes that some may come in more often if they’re experiencing stressful periods of their life. MG
SUNU WELLNESS CENTER 12455 Ridgedale Drive #203, Minnetonka; 952.314.7035; sunuwellness.com SuNu Wellness Center @sunuwellness (Minnetonka, MN) Vibrational Sound Therapy is also offered at: SPOT SPA NORTHEAST 21 Fourth St. SE, Mpls.; 612.331.4182; spotspas.com @spotspas Spot Spa Northeast
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6/8/2021 1:26:06 PM
Consider switching your closet to an eco-friendly model. BY CLAIRE SWENSON
“MOST PEOPLE IN THE UNITED STATES only wear about 20 percent of their wardrobes. That means that 80 percent of the clothes are languishing in their closet being unworn,” says Nancy Dilts, a personal wardrobe stylist, who specializes in sustainable shopping. “That’s an enormous amount of waste.” Dilts offers ideas to counter that practice.
Start with what you have. She suggests creating a wardrobe foundation from currently-owned quality pieces. Once a shopper makes use of what is already in his/her wardrobe, Dilts suggests giving a second life outdated or ill-fitting clothing by collaborating with consignment stores, selling online or donating to thrift shops rather than throwing away the garments.
PHOTOS BY CHRIS EMEOTT; ILLUSTRATIONS BY EM HANDY
D E PA R T M E N T S » S H O P S & R E TA I L
The Fashion of Sustainability
6/8/2021 1:26:12 PM
MAPLE GROVE MAGAZINE
nancydilts.com @nancydiltswardrobeconsulting @nancydiltswardrobeconsulting @nancydiltswc @nancydiltswc
Shop at second-hand stores. Thrift and consignment stores can extend the life of clothing. “Consignment is a closed loop,” Dilts says. “The consignor is a local person, the shop owner is a local retailer, the person buying it is local and [clothing is] being reused.” Shopping at thrift or consignment stores can uncover some hidden treasures, and there is a strategy to follow. Dilts recommends, be patient, be persistent and know your style. Shop ethically for new items. This often means understanding where garments come from, how they are made and how long they will last. Look for companies that utilize recycled materials, focus on timeless styles or are dedicated to responsible factory and employment practices. Opt out of fast fashion. There are ways to show personal style without sacrificing sustainability. “Invest in high-quality, enduring, classic pieces,” Dilts says, adding to save trend purchases for accessories and wardrobe elements that are interchangeable. If a trend proves too tempting, she recommends looking for one that will stay relevant longer. “If you’re not going to wear it 30 times, don’t buy it,” she says. MG
DILTS’ GO-TO CONSIGNMENT SHOPS. »»Turnstyle carries home furnishings, accessories and clothing for men, women and children. 13744 83rd Way, Maple Grove; 763.420.2864; turnstyleconsign.com
Contact Sara Johnson
P lease don’ t
on a funeral. Did you know that all pre-needed agreements are completely transferable? Simply bring your existing service agreement to Kozlak-Radulovich, and in most cases, we’ll put money back in your pocket!
»»Clothes Mentor offers consigned women’s clothing, shoes and accessories. 13641 Grove Drive, Maple Grove; 763.494.4584; clothesmentor.com »»Fashion Avenue features couture, designer and contemporary clothing and accessories for men and women. 810 Lake Street E. Suite 2, Wayzata; 952.224.7014; fashionavenueresale.com
1385 107th Ave NE Blaine
1918 University Ave NE Minneapolis
13745 Reimer Dr Maple Grove
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M A P L E
G R O V E
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Readers give their nods to their hometown favorites. B Y R E N É E S T E W A R T- H E S T E R
B E S T
Y O U R C O M M U N I T Y, YOUR VOTE Maple Grove ... Serving Today, Shaping Tomorrow—The city’s motto is put into action each day by residents, business owners and officials. While we are reminded of this with every article and photograph used to tell the stories of this city in our pages, this motto comes sharper into view with the Best of Maple Grove Annual Readers’ Poll, which underscores so much of what residents appreciate about their city. It all began in January when the voting went live on our website. Finalists were announced this spring, and now it’s time to present your winners and runners-up in a host of categories that help support and celebrate Maple Grove.
