Woodbury Magazine - April 2022

Page 1


CHEERS TO SPRINGTIME Say "Cheers!" to warmer weather with a decadent cocktail


It’s the sticks and stones of everyday life that bring you to TRIA. Like the handstand that gave your wrist the twist. Whether you’re a professional athlete or living room gymnast, you’ll receive the same expert orthopedic care and attention you need to get back in the game. It’s why you’re treated and how you’re treated by TRIA. SCHEDULE ONLINE AT TRIA.COM


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EVERY OBSTACLE. EVERY ACHIEVEMENT. See a specialist, no referral needed. At Twin Cities Orthopedics, we’ll help you get back on track after an injury or find relief from pain that’s slowing you down. We have 37 convenient locations, including urgent care hours. In most cases, you don’t even need a referral to see one of our top-rated specialists. It’s time to take the first step.


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APRIL 2022 This month, we’re celebrating beauty and style. “Style is something each of us already has, all we need is to find it.” —Diane von Furstenberg

PAGE 4 2




18 — East Metro Motors

24 — A Prescription for Produce

Local car group aspires to bring events closer to home.

Woodwinds Clinic fights hunger in the community with its Veggie Rx program.

10 13 37 40 48

Local beauty studio specializes in permanent makeup.

22 — A Natural Fit FlowFit Yoga and Fitness creates an inclusive environment.

30 — In Style Fashionable picks and charitable contributions are top of deck at Leela & Lavender.

Editor’s Letter Noteworthy On the Town Gallery Last Glance

Photo: Chris Emeott

20 — Lip Blushing

— — — — —

TASTEMAKERS 42 — New Options for ‘Za Pizzeria Pezzo and Tono + Cheesesteaks make their debut.


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Hailey Almsted, woodburymag@tigeroak.com

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tend to say I have three passions: writing (and reading!), traveling and fashion. Although I’m a sucker for warm winter sweaters, cute boots and scarves galore, I’m also patiently waiting for spring and summer fashion to come into play— the season of shedding layers and incorporating pops of color into my wardrobe. Luckily, Woodbury has a plethora of wonderful places to shop. I’ve purchased many a pieces from Primp and Francesca’s in Woodbury Lakes; picked out some beautiful jewelry from Patina; I’ve popped my head into Mainstream Boutique, Evereve and La Vie Boutique. But that’s not all—new to Woodbury is Fargo, North Dakota-based boutique Leela & Lavender, a one-stop-shop for all things everlasting, trendy and more. In this beauty and style issue if Woodbury Magazine, I’m happy to welcome Leela & Lavender into our community. With a variety of items and styles, ranging from beachy boho to western inspired, this boutique has a little something for everyone. Co-owner Laura Polanski says, “Woodbury made total sense … It really is just perfect.” Read more about the boutique, and get inspired with spring fashion picks on page 30. Do you have a favorite lipstick shade? Perhaps it’s one that you wish was just your natural lip color. Tara Alcure, owner of Electric Beauty, a Woodbury-based cosmetic tattoo studio, can make that happen through lip blushing—a rather new beauty trend taking the nation by storm. Read more about the service on page 20. Rounding out this issue is a conversation with Woodbury local and car fanatic Eric Galler. Writer Dan Amundson chats with Galler about his east Metro car group, Woodbury Wheels. “We’re fortunate enough to live in Woodbury … It’s a great place to be into cars,” Galler says. Read more about Woodbury Wheels on page 18. I’ll see you next month!



See what we’re doing behind the scenes and around town! WOODBURYMAG.COM

Contact Brooke Beise

612.548.3208 brooke.beise@tigeroak.com




On the Cover White Wine Sangria, photo by Chris Emeott


April 2022


Photo: Rachel Nadeau

advertise with

VOL. 18 NO. 8 woodburymag.com

publisher SUSAN ISAY


managing creative director RENÉE STEWART-HESTER

managing editor HAILEY ALMSTED

copy editor KELLIE DOHERTY




editorial advisory board Pepe Barton, South Washington County Schools Tanner Ignaszweski, Woodbury High School Mike Lewis, 3P Boxing 24/7 Laurie Mordorski, Woodbury Lakes Stacey Morgan, Belay Creative Michelle Okada, City of Woodbury Public Safety Margaret Wachholz, Woodbury Heritage Society, Woodbury Community Foundation, Woodbury Senior Living Sarah Sorenson-Wagner, South Washington County Schools

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lo c al tip s, ti dbi t s & ins i ght s


I F YO U H AV E a bottle of white wine that has been rolling around in your fridge for months or a red wine that has been sitting too long on the wine rack, let’s turn them into fun springtime cocktails. From sangria to a spritzer, there are many ways to repurpose wine. Here are a couple of my favorites: White/Red Wine Sangria » 1 bottle wine » 1 cup flavored soda » ½ cup peach vodka » ¼ cup brandy » berries, if needed Add ingredients to a pitcher, stir and add ice. If desired, add berries to each glass to provide a pop of color. White Wine Spritzer Over ice, pour equal parts white wine and club soda. Add a lime wedge if preferred. Red Wine Spritzer Over ice, pour equal parts red wine and 7UP. Add a lime Photo: Chris xxxxxxxxx Emeott

wedge if preferred.

John F. Farrell III is vice president of sales and merchandising with Haskell’s The Wine People. Find more at haskells.com.

April 2022




We put our capricious nature on hold while

about small things and growing numb with

we wait for a signal, the invitation or the

distractions and feeling spent is a norm in

exact right moment before we take a step,

the workaday loop. Life could pass us by

because, as for now, we are taking care of

while we wait for security. But we need

the bills and the children are still young.

a mission at every age, and it can be as

There is something uniquely thrilling about

We are right to be cautious, but we often

simple as helping people. Obsess not

closing your eyes, jumping into a new ven-

believe both our children and ourselves/

about emails, social media, office gossip

ture and not knowing exactly what the land-

spouse are much more fragile than we truly

or what others think; instead, obsess with

ing is going to feel like. As children, it was

are. But humanity is actually quite hardy.

not going gently into this good day, this

Safer Routes

what we longed for. But as adults, we often

good night and this good life.

take safer routes. Perhaps, we have more to

I fritter my brainpower on everyday prob-

lose. Dylan Thomas’ poem prompts us not

lems because it feels like the safe solution,

to be safe. He wrote, “Do not go gentle into

and I feel like a master of the universe

that good night, old age should burn and

because I know how to solve it. I rationalize,

rave at close of day; rage, rage against the

“I don’t have space left for things that really

dying of the light …”

matter to me,” the ideas that need time and wonder to come to fruition. Worrying

Margaret Wachholz is the campus marketing director at Woodbury Senior Living. In her column, she shares observations and wisdom about aging and senior living in Woodbury. Find more at woodburyseniorliving.com.


