Back in summer 2004, an upstart publishing company identified the Minneapolis suburb of Plymouth as the next community to get its very own magazine. Times were good, housing and real estate were booming, and with the additions of the Millennium Garden and other facilities, the city was primed for a piece of journalistic media that focused on celebrating everything we have to offer. So six months later, the editors released a paper ballot within the pages of the magazine, asking readers to weigh in on 25 of their “favorites.” This year the 10th annual Best of Plymouth survey was conducted online, and we increased the number of people, shops, businesses and services who deserve the nod to 50—and finally, here, in a special 13th issue, your top picks are revealed. Read on and enjoy, in honor of the 10-year anniversary of the magazine and the feature, a Top 10-themed approach to the best of 2014.
Food & Restaurants
Nosh-worthy, satisfying, savory, sweet, diverse, comforting, familiar, friendly, decadent, divine: 10 words that come to mind when describing Plymouth’s finest fare at the top of its dining scene.
The Eat Shop
The Eat Shop chefs use fresh beef to make their 7-oz. burgers, served on buttered, toasted buns. Partner Reid Sellgren is especially proud of the burger of the month, which is auctioned for charity. The winning bidder gets to name the burger and chooses the ingredients. “We’ve raised more than $5,000 for local charities,” Sellgren says, noting two recent delicious options have been The BS Burger (Brussels sprouts, balsamic mayo, bacon and onion) and Fajita Margarito (jalepeño sour cream, tomato, sautéed red peppers, guacamole and onions). 16605 County Road 24; 763.270.5929.
Runners up: Cowboy Jack’s, Five Guys
Best Kid-friendly Restaurant
Perkins takes pride in being a family restaurant. (It says so right on the sign.) “We have a friendly staff who take the time to talk to kids and make them feel special,” general manager Gary Pesarchick says. You’ll have no trouble finding kid-friendly fare here, either—from mac ’n’ cheese to chicken strips, you’ll have a happy camper. Stop in Tuesday or Saturday evenings when a kid eats free with each paying adult. 2945 Empire Lane; 763.559.0270.
Runners up: Applebee’s, Noodles
Best Breakfast or Brunch
Original Pancake House
The fantastic food at Original Pancake House is made from scratch every morning, and to the employees of this three-year Plymouth staple (which originally opened in 1995 in Wayzata), friendly service means treating everyone like a regular. “We get to know our customers to create a personal experience. Learning names is a big deal for us,” partner and owner Mark Hunter says. 1415 County Road 101; 952.475.9151.
Runners up: Jake’s City Grille, Peg’s Countryside Café
Best Private-party Venue
Crowne Plaza Minneapolis West
With 40 different spaces, including a rooftop patio and a ballroom that can seat as many as 300 guests, Crowne Plaza has plenty of options for your next private party. General manager Michael Serr says his staff will ensure every detail is attended to, from the china to the linens and candles. 3131 Campus Drive; 763.559.6600.
Runners up: Jake’s City Grille, Plymouth Creek Center
Best Happy Hour
Cowboy Jack’s happy hour runs twice daily from 3 to 6 p.m. and from 10 to midnight. Rail drinks and beers are just $2, house wine is $4, and many appetizers and flatbread are half-price. “Our Wednesday night special is what we are known for,” manager Anastasia Wolf says. “Our guests can enjoy our half-pound, all-natural Angus beef burgers for $2 from 5 to 10 p.m.” 4120 Berkshire Lane N.; 763.559.0257.
Runners up: Lucky’s 13 Pub, Jake’s City Grille
Best Ethnic Food
Ketsana’s Thai Restaurant
Ketsana Suvanphim has built a loyal following around Plymouth by staying true to her Thai heritage. “We make everything fresh to order, and we make it really authentic,” she says. “I use pure coconut milk, fresh herbs, spices and onions in my curry, and I never use pre-mixed sauce.” Sounds like a winning recipe to us. 16605 County Road 24; 763.559.0695.
Runners up: El Azteca, Bukhara Indian Bistro
Lunds and Byerly’s Bakery
Lunds bakery manager Jennifer Honkala says her team loves to do custom work, and there are plenty of freshly prepared, ready-to-go options, too. “Our goal is to wow each and every customer that visits our bakery through our level of quality, service and expertise,” she says. 3455 Vicksburg Lane; 763.268.1624.