Best Takeout / Curbside
1. Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano 2. El Rodeo Mexican Restaurant 3. 3 Squares Restaurant
Best Outdoor Dining
1. The Lookout Bar & Grill 2. Malone’s Bar & Grill 3. Redstone American Grill
1. Malone’s Bar & Grill 2. Pittsburgh Blue Steakhouse 3. Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano
Best Tavern / Bar / Brewery
1. Malone’s Bar & Grill 2. OMNI Brewing Co. 3. The Lookout Bar & Grill
1. The Original Pancake House 2. 3 Squares Restaurant 3. Lynde’s
1. J Brothers Design | Build | Remodel 2. Hanson Builders 3. Creek Hill Custom Homes
1. J Brothers Design | Build | Remodel 2. Mav’s Construction and Remodeling 3. Turnkey Restoration
Best Interior Designer
1. Shelly’s Interior Concepts 2. Studio M Interiors 3. DeAnne Latterell (Designs by D)
Best Landscape Designer
1. Lynde Greenhouse & Nursery 2. Matt’s Lawn & Landscape 3. CB Services
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Best Senior Living Residence 1. Arbor Lakes Senior Living 2. SilverCreek on Main 3. Rose Arbor & Wildflower Lodge
Best Nursery / Garden Center
1. Lynde Greenhouse & Nursery 2. Bachman’s 3. Fair’s Nursery
Best Home Furnishings / Décor Store
1. The Woods 2. Pottery Barn 3. HOM Furniture
Best Fitness Studio / Yoga Studio / Gym 1. Orangetheory Fitness 2. Life Time 3. Burn Boot Camp
Best Dental Practice 1. Maple Grove Family Dental Clinic 2. Park Dental 3. Grove Health Dental
Best Dermatology Practice 1. Associated Skin Care Specialists 2. HealthPartners Park Nicollet Clinic, Carlson Parkway 3. Allina Health
1. Simonson’s Salon & Spa 2. Belladerm MedSpa 3. Massage Envy
Best Salon / Spa
1. The Woodhouse Day Spa 2. Willow Salon 3. Simonson’s Salon & Spa
Best Apparel Boutique
1. Evereve 2. Mainstream Boutique 3. Leela & Lavender
1. Red Barn Pet Retreat 2. ADOGO Pet Hotel 1. All Seasons Canine Country Club
Best Private Preschool / Childcare 1. Step by Step Montessori School 2. Primrose School of Maple Grove 3. St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School
Best Law Firm
1. Henningson & Snoxell Ltd. 2. Donohue McKenney Ltd. 3. Markve & Zweifel, PLLC
Best Veterinary Practice
1. Corcoran Pet Care Center 2. VCA Animal Wellness Center of Maple Grove 3. Heritage Animal Hospital
Best Learning / Tutoring Center
Best Gift Shop
1. Sylvan Learning of Maple Grove 2. Mathnasium 3. Huntington Learning Center
Best Place for Kids’ Activities
1. The Woods 2. GoodThings 3. Love That Olive
1. Donato’s Floral 2. Maple Grove Floral 3. Bachman’s
1. Maple Grove Community Center 2. Foss Swim School 3. Color Me Mine
G R O V E
1. Broman Chiropractic & Wellness Center 2. Maple Grove Family Chiropractic 3. Maple Grove Chiropractic
1. Pearle Vision, Maple Grove 2. Northwest Eye 3. Maple Grove Vision Clinic
Best Doggy Daycare / Kennel
M A P L E
Best Chiropractic Practice
Best Eye Practice
1. Nothing Bundt Cakes 2. Nadia Cakes 3. Lunds & Byerlys
1. Accorde Orthodontists 2. Kottemann Orthodontics 3. TC Orthodontics
1. Children’s Minnesota Partners in Pediatrics 2. South Lake Pediatrics 3. HealthPartners Park Nicollet
Best Specialty Foods / Kitchen Store
B E S T
Best Orthodontic Practice
Best Pediatric Practice
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E D I T O R’ S P I C K S
How about a little help from our friends and neighbors? The breathless words of Tennessee Williams’ Blanche Debois—“I’ve always depended on the kindness of strangers.”—resonated on a much deeper and urgent level during the COVID-19 pandemic. Neighbors helping neighbors and strangers reaching out to strangers in the name of goodwill became the anthem of action for so many in this community. I’m grateful that this issue affords me the opportunity to highlight some Editor’s Picks that honor the legacy and spirit of Maple Grove’s kindness—to friends and strangers alike!