Spring Closet Refresh Spring is here and with it comes spring cleaning and reorganizing of our homes, but how often are we going through our closets and giving them a little refresh? I recommend going through your wardrobe twice a year to edit it down and make getting ready more enjoyable. Clean: Empty your closet. Take out all items, so you can give it a deep cleaning. Dust the shelves, walls and ceiling. Vacuum the entire closet while you have the chance. Edit: Piece by piece, evaluate all the clothing in your wardrobe and ask yourself if it fits, is in good condition and if you’ve worn it in the past year. If you can’t say yes to all three, it’s time to donate, toss or store. Reorganize: I recommend organizing your wardrobe tops, long sleeve tops, denim, dress pants, dresses, boots, flats, pumps, etc.) and then by color. Find more wardrobe tips at woodburymag.com.

Alexandra Eve is a local stylist and wardrobe consultant. To learn more, visit alexandraevent.net.


April 2022


Photo: Alexandra Eve

back into your closet by category (short sleeve

Meet Some of our Beautiful Flowers of Saint Therese


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Mary Jane

1970s Baltimore: Mary Jane Dillard is 14 and has been raised to be a proper young woman. Thanks to her strict mother, she knows how to keep a tidy household, prepare meals and dress modestly. When a nearby doctor’s family is hiring a summer nanny, Mary Jane’s mother is thrilled at the opportunity for her to showcase her upbringing in a respectable household. Mary Jane is shocked by Dr. Cone’s loud, messy family. There are books piled everywhere, mold-

“We worked with Anne as our realtor when we sold our old house and bought a new one. We were first-time sellers so we were apprehensive and reluctant about the entire selling process. Anne’s professional insights, confidence and positive bearing removed our doubts and guided us to stay on track. It made the whole process seamless. In our entire experience working with Anne, the most pleasing is how she treats her clients as friends. We enjoyed working with Anne. She is highly recommended!” -Crisela L.

ing leftovers in the refrigerator and unfinished art projects toppling over. She feels connected to 5-year-old Izzy, who would rather socialize with adults than children. Mary Jane soon learns that Richard Cone is a psychiatrist, not a medical doctor, and that he will be secretly rehabilitating a rock star in his home office over the summer. Jessica Blau’s novel is perfect if you’re looking for a funny comingof-age tale that’s a little punk, a little soul and a lot of love.

Margaret Gardner is the senior library manager at the R.H. Stafford Library in Woodbury. Find more to read at washcolib.org.


April 2022

Healthcare is Broken. Here’s the Solution. TASTE

I Feel Pretty I’ve been obsessed with makeup since I was a preteen. As I’ve “matured,” I’ve discovered that the secret to any truly great look starts with really good skin. Sure, I drink water, wear sunscreen and get plenty of rest. But I’ve also got a complicated, multistep skincare routine that includes different cleansers, serums, lotions, creams and elixirs for day and night. There’s also twice weekly exfoliation and what I call “Sunday Skin Day,” a ritual devoted to masks, peels and any other treatment that might help undo the prior week’s damage. Kowalski’s Markets offers a few of my favorite skincare/beauty products. Yes, I’m currently crazy for our new partnership with Mendota Heights-based Sigma Beauty, but I’m talking about tastier stuff. Believe it or not, some of the best skincare for your skin is food.

At Secoya Health, your wellness care is driven by YOU! Direct Primary Care at Secoya Health offers a monthly membership without hassle of insurance. • Non-Judgmental Medical Care • Unlimited Accessibility- available via text, email or phone • A Holistic Approach Toward Wellness • Undivided Attention- extended appointments without a long wait.

Science tells us that omega-3s can help keep skin supple, antioxidants like vitamin E help protect against free radicals, zinc protects against inflammation and vitamin C helps with collagen production. Beta carotene, lutein and lycopene have been shown to protect against sun damage and may also help prevent wrinkling. Some of my favorite foods (salmon, tomatoes, red bell peppers, nuts, avocados, broccoli and even dark chocolate) may help keep skin healthy, strong, glowing and gorgeous. Find Perron’s nutrient-filled recipe for Argentinian Salmon at woodburymag.com.

Rachael Perron is the culinary and brand director for Kowalski’s Markets, where she specializes in product development and selection, culinary education and communications. Find more at kowalskis.com.



secoyahealth.com | 651-738-7800 woodburymag.com



East Metro Motors

Local-based car group aspires to bring events closer to home.

WITH SPRING RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER, car enthusiasts are itching

to get their hot rods out of storage and go for the first cruise of the year. Car shows will start to be held, lines of cars will be seen doing rallies down scenic roads and convertible tops will be brought down all throughout town. However, ask car fanatic Eric Galler and he’ll tell you there’s one issue when it comes to the east Metro and cars. “All of the cool car stuff happens on the west side of the cities,” Galler says. “There’s just not as many cruises, rallies and shows on the east side.” That’s the premise behind Woodbury Wheels, a Facebook group for car fanatics in the community and surrounding


areas. Galler’s neighbor, Dan Fishelson, was asking about car groups on the east side, and when they discovered there weren’t many, they decided to create a group together. Woodbury Wheels includes informal car shows and cruises, plus a fun space to share car information. The group held its first event in summer 2021 at 3rd Act Craft Brewery. Members brought their cars and showed them off to anyone else who wanted to come see. Now, the group has more than 160 members and has plans to grow. Galler says people don’t need to have the fanciest or oldest car to join the group. All they need is something they’re proud of and want to show off. The group has seen everything from Ferraris

to a restored Cadillac ambulance. Woodbury Wheels is in the process of planning more events for this upcoming year consisting of both shows and cruises. The east side is full of great places for cruises, whether it be the Afton area, the roads south of Prescott on the Wisconsin side or the roads up toward Taylors Falls. “We’re fortunate to live in Woodbury and so close to these areas,” Galler says. “It’s a great place to be into cars.” The group is planning for monthly events and is always looking for volunteers—in addition to attendees! There’s no cover charge for events or special requirements. They just want people who love their cars to show up and have fun. “We’re just some people enjoying cars,” Galler says.