Runners up: Cub Foods Bakery, Panera
Best New Restaurant
The Eat Shop
Open just less than two years, The Eat Shop prides itself on hiring talented cooks and purchasing fresh food. “We wish we didn’t have to say it, but we aren’t a chain,” partner Reid Sellgren says. “By cooking with the season’s ingredients, we bring fresh and exciting dishes to your palate from one visit to the next.” Sellgren says he and his partners recognized the northwest suburbs were lacking kitchens that have “real chefs who cook real food,” and Plymouth is full of diners who want better-than-chain restaurants, which ultimately led to their decision to open in our hometown. 16605 County Road 24; 763.270.5929.
Runners up: Lucky’s 13 Pub, The Sunshine Factory Bar and Grill
Best Wine Selection
Plymouth residents visit Haskell’s for the broad selection of wine and liquor, but also because of the friendly, knowledgeable staff. Jim Slattery says his team knows how to ask questions to help pair customers with the perfect wine. Sharing that great bottle with friends is the best kind of advertising, he says. 4130 Berkshire Lane N. Ste. G; 763.553.9198.
Runners up: The Eat Shop, Lunds Liquor
Angie Meide at Cowboy Jack’s
Angie Meide says she loves her job, because she gets to joke around with customers all day. They are there to relax and unwind, and that’s fine by her. “Cowboy Jack’s is just like a big family,” Meide says. “Everybody gets along with everybody. Plus, $2 drinks never hurts anything, either.” 4120 Berkshire Lane N.; 763.559.0257.
Runners up: The Eat Shop, Lucky’s 13 Pub
Best Pasta Dish
Lasagna at Latuff’s Pizzeria
Latuff’s Pizzeria has been serving Plymouth great Italian fare for more than 43 years. The lasagna ($10.65) is a prime example of what makes this restaurant special. “We make it fresh every day,” says Dan Mascaro, general manager. “We make our own sauce, and we use our own house-made sausage and five different cheeses, plus a lot of tender love and care.” 10820 Hwy. 55; 763.545.2914.
Runners up: Pasta buffet at Creekside Café, Shrimp rigatoni at The Eat Shop
Best Wine Advice
Vinifera Wines and Ales
Co-owner and general manager of Vinifera Wines and Ales, Christian Nesheim offers an authentic and approachable commentary on all things wine—but also beer and spirits. In the more than 10 years he’s been working in the industry—including certification as a sommelier with the International Sommelier Guild—he has the ability to share any notes on origin and flavor profile, but also lends eager insight into value and use, too. 1400 County Road 101 N.; 763.473.0008.
Best Outdoor Dining
Jake’s City Grille
Jake’s City Grille features a beautiful patio space with plenty of room for customers to enjoy the sunshine. The full outdoor bar means no long waits for refills, and the stone fireplaces and fountain create a welcoming ambience. “I like that we have three beautiful, mature trees out there for shade in the summer,” assistant general manager Nick Smith says. 3005 Harbor Lane N.; 763.559.1595.
Runners up: The Eat Shop, Grizzly’s
Best Hometown Dining Experience
Peg’s Countryside Café
Between the hours of 6 a.m. and 3 p.m. (7:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Sundays), Plymouthites can stop in for a delicious bite at the 55-seat café off Highway 55. Originally the Knotty Pine and Frenchie’s, owner Peggy Rasmussen has expanded her 39-year-old café into a booming catering business that’s perfect for any and all of your baked-goods or comfort-food needs. 842 Hwy. 55, Hamel; 763.478.6869.
Home & Garden
If you’re looking to consider updates around the home in 2014, consider any of these 10—bamboo, cork-floor, in-island range-tops, bathroom tile, backyard kitchens, water features, man-cave makeover, interior (or exterior) paint, art overhaul, unique trinkets for décor. What follows are the best people around to help scratch that house-and-home redux itch this year.
Owner Josh Shonkwiler offers the services of an in-house designer to help his clients create the perfect project. So confident in all aspects of the service, he offers an incredible deal to new clients: “Each owns his or her own design,” Shonkwiler says. “That way they can shop around the design to other contractors if they wish.” In the end customers choose the remodeler who will do the best job—in the two years he’s offered the deal, he says, some have opted not to build, but none have taken their business elsewhere. 3109 W. 50th St. #352; 612.823.5592.