All it takes is an idea. After a group of local pastors, who’d meet regularly, wondered what could be done to be an additional blessing to the community, a plan was set in motion. Representation came from the Church of the Open Door, Northwood Church, Life Assembly, Maple Grove Covenant, The Grove Church, MapleRidge Church and Faithbrook Church (Dayton). It became apparent that the pandemic would limit the initiatives, and the group decided, as much as it wanted to help more communities, it had to focus on one—Maple Grove with the theme We Love Maple Grove. The committee settled on three acts of kindness. To start, in October 2020, every elementary classroom teacher in Maple Grove (275 in all) received an appreciation gift bag with a handwritten note and treats (mints, Post-it notes, hand sanitizer, tote bag and chocolates from the Painted Turtle in Osseo). Next, to assist with food shortages, each church planned to host a Fill the Van food drive to support the CROSS Food Shelf. Lastly, the group reached out to the
Tree House Agency in Minneapolis, which aids struggling teenagers, and it lead the webinar, Parenting a Teenager in a Global Pandemic, to assist parents during this unprecedented time. We Love Maple Grove @welovemaplegrove One of the marks of a great community is its concern for all its residents. Age-Friendly Maple Grove (AFMG) officially launched in 2016, when the city joined the World Health Organization/ AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities. A team of 15–20 community volunteers and cross-sector professionals work with the initiative to ensure that Maple Grove is a great place to grow older. Short- and long-term issues are addressed. “One important thing we’ve done is launch a website with extensive local and area resources related to aging—on housing, community services, transportation, volunteering, health and wellness, and other topics. We are also working with the City of Maple Grove to make aging something that is more routinely considered in city planning and decision making,” says Lydia Morken, AFMG consultant.
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“Age-friendly work is a new way of thinking about aging. It’s a common tendency to want to put all things ‘senior’ in a bucket—senior services, senior housing, etc. Those things are incredibly important, but modern aging and true inclusivity require us to expand that thinking. [AFMG] is raising the profile of aging and trying to dispel a lot of the negative stereotypes about what it means to get older,” Morken says. While COVID-19 scuttled some initiatives, the program pivoted by launching a series of Zoom interviews to address mindfulness during the pandemic, homecare services, scams that target older people, caregiver support groups and other topics, as well as continuing its T-Mobile tablet program, allowing seniors to borrow a tablet with unlimited data for only $20/month. “This program has been vital in keeping seniors connected and has helped fight isolation and loneliness during the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Liz Faust, AFMG cochairman. agefriendlymaplegrove.org Danica Reitzner might be better known as the owner of Loon and Beau, an online Maple Grove-based pet accessories business, which specializes in bespoke bow ties, bandanas and more, but she turned her talents and business drive into an altruistic venture during the recent pandemic. After reading social media posts from area people about the need for masks or the desire to make and donate them, Reitzner was inspired in spring 2020 to create the MN Mask Initiative Group
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in an effort to streamline donations and organize volunteers. Reitzner began sewing with the group but pivoted to organize sewers, fabric cutters, drivers and delivery volunteers. “A wide arrange of people were part of the group,” she says. Reitzner says she sewed about 1,200 masks and conservatively estimates that the group made between 7,000–8,000 masks, which were distributed locally to senior living communities and hospitals and clinics for patients and visitors. The group also teamed up with the City of Maple Grove to sort masks that were collected and delivered to one of the city’s fire stations. After the initiative slowed once national mass production ramped up, some volunteers continue to donate handmade masks. Reitzner reflects about the experience. “For me, it was something that I held onto in the uncertainty of everything else,” she says. “It was a way for me to stay [balanced] and help in small ways.” The group had its fair share of retirees and people out of work volunteering along with other community members. Reitzner talks of one volunteer, a former seamstress, who would drop off 200 masks every few days, and of a Hanover
homeschool teacher and cross country coach, who encouraged her young athletes to sew masks, too. “It was kids learning to be a part of their community,” she says. email@example.com With the help of its customers, Daily Dose found more than 1,000 ways to support local healthcare workers during the initial weeks of the pandemic and again this fall by providing food and beverages to staff at Maple Grove Hospital and North Memorial Health Hospital in Robbinsdale. When the program began, co-owner Ben Havn wasn’t sure how successful it would be. Due to the generosity of customers, who donated funds to support the program, and Daily Dose, between 50–100 sandwiches were delivered to the sites a few times a week during the effort, according to Havn. “The hospital has been a huge supporter of Daily Dose,” Havn says. “It was great to be able to return the favor.” Healthcare workers were able to visit Daily Dose to order a meal, or there were times when a department head would call the restaurant and ask for a delivery for the team. Either way, the orders were filled with a healthy side of gratitude.