April 2022


Photo: Woodbury Wheels

By Dan Amundson

Discover the Difference

S U M M E R S E NS A T I ON ! Anticipated Summer Camp Themes and Field Trips: All Things Summer - Picnic in the Park Music and Movement - Teddy Bear Band Nature Explorers - Dodge Nature Center Storybook Adventures - Stages Theater: The Little Mermaid Amazing All-Stars - Conquer Ninja Wild Safari - Sustainable Safari and Petting Zoo Discovery Kids STEAM week - The Works Museum/Children’s Museum Color Wars - Color Me Mine Crazy Creatures - Sea Life and Bruce the Bug Guy Culinary Culture - THAT Cooking School Imagination Station - Science Museum Summer Sizzle - USA Inflatables and Cookout!

“We’re fortunate to live in Woodbury ... It's a great place to be into cars.” Eric Galler, co-founder of Woodbury Wheels

Themes and field trips subject to change

Infant/Crawler • Our all-inclusice approach to care includes infant formula, diapers, baby wipes and wholesome infant purees freshly prepared by our on-site chef. • Baby rooms are the perfect environment for little ones to discover their physical abilities as they learn to roll over, crawl, pull up and eventually walk. We focus on your babies’ growth and development by creating strong bonds and learning through play. • Screened-in porch designed specifically for getting infants and crawlers outside to enjoy new sights, sounds and fresh air. • Over-sized rooms include full sized cribs for each child, gross motor equipment and large windows for maximum amounts of natural light.

Woodbury Wheels received interest in partnerships from local businesses, including X-Golf Woodbury, which has held car shows in the past. Another business that fits with the group’s mindset is Eurotech Auto Service, a repair shop specializing in exotic cars. “We want to promote businesses like this,” Galler says. Though the west Metro has wonderful car events, Galler says it’s been nice to avoid a 45-minute drive and hopes others feel the same way. (The group tries to keep its shows within Woodbury, so members don’t have to travel far.) Even in the winter months, there’s always something happening in the Facebook group. A lot of information and pictures get shared, along with some suggestions for car show locations or cruises the group could do. If people are interested in joining the group or just learning more, they are encouraged to find the Facebook group and join it. There are no mandatory meetings for the members, so it is worth the join. “We’re just going to promote car culture and local businesses,” Galler says. “We’re all pretty excited about it.” Woodbury Wheels

• Procare Connect parent app allows for notifications of diapering, naps, meals and daily photos of your child to be sent directly to your mobile device.

Waddler/Toddler • Our all-inclusive approach to care includes diapers, baby wipes and wholesome meals and snacks freshly prepared by our on-site chef. • Sign Language, Spanish, Character Education, LANA & Music enrichment classes included in tuition. • Individual attention and caring teachers encourage hands-on exploration and social interaction in a safe and engaging environment. • Our Waddlers & Toddlers progress naturally because they’re constantly encouraged to be creative and curious, to learn and to have fun learning. • Procare Connect parent app allows for notifications of diapering/potty, naps, meals, curriculum and daily photos of your child to be sent directly to your mobile device.

Preschool/Kindergarten Readiness • Our all-inclusice approach to care includes STEAM, yoga, Spanish, LANA nutrition and music enrichment programs; as well as wholesome meals and snacks freshly prepared by our on-site chef. • Character development, community outreach and off site field trips round out our academic curriculum. • Proprietary curriculum designed to nurture the whole child provides a strong academic introduction to literacy, science, math and social sciences while combining social, emotional and physical aspects of developemnt. • Procare Connect parent app allows for notifications of naps, meals, curriculum, enrichment programs and daily photos of your child to be sent directly to your mobile device. • Real time notifications for diapering, naps, meals and other daily activities • Receive daily photos of your child exploring exciting new topics and curriculum • Convenient options to submit tuition payments online • Keep up with school events and news with messages pertaining to your child’s classroom

(651) 998-1661 | www.steppingstoneslearning.org 11253 Eagle View Blvd. Woodbury, MN 55129 19

Lip Blushing

Local beauty studio specializes in permanent makeup. By Grace Masuda


April 2022


Photo: Tara Alcure


WHEN MINNESOTA NATIVE Tara Alcure moved from Scottsdale, Arizona, to Woodbury, she brought her passion for cosmetology with her. In 2019, she opened a cosmetic tattoo studio, Electric Beauty. The studio, now in Woodbury, was immediately a big hit in the community. It offers three services in which Alcure specializes: ombre/powder brows, permanent eyeliner and, most popular, lip blushing. Alcure received her cosmetology license in 2005 in Scottsdale, and in the past few years, she’s discovered her passion for permanent makeup, a love that first started after she received lip blushing. “I heard about lip blushing, thought it was really cool and wanted to give it a try. Three years ago, I met my mentor, her name is Alice, and she owns MSP Microblading, when she actually tattooed my lips,” Alcure says. Alcure, who is covered in tattoos, adds that she has always had a love for the tattoo industry as well. She says, “It was my cosmetology background meshed with my love for tattoos that pretty much got me here.” What is lip blushing? The process is similar to that of traditional tattoos. It’s a semi-permanent pigment added to the lips to make them appear fuller, brighter and more symmetrical. The procedure consists of “depositing thousands of little pixels, kind of like dots, onto the lips so it heals to give it a really soft, natural look,” Alcure says. For those worried about the potential pain of the process, fear not. The lips are completely numbed prior to the tattooing; Alcure says, “It isn’t supposed to be an uncomfortable service by any means.” The lip blushing process is extensive and consists of two appointments. The first, a three-hour session, includes one hour of consultation and mapping out the lips; the second is a touch up session six weeks later. “If a client is coming in, I like to let them know what’s happening every step of the way. Why we’re doing this, what exactly I am doing and what’s going to happen afterward,” Alcure says. “It’s sometimes intimidating when you don’t know what to expect, so I like to be very thorough.” The