Runners up: Bergeron Homes, Pillar Homes
Best Home Retail/Furnishings
Bruce Christopherson, showroom manager at HOM Furniture in Plymouth, wants to make buying new furniture a pleasant experience. (Think: Enjoy a freshly baked cookie while you browse the showroom.) Since HOM offers next-day delivery on in-stock furniture, you could be relaxing on your new couch as soon as tomorrow. 4150 Berkshire Lane N.; 763.744.2888.
Runners up: Mingle, Schneiderman’s
Best Interior Designer
Jayne Morrison Interior Design
Jayne Morrison began designing interiors in Plymouth more than 20 years ago and is now working with the children of her first clients. She says she still looks forward to work every day. “I learn people’s style right away, so I can help them make good choices that they can be happy with for years and years,” she says. 2850 Alvarado Lane N.; 763.476.9563.
Runners up: Gayle Crummer, Mingle
Whether your project is large or small, you can count on a custom design from and the personal attention of owner Cathy Waldhauser. “I provide my clients with hardy field-direct plants grown outdoors in the upper Midwest, and valuable follow-up on plant care,” she says, to ensure your landscaping will look great year after year. 3220 Orchard Ave. N.; 763.222.4236.
Runners up: Dundee, MH3 Design Group
Best Garden Shop
Dundee Nursery Garden Center
The pros at Dundee Nursery help customers choose and create beautiful gardens, flower beds and containers. The knowledgeable team can answer plant-care questions or help with landscape design. General manager Gill Landis says they also produce most of the plants for sale inside the garden shop. 16800 Hwy. 55; 763.559.0385.
Runners up: Bachman’s, CHW Landscape
Health & Wellness
While we touch on just 10 areas of health in this year’s Best of Plymouth—chiropractic, massage, acupuncture, dental, oral surgery, pediatrics, yoga, cardiovascular, golf and dermatology—the city is overflowing with wellness options.
Best Golf Course
Hollydale Golf Course
Hollydale Golf Course began in 1965, and it’s still a family-run business today. In fact all of the members of the Deziel family still work at the course. That family feeling also goes for customers. “We treat them like family, too,” marketing rep Jora Bart says, “because without them, we wouldn’t have this amazing business that we all love so much.” 4710 Holly Lane N.; 763.559.9847.
Runners up: Begin Oaks, Medina Country Club
Dr. Jeffrey Wock, Lake West Chiropractic & Natural Health
Top-notch care and personal attention are the reasons so many Plymouth residents trust Dr. Jeffrey Wock and his team. “We take the extra time to get to know you and understand your needs so we can best serve you as an individual,” says LeeAnn Heidt, Lake West’s director of operations. Wock opened Lake West in 2006, but he has more than 13 years of experience in the field. 4100 Berkshire Lane N. #124; 763.550.1205.
Runners up: Dr. Barbro Brost, Brost Clinic; Dr. Paul Moon, Y-Chiropractic
Best Fitness Studio
Life Time Fitness
Life Time Fitness offers a variety of workouts, from swimming to rock climbing. Enjoy the latest and greatest equipment for lifting, running or cycling, or try a fitness class. “We are here for you,” general manager Ashley Hall says. “We find out what you want to accomplish and help you reach your goals.” 3600 Plymouth Blvd.; 763.509.0909.
Runners up: Discover Strength; Orangetheory Fitness
Best Dental Clinic
Boger Dental offers a range of services, from cleanings and fillings to cosmetic dentistry and orthodontics. Ever since he joined his father’s practice upon graduation in 2002, Dr. Chad Boger likes to sit down with patients in a quiet room to discuss their dental needs, initially without distraction from the whir of a drill. 2720 Annapolis Circle N.; 763.546.7707.
Runners up: Dr. Krista Geisler, LifeSmiles; Dr. Daniel Raether, Camp Smile
Best Orthodontic Clinic
Dr. Mark Harrington opened Harrington Orthodontics shortly after graduating in 1987 and still strives to make every visit special. “We strive to treat each patient as though they are our only patient,” he says. The doctor himself bakes homemade cookies for patients weekly—provided they follow up with a good teeth-brushing, too. 15600 36th Ave. N. #170; 763.473.7656.