After the program wound down, remaining funds were transferred onto gift cards and sent to staff at the Intensive Care Unit at North Memorial and Maple Grove Hospital. Daily Dose Maple Grove, 15517 Grove Circle N.; 763.657.0919; Daily Dose Brooklyn Park, 9578 Noble Parkway, Brooklyn Park; 763.762.8104; dailydosemn.com Your neighbor is going to Costco tomorrow morning—need anything? A few neighbors in your area are ordering takeout from Pizza Karma this evening— craving something? Resident Bharat Pulgam and his fellow developers, Josh Chang of Plymouth and Sam Lerdahl of North Oaks, can help you get what you need thanks to Pikup, an app that connects users with friends and neighbors, who shop at the same local stores. While freshmen at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management in 2018, the group targeted the app to college students. Target Corp. caught wind of it and was so intrigued that it accepted the concept into its retail accelerator program. One caveat: The team had to drop out of school and focus full-time on the app. Then—COVID happened. “We pivoted,” Pulgam says. “Since
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April of this year, we are focused on neighborhoods in the Twin Cities.” How many?—1,000. After downloading Pikup, users can make a shared list with their neighbors. People who go to the store can check this list and grab items that a nearby neighbor may need. If enough people join the list, Pikup automatically organizes a drop-off, and everyone on the list gets their items delivered as a group with no delivery fee. All reimbursement and payment is handled in the app. Some stores are offering Pikup members perks. Kowalski’s Markets, for example, gives a 10 percent discount to anyone who adds or grabs from the Kowalski’s list. Target offers a $5 gift card, and Caribou Coffee provides a free upsize on a beverage. Pulgam, a Wayzata High School graduate, says other collaborations are in the works. The app also connects local restaurants with neighborhoods. “We are realizing that people don’t want to go out as much, and delivery services are charging restaurants [a large percentage of order cost],” Pulgam says. Like the grocery or store function, neighbors can order from a restaurant together, and the restaurant delivers orders to the entire community at once. Pizza Karma in Maple Grove, The Block in St. Louis Park and The Parlour Bar in Minneapolis are already on board. trypikup.com MG
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• Car Show & Big Truck Show • Corn Hole Tournament • Entertainment & Fireworks • Parade Voted BESTcity • Beer Garden and Food Trucks festivale • Business Expo by Maple Grov • Midway Fun for All Magazine • Jim Deane Memorial readers! • Rice Lake Run • “Trolls” Outdoor Movie
AND MUCH MORE!
Adults, We have fun events for ages! all of s Families and Kid
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ON THE TOWN things to see and do in and around Maple Grove COMPILED BY MEGHAN BISHOP, LAUREN FOLEY AND OLIVIA RIVERA
Farm, 4345 101st Ave. N., Brooklyn Park; 763.424.8000; brooklynpark.org
Pick from July’s last three weeks for this five-day kids golf workshop. The course includes all the golfing basics, small class sizes and heaps of entertainment for participating kids. Register online. Ages 6–12. $199. 8:30 a.m.–12:15 p.m. daily. Topgolf Brooklyn Center, 6420 Camden Ave. N., Brooklyn Center; 763.201.9636; topgolf.com August
Summer in the City
Festival and art fair return with family-friendly events. BY LAUREN FOLEY
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE MAPLE GROVE COMMUNITY ORGANIZTION
MA P LE GROV E DAYS A N D T HE A R BO R L A K E S A RT FA I R make their anticipated return, making the middle of July an especially fun and familyfriendly time in the city. (Events will follow COVID guidelines.) The festivities kick off on July 14 with the start of Maple Grove Days, which runs through July 18. Highlights include the drive-through parade on July 15 at Maple Grove High School and the beer garden from 10 a.m.–8 p.m. on July 17 (location to be determined) with food and drink trucks, live entertainment and a fireworks show after 8 p.m., among other smaller events. Starting July 17, the two-day Arbor Lakes Art Fair joins the lineup. The fair is held at the Shoppes at Arbor Lakes, an Arbor Lakes Art Fair partner, and runs from 10 a.m.–6 p.m. on July 17 and 11 a.m.–4 p.m. on July 18. With booths from local artists boasting everything from jewelry to ceramics to photography, it’s sure to be an artistic highlight. More information is available at mgco.org and maplegroveartscenter.org.