ry Dr. Jer

Minnesota’s #1 Hearing Center in town! Hearing of America is committed to continue to do the best for enhancing the quality of life for individuals by providing comprehensive hearing care and therapeutic tinnitus treatment. Visit hearingofamerica.com for more information! lip blushing lasts three to four years before needing another touch-up. Many women typically are drawn toward lip blushing because they want that look of fuller and plumper lips, a feature we naturally lose during the aging process. Alcure says, “Bringing some color back into the lips and eliminating our natural purple undertones creates a more youthful look.” If you have a favorite lipstick or want to brighten your natural lip color, there’s a shade for you. “The shades are unlimited. I can mix and match to create pretty much any custom color,” Alcure says. Yes—clients really bring in their favorite lipsticks for Alcure to match! Reference pictures and social media inspiration are also accounted for in color matching. There’s no one reason why Alcure’s customers come to her. She’s tattooed the lips of those in accidents or who’ve had surgeries that have caused them to lose the shape of their lips. “No matter what their situation is, I am able to bring lips back to women that don't feel very confident with them anymore. I love that part of my job,” she says. This past year, Alcure was contacted by Global Beauty International Cup, based in Manchester, United Kingdom, to participate in the Worldwide Beauty Competition, where she would be up against hundreds of permanent makeup artists from all around the world, including people she idolizes on social media. “I didn’t tell anyone I entered because I honestly thought in a million years, I would never win it,” Alcure says. She won first place for lip blushing and second for permanent eyeliner. After living in Woodbury for four years, Alcure is glad she chose this community to start her business. She says, “We love the community so much, and I really don’t see us ever leaving.” Electric Beauty 9100 Hudson Road Suite 100 electricbeautymn.com Electric Beauty Cosmetic Tattoo @electricbeautymn

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A Natural Fit

FlowFit Yoga and Fitness creates an inclusive environment.

FOR WOODBURY RESIDENT Ashlee Doheny and Oakdale resident Alexandra Johnson, staying fit is more than just a hobby—it’s a lifestyle. Like many others, the COVID-19 pandemic created a flow of opportunities for Doheny and Johnson, who created an online fitness platform complete with live Zoom and on-demand classes. “It was called A-Team Fitness, and it was a simple, online platform,”


Johnson says. Though successful, A-Team fizzled out when the duo created FlowFit Yoga and Fitness. FlowFit, a brick-and-mortar yoga and fitness studio based in Oakdale with a location just two minutes shy of Woodbury, opened in December 2021. Doheny previously served as Woodbury’s Title Boxing manager, where she met Johnson, who was also a yoga instructor at Title and other studios. They started

building their business over the first lockdown in March 2020. “My little brother came up with the name ‘FlowFit,’ and it was the perfect fit,” Johnson says. “We are so passionate about the fitness side of things, but I have a deep love for yoga as well, and I wanted something that told people, ‘You’ll get the benefits of yoga, mentally and physically, but we’ll also kick your butt while working out …’”

April 2022


Photo: FlowFit

By Hailey Almsted

in digital format!

Doheny’s strength background is complementary to Johnson’s yoga and training experience. “That combination is what we want to put together and then teach others how to put it together,” Doheny says. That’s exactly what they're creating at FlowFit, where the mission is to teach people how to use their body in the most effective way possible. The studio includes five types of classes, from beginner to progressive. “One of our major goals is creating an inclusive environment,” Doheny says. “Anyone of any level can come to any class because we teach them what to do. We don’t have levels; instead, we have different types of classes for ... what they might be comfortable in.” It’s a judgement-free zone and a safe space to make friends as an adult. “We have monthly events, like Poses and Mimosas or Sculpt and Sip,” she says. Although it’s a fitness studio, they're hoping to pass on more than just fitness knowledge to their clients. “In all honesty, [Doheny] and I, like many other people, have been through crazy things, and I’ve learned the only things you can control is your attitude and how you show up,” Johnson says. “… Even if it’s just one person that we can get to feel the power of their own destiny, is what I believe, is the biggest driving force behind any of it.” Since its opening, Doheny and Johnson say FlowFit has been a natural fit in the community. “It’s been so wonderful. We’re basically trying to wipe the mascara away from the tears of overwhelming joy,” Johnson says. Doheny agrees, and says, “I’ve had an epiphany that it’s our life, and I cannot believe we get to do this together and go to our own studio, and get to do what we’re talking about forever … It’s really exciting to have the power and know we can make a difference.” FlowFit Yoga and Fitness 8302 Third St. N., Oakdale 651.730.1498 flowfityogaandfitness.com FlowFit


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INNOVATIVE approach to

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A Prescription for Produce written by Madeline Kopiecki photos by Chris Emeott


April 2022


Woodwinds Clinic fights hunger in the community with its Veggie Rx program.



ingredients culturally relevant to the Latino community. “[Our] Community Advancement Program took a look at the data that they could pull from our patient population; they were trying to identify clinics where they had high concentrations or higher numbers of patients who were identifying as Hispanic or Latinx,” says Malay Thao, manager for the Woodwinds Clinic. “They found both the Maplewood Clinic and the Woodwinds Clinic had a high number.” Woodwinds staff and providers used their patient data to pull patients that would be good candidates to join this program. Overall, staff members identified a group of 15 to participate in the first year of the program. “We looked at conditions. We looked at whether they did identify as being Hispanic, and then we called them and we would ask if they wanted to take part in this program,” Thao says, noting that although the program has an emphasis on supporting the Latino community, it is not a requirement for participation. Before they start picking up their weekly supply of fruits and vegetables, Thao says participants fill out a survey, which they also complete again at the end of the season. “It really asks about food insecurity,” Thao says. “[We’re] really trying to assess whether or not the program makes an impact by the end of their participation.” Thao says the goal is not only nutrition but education. Although the clinic is looking to improve its patients’ health, it’s also looking to see if participants were able to make use of the produce, if they were able to learn about new fruits and vegetables and whether they’ve been able to provide more food to their families.