Runners up: D Orthodontics, Kottemann Orthodontics
Best Pediatric Clinic
Partners in Pediatrics
The 62-year-old Partners in Pediatrics’ new Ready Care walk-in service makes care easy to access, even without an appointment—perhaps this is why the clinic is our readers’ top vote-getter this year. “Our providers and staff focus on your child’s needs in a place designed just for kids of all sizes, from newborns to college students,” Dr. Megan Jennings says. 2855 Campus Drive #350; 763.520.1200.
Runners up: Park Nicollet; Southlake Pediatrics
Best Yoga Class
Pigs Fly Yoga at Yoga Studio
Pigs Fly Yoga is yoga for people who don’t think they can do yoga. Owner Mary Anderson believes her class is totally unique in the Twin Cities. “Whoop-dee-doo if I go do yoga—it’s my profession,” she says. “What about someone who is uninterested or scared or can’t touch their toes?” Forty-five minutes of gentle stretching will help you get there. 3900 Vinewood Lane N. Ste. 11; 763.557.8626.
Runners up: CorePower Sculpt at CorePower Yoga, Hot Yoga at Life Time Fitness
Best Medspa/Rejuvenation Clinic
New Reflections Salon
Owned by Diane Keller, New Reflections is an Aveda salon, offering services from eyelash extensions to spray tans and plant peels in a bright, elegant space. “Spa services are not just a luxury, but an important part of creating balance and wellness in your life,” general manager Linda Voigt says. 3530 Vicksburg Lane Ste. 400; 763.559.3185.
Runners up: Gr8Skin MedSpa, Simonson’s Salon and Spa
Discover the following in the aisles and on the shelves of Plymouth’s top purveyors of homemade ice cream, fashionable wigs, fresh flowers, bath products, custom jewels, unique gifts, trendy eyewear, team apparel, three-piece suits and shoes galore. One thing they all have in common? The best customer service around.
Best Place to Buy a Wig
Christopher J Salon
It stands to reason that a company with such incredible talent styling, cutting, coloring and otherwise primping hair (not to mention nails, makeup and waxing) would be experts at any coifs that frame your face—even if those come in wig form. Yet in all of Plymouth, the only salon owner who offers custom wig sales with fittings and styling advice is Jay Dupay. Prices vary. 2700 Annapolis Circle N.; 763.404.8606.
Best Gift Shop/ Place to Buy Unique Gifts
Bachman’s makes an effort to inspire every customer that walks into the store with tableware, candles, fresh flowers and bath products you can’t find anywhere else. Displays provide ideas to freshen up your décor or to inspire truly thoughtful gifts. “We exist to make sure our customers are enjoying life to the fullest,” manager Sarah Pitts says. 10050 Sixth Ave. N.; 763.541.1188.
Runners up: Dundee, Patina
Best New Shop
Honey & Mackie’s
Crunchy and salty meets creamy and sweet at Honey & Mackie’s, as the ice cream and French fries sold there are handmade with care every day. “We satisfy both your sweet and salty tooth in one visit,” owner Amy Albert says of her one-year-old shop. Delicious new ice cream flavors are added regularly. 16725 County Road 24; 763.225.6682.
Runners up: Carter’s, Heartbreaker
The Foursome offers great-quality clothing, expert salespeople and an on-site tailoring shop, and even though the store’s move from Wayzata to Plymouth is relatively recent, The Foursome has been serving this community for almost 80 years. “Our customers can come here to get everything from sportswear to shoes and accessories,” manager Nicole Chose says. 3570 Vicksburg Lane N. Ste. 100; 763.473.4667.
Runners up: Heartbreaker, Vinifera Wines and Ales
Best Sporting Goods
Sports Hut has been serving the area since the late 1960s, and despite an ownership change in 2011 (Peter Eiden now captains this ship), the store hasn’t missed a single winter. Service with honesty and integrity remains an important core value, and customers come back for it year after year. “We’re not selling you something because we have an overstock. We want to get you in the right product,” manager Todd Steigerwald says. 3355 Plymouth Blvd.; 763.354.7799.
Runners up: Dick’s Sporting Goods, Lettermen Sports
Best Children’s Shop
Carter’s opened in Plymouth in September, but many parents already loved the clothes. Microfleece garments are soft and comfortable for babies, plus easy to wash and care for. Manager Katie Capitola likes them for another reason—they are just plain cute. “The clothes are stylish and true to size. I love them for my kids, friends and family,” she says. 4190 Vinewood Lane N.; 763.559.9009.