Honor Brooklyn Park’s potato-growing history while making new traditions at Tater Daze. This two-day festival features live entertainment, a family drive-in and a special event at Historic Eidem Farm. All ages. Free. Brooklyn Park Community Activity Center, 5600 85th Ave. N., Brooklyn Park; 763.493.8333; brooklynpark.org
Maple Grove Triathlon
Whether for the annual Maple Grove Triathlon or the kids-exclusive Splash and Dash, join the community for this fun, summer-friendly athletic event. The triathlon is open to all experience levels. Ages 7 and up with restrictions. $70–135. Friday 11 a.m.–7 p.m., Saturday 5 a.m.–noon. Weaver Lake Park, 8401 Dunkirk Lane N.; maplegrovetri.com
A R E A E V E N TS
LOCA L EV EN TS July
ages. Free. 7–8 p.m. Maple Grove Town Green, 12800 Arbor Lakes Parkway N.; facebook.com/movewithmazie
Join in on Wednesdays this summer for all-level-inclusive vinyasa yoga. Any yoga experience level, kids and leashed pets are welcome. An online waiver is required before joining. All
Concerts at the Farm
Starting July 8, head to Historic Eidem Farm every other Thursday for live concerts, featuring a variety of artists. All ages. Free. 7–8:30 p.m. Brooklyn Park Historical
Food trucks from around the Twin Cities are ready to bring authentic and diverse foods to you at the Taste of MN Fair. All ages. Prices vary per vendor. 11 a.m.–7 p.m. Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church, 1669 Arcade St., St. Paul; 612.861.9700; richfieldmn.gov
Antiquarian Book Fair
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O N T H E TOW N »
Designed with bibliophiles in mind, the Twin Cities Antiquarian Book Fair returns this year, offering highquality books, book-related items and a slew of knowledgeable book dealers to chat with. All ages. $7 or free with student ID. 3–7 p.m July 9.; 10 a.m.–4 p.m. July 10, Schoenecker Arena at the University of St. Thomas, 2115 Summit Ave., St. Paul; twincitiesantiquarianbookfair.wordpress.com
Though the raspberry fields are gone, the city of Hopkins still celebrates with fireworks, live music, kids’ activities and a Grande Day Parade. All Ages. Free. Downtown Hopkins, 1609 Mainstreet, Hopkins; 952.931.0878; raspberrycapital.com
Fine Spirits Classic
The Ninth Annual Fine Spirits Classic is an interactive, exciting taste of the Cities’ best sips. Ages 21 and over. $25–65. 5:30–9 p.m. Minneapolis Grain Exchange, 400 S. Fourth St., Suite 401, Mpls.; finespiritsclassic.com
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Beer Run at Alloy Brewing
Starting and ending at Alloy Brewing, runners weave through the surrounding area and wait for a beer at the end. Runners also receive swag items. Ages 21 and over. $30. Alloy Brewing, 2700 Coon Rapids Blvd. NW, Coon Rapids; 763.432.0939; alloybrewingcompany.com
Minnesota Horse Expo
Horses of multiple breeds will gather at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds for contests and horse showcases. You can also hear from local equitation experts, trainers and clinicians on horse training, care and maintenance. Best of all, there will be free pony and wagon rides. All Ages. $11 for ages 13 plus, $7 for ages 6–12 and free for ages 5 and under. 8:30 a.m.–7 p.m. July 24 and 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. July 25; Minnesota State Fairgrounds, 1265 Snelling Ave. N., St. Paul; 612.860.4645; mnhorseexpo.org
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Railroad Hobby Show
Got a frenzy for trains? Stop by the Twin Cities Railroad Museum exhibit at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. Railroad replicas of all sizes will be featured. Find collectables from toy trains to Minnesota railroad memorabilia. All Ages. $6 for ages 8 and up, free for ages 7 and under. 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Minnesota State Fairgrounds, 1265 Snelling Ave. N., St. Paul; 651.647.9628; tcmrm.org
Flea & Craft Market
Vendors will offer homemade products and homegrown produce. Support local make a trip to the market. The flea market will be held once a month until September. All ages. Free. 9 a.m.– 3 p.m. Washington County Fairgrounds; 12300 40th St. N., Stillwater; discoverstillwater.com
Half Marathon and 5K
Take a beautiful 5K, 10K or 10-mile run through seven of Richfield’s best parks. Benefitting Wood Lake Nature Center for 18 years, event proceeds go toward supporting the center’s environmental education partnership with local schools. Register online for virtual or in-person runs. All ages. $30–65. 7–11 a.m. Richfield Ice Arena, 2200 W. 66th St., Richfield; 612.861.9700; richfieldmn.gov
To have your event considered: email firstname.lastname@example.org by the 10th of the month three months prior to publication. Due to the fluidity being experienced in the current environment, please note that some events/dates and even some business operations may have changed since these pages went to print. Please visit affiliated websites for updates.