April 2022


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his year, M Health Fairview Clinic– Woodwinds celebrates its second year of the Veggie Rx program, a partnership with Sin Fronteras Farm & Food, which provides farm-fresh produce to patients experiencing food insecurities in the Woodbury area. Healthy eating is an effective preventative measure for chronic health conditions, ranging from diabetes and hypertension to malnutrition; but accessing fresh produce on a weekly basis is easier said than done. M Health Fairview’s Veggie Rx program, which was first launched by a handful of east Metro clinics in 2016, looks to combat food insecurity in communities across the Metro through a program that puts fresh fruits and vegetables directly in patients’ hands. Veggie Rx works with local community-supported agriculture, or CSA farms, to source the produce found in patients’ veggie bags. While seasonal shares to such farms cost within the $300 to $400 range a season, patients in the program receive their weekly share free of charge thanks to funding primarily through the University of Minnesota Foundation. Veggie Rx also helps to support local CSA farms, which in turn provide culturally responsive produce for the communities they’re partnered with. Veggie Rx programs in the Bethesda, Phalen Village, Rice Street and Roselawn clinics serve a larger southeast Asian population, which benefit from the produce provided by the Hmong American Farmers Association. But in 2021, M Health Fairview found a new partner to bring in—Sin Fronteras, a CSA specializing in

“[It] makes our staff feel really good about what they’re doing, how they’re impacting directly our patients ...”

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Malay Thao, M Health Fairview–Woodwinds

April 2022



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April 2022


Your dream. Our team. “We have learned that there are some challenges to patients taking part in the program,” Thao says. “While everyone is happy to learn about the fact that we are offering this, it has been their consistent ability to pick up their vegetables on a weekly basis. It’s been their ability to make use of all the produce.” Such challenges have caused some participants to selfselect out of the program, opening up a space for new patients to join. “I think people are very good at self-selecting to be either in or out of the program and over time too,” Thao says. “This year, we allowed people—if they couldn’t continue to pick up—to selfselect out. It’s very flexible ...” Aside from flexibility, Thao says another goal for 2022 is being able to better identify the patients that would most likely benefit from the program and have the ability to take full advantage of the opportunity. Transportation difficulties—from work conflicts to lack of access—have been one of the largest hurdles the program has faced at Woodwinds Clinic, which sometimes led to bags of unclaimed produce left after pick-up day. “Right now, luckily at our clinic, we have a walk-in care, and if we have bags of vegetables left over, our registrars will ask patients that walk in if they would like to take a bag home,” Thao says. “That way, we have no leftover, no waste by the next morning.” The Veggie Rx program also brings variety to the staff at the clinic, who enjoy sorting the weekly produce and reading the newsletters and recipes included by Sin Fronteras farm. Thao says having staff work to get those vegetables ready every day has become an engagement process at the Woodwinds Clinic. “[It] makes our staff feel really good about what they’re doing, how they’re impacting directly our patients and their ability to access healthy food,” she says.

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IN STYLE Fashionable picks and charitable contributions are top of deck at Leela & Lavender. Story by Hailey Almsted Photos by Chris Emeott

For boutique co-owners Laura Polanski and Jill Shea, it’s their passion of “being a force for good” that drives their business. After more than 35 combined years of retail experience, the duo opened Leela & Lavender in 2017—a feminine boutique with a variety of styles, designed to inspire women and create happiness. A Welcoming Start “We had this goal of opening five stores in five years. We’ve always wanted more than one, and we wanted it to be within driving distance, not flying,” Polanski says. The initial success of Leela & Lavender’s Fargo, North Dakota location led Polanski and Shea to open locations in Bismarck, North Dakota; Detroit Lakes, Maple Grove, Sioux Falls, South Dakota; and most recently Woodbury. “Woodbury made total sense because we have such great success in Maple Grove, and we feel that Woodbury is similar to that area because of the outdoor shopping concept. It really is just perfect,” Polanksi says. The boutique, located in Woodbury Lakes, has bright, white walls with cozy touches throughout the store. Neutral rugs, white otto-

April 2022


mans, relaxed seating, houseplants and more are added to create a sense of home, a touch that director of stores and digital strategy Angie Sunde says is highly important to the business. “We look at stores as a home, and we try to create that home-like environment,” she says. “Customers come in and feel like they have somewhere to come where they’re comfortable and can enjoy their shopping experience.” Leela & Lavender offers personal styling sessions for customers who may want to redo their wardrobe, incorporate different colors or tones or perhaps just want to get new clothes. After filling out an online form and setting a date, the stylist will have clothing picks waiting for the client upon arrival. “We’re taking the shopping part out of it and making it easy,” Sunde says. It also offers shopping parties, where customers can book the boutique for a private shopping experience unlike any other. Sunde says, “You can gather all your girlfriends, co-workers, whoever and schedule a time with our store for private shopping.”