Runners up: Creative Kidstuff, Once Upon a Child
Stuart Adelman has been designing and creating custom jewelry for 38 years, and his wife Ellie has been his business partner for 26 of those. Their relationships with gem cutters around the world allow them to bring special stones to us here in Plymouth. It’s a perfect fit for customers who want something truly unique. 3555 Plymouth Blvd. Ste. 216; 763.559.0044.
Runners up: Graham Jewelers, Tesa Jewellers
Best Small-business Customer Service
Kaplan Insurance Agency
At Kaplan Insurance Agency, you won’t be talking to a machine: “There is always a live person to speak with,” Brad Kaplan says. “When a client calls with a claim or a problem, we don’t just send them to the 800 number, we personally help them.” It’s this kind of service Plymouthites have come to expect—and what won him what’s possibly the most-coveted award in the bunch. 3555 Plymouth Blvd. Ste. 118; 763.746.5000.
Runners up: Christopher J Salon, Complete Eye Care of Medina
Kennedy Vision Health Center
Kennedy Vision Health Center strives to ensure customers’ eyes are healthy. “The eyes can show a lot about the rest of the body,” manager Sherry Dawson says. They can help you find the perfect pair of contacts or glasses, with more than 1,000 pairs of frames to chose from. 10600 Old County Road 15; 763.545.8850.
Runners up: Complete Eye Care of Medina, Plymouth Vision Center
Kids & Family
Brothers, sisters, moms, dads, pets, grandparents, step-parents, in-laws, teenagers, babies—however you define family, one of the best things you can do with the ones you love is give them the gift of time. Here are the best ways to do so right here in Plymouth.
Best Community Event/Festival
Music in Plymouth
Music in Plymouth will be 42 years old this summer. Featuring an incredible lineup of Minnesota music ensembles, kid-friendly activities and a dazzling fireworks display, this volunteer-run event is a summer mainstay. “It is truly a grass-roots effort that reflects the unique spirit of Plymouth,” says Mele Willis, volunteer board member. 3500 Plymouth Blvd.; 763.559.3099.
Runners up: Fire & Ice Festival, Primavera
Best Kids’ Birthday Party Spot
Pump It Up
Kids look forward to their birthday all year long, so it makes sense to blow it up on their special day. The huge facilities at Pump It Up are kid heaven, with massive slides, obstacles and chances to climb and jump. Owner Jeni Mand says all parents need to do is to remember to bring the birthday boy or girl, and her team will do the rest. 3500 Holly Lane N. Ste. 65; 763.553.0340.
Runners up: Parkers Lake Park, Sky Zone
The Goddard School
Owners and Plymouth residents Aaron and Lisa Amic love being a part of the community by helping kids get ready for kindergarten. “We are on-site every day and available to our families on a daily basis,” Lisa Amic says. “Our kids go to school with a strong base and a love of learning.” 16755 County Road 24; 763.557.7020.
Runners up: Kinderberry Hill, Primrose School
Best Summer Program/Camp
Providence Academy offers summer programs for kindergarteners all the way to high school seniors—they don’t need to be Providence students to attend. There is something for every student, from one-on-one tutoring sessions to robotics, lacrosse and woodworking. “Summer is a time for fun that children can spend deepening their understanding of the world around them,” summer programs coordinator Debra Spears says. 15100 Schmidt Lake Road; 763.258.2500.
Runners up: Primrose School, Virtuosos Music Academy
Best Doggy Daycare/Kennel/Boarding
Camp Bow Wow
Camp Bow Wow is locally owned and loves to give back. “We support several area schools, humane societies, dog rescues and various sports teams through donations and gifts,” manager Josh Kruse says. Camp Bow Wow customers love that they pay only for their dog’s nighttime stay, thanks to a flat boarding fee, and they can pick up any time during open hours. 2067 East Center Circle; 763.383.9585.
Runners up: Petsmart, Puptown
Best Pet Grooming Services
Premier Pet Salon
Karen Aldrich, owner of Premier Pet Salon, is proud of her team of expert groomers. “They can execute anything from a pet trim to an American Kennel Club show cut,” she says. Her salon specializes in dogs with special needs, as well as hand-scissoring. Don’t forget felines—Aldrich’s team does cat grooming, too. 1115 Vicksburg Lane N. #12; 763.473.0144.
