Meet the Best of Plymouth 2018

Check out the abundance of great people and businesses in our hometown.

Food and Restaurants

Best Patio Dining
The Sunshine Factory Bar & Grill
Runners up: Rock Elm Tavern, Jake’s City Grille

Best Restaurant
The Sunshine Factory Bar & Grill
Runners up: Rock Elm Tavern, Jake’s City Grille

Best Tavern/Bar/Brewery
The Sunshine Factory Bar & Grill
Runners up: Rock Elm Tavern, Lucky’s 13 Pub

Best Breakfast
The Original Pancake House
Runners up: Fat Nat’s Eggs – New Hope, Peg’s Countryside Café

Editor's Pick: Taste of Summer
Try these seasonal food and drink pairings at Sunshine Factory.

Summer is in full swing and April Hanson, partner at Sunshine Factory Bar and Grill, has some good suggestions for food and drink pairings. “People try to eat a little healthier in the summer—nobody wants anything real heavy,” she says. Her first suggestion is the Tex-Mex salad bowl. It’s a blend of black beans, corn, avocado, cheese, pico de gallo, rice, tortilla strips and Sriracha ranch dressing, topped with Cajun shrimp or southwest grilled chicken. Assistant general manager Brian Hanson recommends pairing the Tex-Mex salad with Blue Moon on tap. A lighter beer with a citrus fusion, Blue Moon is a great match for the salad’s Mexican flavors.

Another selection, for those looking for a light option this season, are the shrimp skewers from the “healthy options” section of the menu. With roasted vegetables, pineapple salsa and rice, the flavorful skewers pair well with a Sauvignon Blanc. “The Kim Crawford has some aromatic lime and herbal notes, along with citrus, which goes very well with seafood,” Brian says.

Sometimes hot weather just calls for a refreshing salad, and the chicken raspberry salad fits the bill. Featuring grilled chicken breast on mixed greens, along with fresh fruit, black olives, green onions and tomatoes, this salad is topped with a raspberry vinaigrette dressing. Try it with St. Gabriel Riesling, which has a sweeter tone to complement the fruit in the salad.

Health and Wellness

Best Medspa
Simonson’s Salon & Spa
Runners up: LifeSpa at Life Time Fitness, Gr8 Skin

Spa day
Indulgence reaches new heights at Simonson’s.

Imagine an entire day at the spa, pampering yourself with all your favorite treatments. What would your ideal spa day include? Melissa Matthews, marketing and media coordinator for Simonson’s, gave us an idea for a perfect spa schedule—the salon’s “Cleopatra” package, which includes three relaxing treatments and a gift.

The Cleopatra spa journey begins with Simonson’s new-this-year Luxe Body Revive, which Matthews calls a “facial for your body.” The treatment uses black mulberry extract and essential oil to exfoliate, detoxify and hydrate the skin. Matthews notes all products are organically sourced, gluten-free, vegan, and free of pesticides, parabens, GMOs, dyes, formaldehyde and mineral oil.

Next up are the Luxe manicure and pedicure. The manicure starts with a sugar scrub exfoliation followed by a mud mask and then a massage. Personalize the manicure by choosing green tea or vitamin recharge—the green tea detox reduces dryness and prevents premature aging, and the vitamin recharge uses vitamin C to revitalize your hands and fight free radical damage. Of course, choosing your color is a key step.

The pedicure kicks off with a salt soak, followed by a sugar scrub, mud mask and then massage. Simonson’s offers a cucumber pedicure to soothe and soften skin, or a lavender option with aromatherapy. Again, pick your favorite polish color to complete.

If you want to try an even more in-depth spa day, Matthews recommends the “Diva for a Day” package, which extends over five to six hours and includes full hair, face, body and nail treatment. There’s also a spa package designed for men called the “6-Pack Play Spa” with a haircut, facial, manicure and pedicure, 55-minute massage and spa gift.

Best Salon/Spa
Simonson’s Salon and Spa
Runners up: New Reflections, The Hair District

Best Fitness Studio
Orangetheory Fitness
Runners: Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping, Yogamn

Best Dental Practice
Smile Design Dentistry
Runners up: Boger Dental, Park Dental

Best Orthodontic Practice
Minnesota Orthodontics
Runners up: Kottemann Orthodontics, Harrington Orthodontics

Best Chiropractic Practice
Lake West Chiropractic and Natural Health
Runners up: The Joint, Northern Edge Chiropractic

Best Pediatric Practice
Partners in Pediatrics - Plymouth Clinic
Runners up: Park Nicollet Clinic – Plymouth, Wayzata Children’s Clinic

Best Eye Practice
Northwest Eye Clinic – Wayzata
Runners up: Plymouth Vision Center, Kennedy Vision Health Center

Best Dermatology Practice
Minnesota Dermatology
Runners up: Park Nicollet Clinic, Zel Skin & Laser Specialists

Home and Garden

Best Interior Designer
Runners up: Lori Bergeron (Bergeron Homes), Jayne Morrison Interiors

Best Nursery/Garden Center
Dundee Nursery & Landscaping
Runners up: Bachman’s Floral and Garden Center, Gregor Farm & Greenhouse

Best Landscape Designer
Dundee Nursery & Landscaping
Runners up: Bachman’s Floral and Garden Center, David’s Lawn Service

Editor's Pick: Green Grass
Keep your lawn healthy all year with tips from Dundee Nursery.