“When we started the boutique, we started the business as being a force for good and thinking about how we can contribute to the

Charitable Contributions Though style is the backbone of the boutique, the true purpose

individual communities …” Laura Polanski, co-owner


of Leela & Lavender is simple. “Our biggest thing is philanthropy. When we started the boutique, we started the business as being a force for good and thinking about how we can contribute to the individual communities,” Polanski says. “We really encourage philanthropy from all our stores, and the employees help choose what charities and organizations they believe in, what’s important to them, and we’ll do things to help give back to the community.” Each community focuses on different organizations, and the entire Leela & Lavender team gives back each October with a shopping party for all customers, where a portion of profits are donated to local charities. Near Christmastime, employees are encouraged to pick a charity to volunteer with, and Leela & Lavender gives the employee paid time to do so. Polanski says, “We feel so fortunate that we can live our dream, and we want others to be able to do the same.” Spring Style Though the overall brand is more feminine in nature, Polanski says there’s a variety of items and styles carried. From bohemian brands (like Free People) to New York sophistication items (including blazers and more tailored pieces), the picks tend to follow the current trends. However, the boutique also strives to offer wearable items that fit a variety of customers. “We really try to keep that in mind—age and size variety—and making sure all styles we carry are relevant to her lifestyle and what’s important,” Polanski says. Polanski says to expect to see two types of trends this spring and summer: feminine style and a western influence. “It’ll be the biggest dress season that I’ve seen in 10 years,” she says. “Coming out of COVID-19, everyone wants to dress up more, and


BEHIND THE NAME When asked about Leela & Lavender’s namesake, Polanski laughs and says it was a challenge to create an inspiring name that both owners agreed on. “When we were coming up with names, it was like coming up with baby names. One person would say something, and the other person wouldn’t like it. It took a while, and we kept going back and forth,” she says. The agreed-upon name, Leela & Lavender, is built from two meaningful words. “[Shea’s] sister was living in Thailand, and she was giving us Sanskrit names. That’s where Leela came from. It’s about a life adventure, and we felt like we were on a new life adventure,” Polanksi says. “We chose Lavender because it’s calming, spalike and that’s how we feel shopping should be. It’s pampering and me-time.”

April 2022


VERY PERI The Pantone Color of the Year 2022, a color chosen by Pantone’s color experts that is thought to be highly influential, is Pantone 17-3938 Very Peri. This beautiful shade of bold lavender is a perfect fit for Leela & Lavender, as its close to one of its namesake colors. Polanski says, “I really love this Pantone color … With this color, I think for a lot of people, it’s wearable. Everyone can wear the color, and it’ll look great.” She notes that Leela & Lavender has multiple Very Peri-toned items stocked for spring. “... Very Peri is really fun for summer because it’s such a lively color,” she says. “It will make people feel alive and vibrant, plus it’s calming … We definitely have that color throughout the store.”

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there are more events. It’s also the biggest wedding season ever. So [look for] a variety of dresses, including short, long, midi, sleeves and strapless.” Feminine details, like puffy sleeves, ruffles, smocking, cut outs and tiebacks will also be trending. Traditionally, opposite of a feminine style is the western trend, which Polanski says includes big, comforting T-shirts, jumpsuits and, of course, cowboy boots. “It’s really going to be the most fun spring and summer collections that I’ve seen … because people are ready for something fresh in their wardrobe,” she says. Leela & Lavender 9100 Hudson Road Suite 110 651.340.0350 leelaandlavender.com leela & lavender @leelaandlavender Leela and Lavender


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Chuck & Don’s is unlike any pet experience in the world. We’re a community of experts from pet foodies to groomers to behaviorists dedicated to holistic pet wellness.

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Expert advice. On-site jeweler. Your destination for all things dazzling. From engagements to just because, we’ve been helping Minnesota feel the love for 50 years. Visit for a free ring cleaning! Helzberg Diamonds Woodbury Lakes 9140 Hudson Road Suite 519 952.656.7395 helzberg.com

We are not your typical music school. Have fun learning guitar, piano, drums, vocals and so much more! Private lessons and group classes available. Rock U Music School 10150 Hudson Road Suite 111 651.414.9734 rockumusicschool.com

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Watch Local 36


th in g s to se e a n d do in and aro und Wo o db ury

Compiled by Emily Deutscher and Hanna McDaniels


Woodbury Community Expo 2022 04/02 Join your community in celebrating 10 years of commerce in the Woodbury Community Expo. The Woodbury Chamber of Commerce is offering a fun, family-friendly environment with a wide range of entertainment and delicious food. There will be more than 175 businesses and organizations attending and multiple generations in one building. All ages. Free. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. East Ridge High School, 4200 Pioneer Drive; woodburychamber.org

Good Morning Woodbury 04/7 Join your fellow Woodbury Area Chamber of Commerce members for a networking opportunity, complete with coffee and breakfast items for you to enjoy before heading out to work. The location for this event will be updated on the Woodbury Chamber of Commerce website. All ages. Free. 8– 9 a.m. 651.578.0722; woodburychamber.org

A SPRING CELEBRATION The City of Woodbury hosts a springtime soiree. the coldest season of the year and are firmly in the midst of spring, which means a celebration is in order. And what better way to celebrate spring than the time-honored tradition of the egg hunt? The City of Woodbury is hosting various egg hunts at the Ojibway Park playground on April 9. The event also has arts and crafts, plus an opportunity to take pictures with the spring bunny. Elizabeth Owens, recreation program specialist, says, “The playground egg hunts are a fantastic opportunity for little ones to enjoy an egg hunt with a smaller group in a fun atmosphere of the playground.” Bring your loved ones, and make the most of the refreshing spring weather. The festivities will take place at 9:30 a.m. on April 9. The event is recommended for children ages 1–6. Tickets are $6. Pre-registration is encouraged as the event traditionally sells out. —Grace Masuda

Photo: Elizabeth Owens


April 2022


Networking Event: Business After Hours 04/12 The Cottage Grove Chamber of Commerce is hosting an event to help with networking and meeting a range of members throughout many businesses in the Cottage Grove and Woodbury areas. It’s an opportunity to gain new customers and business contacts, and introduce your services. Bring your business cards! Free. 4:30–6 p.m. 3rd

Act Craft Brewery, 4120 Radio Drive; 651.458.8334; cottagegrovechamber.org

Parent Support Group 04/19 The Family Achievement Foundation is offering a support group for parents facing challenging circumstances. All parents are welcome to explore mindful-


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ness, resources and share experiences in a group setting to further build strength in their homes. After the 90-minute meet-

More Than a Church—We’re A Place to Call Home

ing, there will be group exercise. Free.

6 p.m. Family Achievement Center, 2101 Wooddale Drive Suite A; 651.738.9888; familyachievementfoundation.org

Afton Frog Walk 04/26

Upcoming Events

Take a stroll and enjoy the fresh spring air at the Belwin Conservancy trails. Make sure to keep a look out for Minnesota’s

Palm Sunday April 10, 9:30 & 10:45 a.m.