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Minnesota Menu SERVE UP SOME NORTH STAR STATE FAVORITES. BY HAILEY ALMSTED AND RENÉE STEWART-HESTER PHOTOS BY CHRIS EMEOTT
The North Star State, the Land of 10,000 Lakes, the Gopher State, the Bread-and-Butter State—though Minnesota has numerous trademarks, its culinary scene is also unlike any other. We’re no strangers to comfort foods (I’m talking about you, tater tot hotdish!) and easy-to-make meals, but Minnesota also offers unexpected discoveries, such as Indigenous and Asian foods and craveworthy dishes. Though our favorite foods may be off the beaten path, these tried-and-true favorites are tasty, home cooked and quintessentially Minnesotan. Dessert bars: Cut like a brownie with ingredients like a cookie, dessert bars are something special to Minnesota. They can be fruity (lemon and cherry pie bars) or salty (salted caramel or Nut Goodie bars). How about cereal- or peanut butter- based (Scotcheroos or Special K bars)? Find them at school cafeterias, kaffeeklatsches or around dinner tables. The options are truly endless. Hamm’s beer: Hamm’s—a household name in the 1950s through the 1980s— has been the choice of Minnesotan’s since Theodore Hamm first arrived in St. Paul from Germany and had a goal to create a high-quality American brew. Beginning in 1865, Hamm’s has been a staple for Minnesotans for generations— and its resurgence is just beginning. The popular beer is still brewed in its traditional way, according to the Hamm’s Beer
website, from the “purest water and the choicest barley malt, grain and hops.” Hotdish: This traditional dish has a hundred different names, but true Minnesotans only call it by one: hotdish. From church gatherings to family reunions, you betcha you will see this starch meets meat and vegetable concoction. The options are endless. Juicy Lucy: First place for the most controversial Minnesota staple goes to the Juicy Lucy, with ongoing debates about who first invented the delicious cheesestuffed burger. Was it Matt’s Bar or the 5-8 Club, each located on Cedar Avenue in Minneapolis? Though we won’t choose a side, Juicy Lucys are a must-try for any visitor or local. Pro tip: Try not to scorch your mouth on the first bite! Lefse: Potatoes, flour, cream and butter— the simple ingredients make up this traditional Norwegian flatbread, often served with butter, sugar (white or brown—the latter is traditional) and cinnamon. Try it with lingonberry sauce—another Norwegian favorite—or topped with salty foods, including smoked salmon, spiced meat and cheese or onions and mustard. Sweet or savory, the choice is yours. Pho: Minnesota is home to a large Hmong and Vietnamese community, which has made our great state a hot spot for pho (pronounced “fuh”), a Vietnamese noodle soup with rice noo-
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dles, vegetables, spices and meats, similar to the popular Japanese ramen dish. It is a national obsession, and Minnesota is lucky to have several delicious pho spots and varieties. Whether you are craving traditional pho or a modern variation, there’s a bowl for it all. Polish sausage: Eastern Europeans have been settling in Minnesota since the 1800s, and immigrants brought over an abundance of delicious foods and recipes—including polish sausage. You have probably dug into a Kramarczuk polish sausage at a Twins game, but its Minneapolis establishment has been serving polish sausage for over 60 years. Porketta: Made popular in the Iron Range from Italian immigrant miners, porketta (also known as porchetta) is typically pork roast seasoned with fennel, garlic and other herbs and cooked, mostly slowly, to perfection. Though you’ll find Minnesota’s favorite porketta at the 108-year-old Sunrise Bakery in the Iron Range, there are plenty of delicious options closer to the Metro or in your own kitchen. Walleye: We are the Land of 10,000 Lakes, and we have the dish to prove it. Walleye is the official state fish, and the most popular fish entrée. It is also the perfect complement to many traditional dishes, including wild rice (see below) or served between two artisan buns as a sandwich. Wild rice: Wild rice has been a staple in Minnesota for hundreds of years, dating back to the traditions of the Anishinaabe (Indigenous tribes including the Odawa, Saulteaux, Ojibwe, Potawatomi, Oji-Cree and Algonquin peoples). Though wild rice, “good berry,” is a nutritious grain, it was originally gathered during the wild rice moon and has since been a crucial ingredient in Indigenous and Minnesotan foods. From wild rice soup to wild rice pilaf, there are endless ways to use this wholesome grain.