John Henning, buyer for Dundee, shares some specific actions for homeowners who want to keep their grass looking its best. First, and most important, is watering. “The best thing to do for your lawn is a good, heavy watering once a week,” Henning says. This heavy watering—a little over an inch at a time, ideally—is better than frequent, shallow watering. Fertilizing is the next thing to consider: Aim for three fertilizations per year, once in the spring and twice in the fall.

Compaction can cause problems for grass, so if you drive your car onto the lawn or have a heavy lawnmower, be sure to aerate in the fall. “It’s all about the roots,” Henning says. “If they’re not breathing and drinking water up, the rest of the lawn doesn’t keep growing well.” Finally, take care of weeds with a spot spray rather than a broadcast spray over the whole lawn, because broad-leaf weed killers typically only kill what they touch.

If a problem crops up, like a fungus starting to grow, you must determine whether it’s a temporary issue or something more detrimental. An online search can help, but you can also bring a sample into Dundee for help diagnosing the situation, Henning says.

Best Builder
Hanson Builders
Runners up: Pillar Homes Partner, Gonyea Homes & Remodeling

Best Remodeler
Gonyea Homes & Remodeling
Runners up: J Brothers Home Improvement, Bergeron Homes & Development

Best Home Furnishing Store
HOM Furniture
Runners up: Schneiderman’s Furniture, Becker Furniture

Best Senior Living Residence
Trillium Woods
Runners up: The Waters of Plymouth, Cornerstone Commons

Kids and Families and Pets

Editor's Pick: Fight Summer Brain Drain
Keep kids sharp while school’s out with these ideas from Huntington Learning Center.

Reading is the simplest and best way to keep kids’ brains engaged in learning throughout the summer. “It’s important that the material be enjoyable and at the appropriate skill level for each child,” operations manager Lane Rossiter says. Kids can read on their own, but if they need more structure, Huntington has a reading program kids can join. They sign up and set a goal for a number of books to read over the summer, based on grade level and reading level, and go to the learning center to fill out journals about the books they read.

Let kids choose the books they read, as long as they’re at an appropriate skill level. “Get kids excited about reading and get them to focus on books they enjoy reading,” Rossiter says. The best way to engage students is to keep the learning fun, so in the Huntington program, kids enter their names in drawings for motivation along the way and celebrate with a party at the end of summer.

Summertime math can be fun, too. Introduce games as a family activity rather than focusing on their math-boosting qualities. For kids 6 and older, try 4-Way Countdown. This dice game challenges your addition, subtraction, multiplication and division skills, and can be tailored to a kid’s skill level. Skip-Bo and flash cards are also good options for sharpening math skills, and Legos are great for developing organization of thought and planning.

The big takeaway from Rossiter’s tips is to make learning activities light and enjoyable. “The more you can disguise learning as fun, the more successful it’ll be,” she says.

Best Doggy Daycare/Kennel
Camp Bow Wow
Runners up: Adogo Pet Hotel – Ridgedale, PupTown LLC

Best Veterinary Practice
Rockford Road Animal Hospital
Runners up: Northwest Animal Hospital, Plymouth Heights Pet Hospital

Best Law Firm
WieseLaw Contract Studio
Runners up: Parker Daniels Kibort LLC, Howse & Thompson, P.A.

Best Learning/Tutoring Center
Huntington Learning Center
Runners up: Mathnasium, College Nannies + Tutors – Wayzata

Best Preschool/Childcare
The Goddard School
Runners up: Wayzata Early Learning School/Peppermint Fence, Bloom Early Learning & Child Care

Best Place for Kids' Activities
Mini-Hops Gymnastics
Runners up: InnerActive – Minnetonka, Just for Kix – Medina

Shops and Retail

Best Florist
Bachman’s Floral and Garden Center
Runners up: Dundee Nursery and Landscaping, Candlelight Floral

Best Gift Shop
Patina - Golden Valley
Runners up: Bachman’s Floral and Garden Center, Art 2 Heart

Best Apparel Boutique
The Foursome
Runners up: Urban Eve, Mainstream Boutique - Maple Grove

Best Specialty Food Store
Lunds & Byerlys
Runners up: Honey & Mackie’s, Von Hanson’s Meats

Editor's Pick: Find Your Style
The Foursome has tips to help men look their best.

For sales consultants at the Foursome, the key to guiding customers toward their ideal look is getting to know them. “We don’t merely sell clothes, we build and maintain relationships,” owner Nicole Chose says. Using a record of purchases, consultants pull together outfit ideas before customers visit, with a focus on current trends and new brands.

The key to a modern wardrobe, Chose says, is properly fitting clothing. To help clients achieve this, the Foursome carries both classic and trim fits, as well as a big-and-tall department. An onsite tailor makes custom options easy, too.

It can be tricky to figure out how to incorporate trends into your wardrobe. How much is too much? Which trends fit best with your look? Chose offers this tip: Invest in quality items to build a year-round wardrobe, then supplement with a few new pieces each season. You don’t have to do it alone, though. “At the Foursome, we do the hard work for guys by hand-picking a clothing collection that is distinctive,” Chose says.

*Are you one of this year's winners? Find information on how to order a plaque and other materials HERE.