Maundy Thursday & Living Last Supper April 14, 5:30 & 7:00 p.m.

Good Friday April 15, 6:15 p.m.

native frogs: chorus frogs, wood frogs and spring peepers. This event will be held regardless of weather conditions, so make sure to dress appropriately.

All ages. $10 per person or $20 per family. 6 p.m. Belwin Conservancy, 1553 Stagecoach Trail S.; 651.436.5189; belwin.org


Blood Brother at Carmines

April 17, 7:30, 9:00 & 10:30 a.m.


Visit our website for worship times, education for ages 3–adult, small groups, and more!

www.kingofkingswoodbury.org kingofkingswoodbury


a live performance of Blood Brother, a Minnesota vocalist and songwriter, who uses his skills and talents to perform a vast range of music. All ages.

Prices vary. 6 p.m. Carmine’s Restaurant and Bar, 9900 Valley Creek Road; 651.730.4500; carmineswoodbury.com

1583 Radio Drive • Woodbury, MN 55125 • 651-738-3110 38

April 2022


Carmines Restaurant and Bar will host


Inver Grove Heights Home Show 04/02


This home show is one day only, so make sure to head to this event to meet builders, designers, interior designers and more. This is a great opportunity to connect with a variety of home improvement companies to spark ideas for your own projects. All ages. Free. 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

Veterans Memorial Community Center, 8055 Barbara Ave., Inver Grove Heights; 952.232.765; minnesotahomeshows.com

Make Your Own Wooden Canoe Paddle 04/14 and 04/16 In the land of 10,000 lakes, nothing is more helpful than an oar. Make your own laminated wood paddle guided by an instructor. In this session, you get to




choose a design of your choice while learning the basics of woodworking. No prior woodworking experience is needed.

Ages 18 and up. $149. 6:30 p.m. Urban Boatbuilders, 2288 University Ave. W., St. Paul; 651.644.9225; urbanboatbuilders.org

Star Wars in Concert


04/21–04/24 Celebrate the beloved music of Star Wars and experience the movie come to life with a live screening of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi with an accompanying live performance of John Williams’ Oscar-nominated original soundtrack at the Minnesota Orchestra.

All ages. Tickets start at $22. 7:30– 9 p.m. Minnesota Orchestra, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Mpls.; minnesotaorchestra.org

To have your event considered: email woodburymag@tigeroak.com 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.


Dr. Michael Lindahl, D.D.S. New Patients Welcome! 2101 Woodwinds Drive, Suite 500 • Woodbury • 651.702.4200 • Lindahldental.com 39

G A L L E R Y — Photos by Tom Dunn

Community Awards Gala 2022 The annual Community Awards Gala was held by the Woodbury Area Chamber of Commerce on January 21. The night included a social hour, live music, a wine pull, a silent auction, dinner and more. To have your event considered: send date, time, location, photos, contact information and a brief description of the event to woodburymag@tigeroak.com.


April 2022



ERIC RISLOVE CARES ABOUT WOODBURY Eric Rislove, of the financialservices firm Edward Jones, believes that to truly become a part of a community, one must invest in that community. By investing, he gives of his time, energy and resources to make Woodbury a better place to live. "I grew up in this town and have made it the home to my business," Rislove, a graduate of Woodbury High School said. "When you have a personal history in a town, you suddenly feel you have a stake in it. I have become and remain an active member of this community for that reason." Rislove's enthusiasm is an extension of the firm's commitment to community service. In, 2012, I began my Edward Jones career as a financial advisor in Woodbury; it was important to me to help families in my community find confidence in their financial future, says Eric.

He adds that Edward Jones not only encourages its financial advisors to become involved in their local communities, it also invites them to participate in national service projects and backs that participation with funds to help those in need. "We work with professionals who want to get organized financially and find security in their financial goals by helping understand and achieve what's most important," he adds. In addition to helping clients reach their goals, Eric is active in the community, serving on the board of the Woodbury Community Foundation and has served as chair of the Woodbury Area Chamber of Commerce. Eric is married to his wife, Ann, and they have three children, Luke, Ethan and Alaina, and Golden Retriever, Lola. Eric enjoys playing golf and basketball, going to yoga classes and traveling with family.

For more information on how to participate in WCF's Woodbury Cares Program, email development@woodburyfoundation.org.

To truly become a part of a community, one must invest in that community.





New Options for ’Za Pizzeria Pezzo and Tono + Cheesesteaks make their debut. BY DAN AMUNDSON


W HETHER I T ’S C HI C AG O-ST YL E D EEP D I S H , New York thin crust or

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wood-fired artisan, there’s no shortage of different styles of pizza in the world. Woodbury already has a plethora of options to choose from when it comes to finding a nice slice of pizza, and there are a couple of new options in town.


April 2022



Pizzeria Pezzo, located inside Kowalski’s Market, opened in 2019, right before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. “It was tough to make our presence known during a pandemic,” owner Keri Bougie says. “But we have a good following now.” The pizzeria started in White Bear Lake by Bougie’s late husband in 2013. In 2017, she took over as full owner. The two locations are very similar, though when it opened in Woodbury, everything was updated with a brighter and modern feel, which is different from the original White Bear Lake location. “The two locations feel a little different from each other,” Bougie says. “But the food is the same, and the staff is still great.” It offers both coal-fired and deepdish style pizzas, which can be paired with a variety of unique toppings— sometimes including fruit! It does a Pizza of the Month and tries to stay seasonal with it. (At the time of writing, apples were used as a topping.) Its pizzas are made from scratch with fresh and local ingredients. There’s both a red sauce and a white sauce for the coal-fired options, and the different cooking style and the fresh ingredients create a wonderful and tasty blend. “Our pizzas get a nice char from the coal fire,” Bougie says. “This leads to a crispy crunch while still having a chewy inside.” Bougie has started to expand Pezzo into the retail market as well. Customers can find its homemade salad dressings— including sweet mustard basil, Italian, honey and red wine varieties—at select Kowalski’s and at each Pezzo location. They also sell a frozen version of the deep-dish pizzas, so people can enjoy Pizzeria Pezzo at home. Although this is currently only available at Pizzeria Pezzo locations, Bougie hopes to expand into more stores soon. “The frozen pizzas are a great option for people to take up to the lake or for just a lazy night at home,” she says. “In 35–40 minutes, you have dinner.” While 2020 was a difficult year for all restaurants, it was especially hard for the new Pizzeria Pezzo location. Bougie says it’s still trying to make its presence known in the Woodbury restaurant scene but knows it will grow with time. “We have patrons who know the staff and are excited to see us,” Bougie says.