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menu mainstays. After all, beer isn’t just for drinking or adding into batter for fish fries. How about beer bread? Alison Krueger, one of our Advisory Board members,
reminds us that food can serve as the ties that bind us in celebration or the salve Dine in only. Not to be combined with any other offer.
that heals in moments of sadness and grief. And Lise Spence-Parsons, Advisory Board member, offers a recipe that har-
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ites, consider adding these recipes to your
»» 3 cups all-purpose flour (I use King Arthur.) »» 1 Tbsp. baking powder »» Kosher salt »» 12 oz. beer (Try Hamm’s, and Harp Lager works well, too.) »» ¼ cup honey »» 6 Tbsp. cold salted butter (sliced into 8 pieces) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan with butter. Add flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt to a mixing bowl. Pour in the beer, and add the honey. Mix until combined. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Arrange the butter slices on top of the dough. Place the pan on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake for 45–55 minutes or until the top of the bread is lightly browned.
Funeral Bars This one may seem odd, but I remember it so vividly … It is a neighborhood recipe that dates back decades. The name gives these bars a strange, even morbid reputation; however, growing up in a neighborhood where friends were family, we celebrated and gathered for all life’s ups and downs, including funerals. The name
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of the tasty and delightfully-easy recipe started as a running joke. However, as funerals came and went, families split and the highs brought us together as often as the lows. These bars became a staple for neighborhood gatherings. They almost stood as a tangible way to say, “I’m here for you,” no matter what you were going through. When people reference comfort food, I think this hits right on the money. This tradition wasn’t necessarily about the bars themselves but, more importantly, the people you shared them with. To this day, we still use the recipe for more of those “feel-good” moments. –Alison Krueger, marketing manager, The Shoppes at Arbor Lakes »» 1 box yellow cake mix
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»» 2 eggs »» 12 oz. chocolate chips »» 1 stick of butter Mix all the ingredients, and pat into 9x13inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 22 minutes. Enjoy.
Chocolate Toffee Bars [These are a] childhood favorite, found in a book dating back to 1970s/80s that my mum gave me! We had these as kids all the time—quick and easy and very tasty! – Lise Spence-Parsons, president/executive director and treasurer of the Maple Grove Arts Center »» 1 cup butter, softened »» 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed »» 1 egg yolk »» 1 tsp. vanilla »» 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted »» 1 cup chocolate chips »» 1 cup walnuts, chopped Cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the egg yolk and vanilla. Stir in all remaining ingredients. Press the mixture into an ungreased baking pan (12 1/2x8x1) Bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes. Cut into bars while warm, and cool before serving.
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Favorite microhistory titles cover several topics. MICROHISTORY IS A NON-FICTION GENRE
that takes a comprehensive look at a single event, topic or concept but reads more like novels or memoirs. Even for those who do not typically read nonfiction books, microhistories can prove interesting. To start, consider some of my favorite microhistory selections:
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers (Mary Roach): This delves into the “experiences” of a post-mortem body. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Rebecca Skloot): Unknowingly, cells taken from Lacks during a hospital stay were preserved and grown in culture. Numerous medical advances and research have used her cells, some of which remain alive today.
The Professor and the Madman (Simon Winchester): Discover how the Oxford English dictionary came about, including with the assistance of an American doctor in an English asylum. Salt: A World History (Mark Kurlansky): Take a look back at salt, beginning in ancient times, and discover how it has influenced societies. Paper: Paging Through History (Mark Kurlansky): Learn about the origins of written language, including some precursors to paper and how it helped revolutionize societies. MG
—Elizabeth Dammar, Hennepin County Library–Maple Grove
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