“ W E H AV E PAT R O NS W H O K N OW T H E STAF F A N D A R E E XC I T E D TO S E E U S ... A N D W E GE T E XC I T E D TO S E E T H E M.” —Keri Bougie, Pizzeria Pezzo owner

April 2022


“And we get excited to see them.” Another new joint in town is Tono Pizzeria + Cheesesteaks, owned and operated by Antonio Gambino and Shaz Khan, who both run Frank and Andrea in Minneapolis near the University of Minnesota. Gambino and Khan partnered up in 2014 when Gambino, a Philadelphia native, decided he wanted to make and sell cheesesteaks in addition to Frank and Andrea pizza. “[Gambino] told me about the cheesesteaks,” Khan says. “And I was like ‘What the heck is a cheesesteak?’” Khan quickly learned as they refined the cheesesteak recipe and opened Frank and Andrea. After a few years of success in Minneapolis, they decided to expand into the suburbs, thus Tono was created. Khan and Gambino use the same delicious pizza recipe from Frank and Andrea at Tono with one exception: Tono pizzas are cooked in a brick oven. “We needed to have an association of the sisterhood brand,” Khan says. “But we needed to make it different enough to know it was different from Frank and Andrea.” Tono’s ’za is New York style, so it offers big slices with a thinner crust. While it is common for people to think of New York pizzas having a softer crust, this isn’t the case with Tono’s pizzas. It strives for a firm crust, but not too firm, to present as hard and crunchy. It also offers both red and white sauces, plus a variety of toppings. Cheesesteaks also top the menu at Tono. All of the cheesesteaks are made with your choice of steak, chicken or a plant-based option, and have a variety of different toppings. (One option even comes with two over-easy eggs on top!), and is served over a bed of fries. Gambino and Khan take a lot of pride in the quality of their food, and Gambino particularly takes pride in the cheesesteaks. “We fly our rolls in from Philadelphia,” Khan says. “Cheesesteak fanatics know that makes a difference.” Tono opened in Woodbury early in the year and is its fourth location to date. It opened its first venue in Maplewood in 2019 and have opened one new pizzeria every year since. (Other locations include St. Paul and Coon Rapids.)


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Pizzeria Pezzo, 8505 Valley Creek Road #200; pizzeriapezzo.com

Pizzeria Pezzo (Woodbury)

Tono Pizzeria + Cheesesteaks (Woodbury, MN)


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Tono Pizzeria + Cheesesteaks, 437 Commerce Drive Suite 100; tonomn.com



April 2022


Writer Picks It’s hard to pick just a few items from both the Pizzeria Pezzo and Tono menus to talk about, as so much of it looks delicious. Looking at Pizzeria Pezzo’s menu, the first thing that caught my eye was the Wrigley, a deep-dish pizza with housemade Italian sausage, pepperoni and mozzarella. You can’t go wrong with deep dish pizza— in my opinion. Italian sausage is always a good addition to pizza and knowing it’s made right there in the kitchen makes all the difference. As far as its coal-fired options, the Pera stands out. The featured ingredient is quite unique: pear. While I’m not always a big fan of other fruits on pizzas (I’ll skip pineapple pizza.), the pear is particularly intriguing. I’m a fan of pears on their own, so pair it with gorgonzola, prosciutto and a few other toppings, and there might just be a winner here. Switching over to Tono Pizzeria + Cheesesteak’s pizza selections, the Pepperoni Bianco is my first choice. It’s made with a white sauce and topped with pepperoni, ricotta cheese, Tono hot honey and Tono red chili oil. Since customers can add extra ingredients with all of its pizzas, I’d add mushrooms (I absolutely love the flavor combination!). Mix them with its white sauce and a little bit of kick from the hot honey and chili oil, and you’ve got a great pizza. Looking at the cheesesteak side of things, there’s so many more options than I expected. I lean toward the Speziato. With your choice of meat and cheese, it comes with grilled onion, a habanero jam, prosciutto, peppadew and is served over a bed of fries, of course.

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Serving the Woodbury community for over 40 Years. Securities offered through Equitable Advisors, LLC (NY, NY 212-314-4600), member FINRA, SIPC (Equitable Financial Advisors in MI & TN). Investment advisory products and services offered through Equitable Advisors, LLC, an SEC-registered investment advisor. Annuity and insurance products offered through Equitable Network, LLC. Woodbury Wealth Management is not a investment advisor and is not owned or operated by Equitable Advisors or Equitable Network. Retirement Planning Specialist title awarded by Equitable Advisors, based upon receipt of a Certificate in Retirement Planning from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. CFP® and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professional are certification marks owned by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. These marks are awarded to individuals who successfully complete the CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.



By Hanna McDaniels

H O N O R A B L E M E N T I O N : P E O P L E & FA M I L I E S

Contemporary Threads Self-portrait captures photographer’s traditional embroidery.


Pearson captured herself on a July foggy morning. She laid out clothesline with her husband to catch the woven beauty of her embroidery. Pearson avidly showcases indigenous embroidery she self-taught herself three years ago. Pearson says the patterns are crafted and inspired by the women of her tribe’s— the Winnebago Tribe—appliqué patterns. Her work expresses symbols of family and tradition.



Loriene Pearson

Title: Ojibway Park — Self Portrait Equipment:

Nikon D7200

To view other Focus on Woodbury photo contest winners, visit woodburymag.com.

April 2022


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