Runners up: Petsmart, Puptown
Best Veterinary Services
Northwest Animal Hospital
“Our hospital has a happy energy that clients can feel when they walk in the door,” veterinarian Sara Williams says. Her staff is happy to be around animals, as well as people. 2045 Merrimac Lane N.; 763.475.2448.
Runners up: Oakwood Pet Clinic, Rockford Road Animal Hospital
Best Class/Program for Seniors
Plymouth Creek Center Senior Club
Plymouth Creek Center senior club president Sandy Carlson believes the group fosters a sense of belonging, support and service in the local community. Themed monthly luncheons for members are carefully planned in advance, for a modest fee. “Our club integrates a lot of aspects of senior life,” she says. 14800 34th Ave.; 763.509.5280.
Runners up: Providence Academy, Sholom Home
Best High School Teacher
William Lasseter, Providence Academy
William Lasseter brings passion and humor to his English classes at Providence Academy, but he tries not to be condescending to his students. “I treat them as fellow scholars,” says Lasseter, who’s been at Providence since it opened in 2001. “It’s always very exciting to see new realities in a great text and help students open their eyes to that reality.” Providence Academy, 15100 Schmidt Lake Road; 763.258.2526.
Runners up: Colleen Tolle, Wayzata High School; Stephanie Trump, Armstrong High School
Best Music Lessons
Virtuosos Music Academy
Learning music is about more than mastering an instrument, says Angela Jaskowiak, owner of Virtuosos Music Academy. “Music lessons can build confidence and teach important life skills like determination, patience and discipline.” Kids can use these skills no matter where life takes them. 16795 County Road 24 Ste. 100; 763.231.7901.
Runners up: Keyboard Kids, Sheila Stamps’ piano lessons
Interfaith Outreach Community Partners
When IOCP moved to Plymouth a couple of years ago, the city gained a history of giving to the community 35 years long. Notable from 2013 was reaching a new record $2 million in the annual Sleep Out campaign, which aids the homeless in Minnesota’s brutal winters. Other initiatives, of course, include the annual food drive (just concluded in March), Resale 101 shop, care for underprivileged kids and so much more—primarily thanks to the thousands of volunteers who help every year. 1605 County Road 101 N.; 763.489.7500.
Time savings, good humor, hard work, trust: Whether you’re selling a home, need to look great for a big interview or have to deal with the aftermath of an accident, you rely on great service to keep your life running smoothly.
Best Financial Advisor
Bill Tollerud at Edward Jones
Bill Tollerud grew up in the small town of Devil’s Lake, N.D., and he knows that financial goals reflect family values and needs. He works with his clients to indentify those values and helps create the best financial plan for them. “I work hard to discover what is important to each individual when it comes to their money,” Tollerud says. 7002 E. Fish Lake Road; 763.416.4031
Runners up: Nicole Middendorf, Prosperwell; Adam Weiland, Wealth Enhancement Group
Jessica Homan at The Style Room Salon
Jessica Homan loves her job for a simple reason: It is fun. She loves catching up with her clients and says her 5-year-old salon is full of memories. “You’re there for their weddings, their kids’ weddings, babies being born. It’s about relationships,” she says. 16725 County Road 24; 763.231.0877.
Runners up: Carrie Carlson at New Reflections, Chris Miller at Christopher J Salon
Best Real Estate Agent
Dayna Murray of Keller Williams Premier Realty
Dayna Murray knows that buying or selling a home can be stressful. “When you change your home, you change your life,” Murray says. She believes her job is to help make the transition go smoothly, so she pays for professional photographers and stagers to make sure the properties look their best and sell quickly. 215 Walker Ave. S.; 952.405.2841.
Runners up: Lori Bergeron, Mark Geier
Best Massage Therapist
Scott Chapman at Y Chiropractic
Scott Chapman believes his clients appreciate his positive attitude and his personal experience recovering from injury. “I utilize full-spine X-rays and thermal scans to locate the cause of the problem rather than just treating symptoms,” Chapman says. “My goal with every client is to get them back to doing what they love.” 10700 W. Hwy. 55 Ste. 100; 763.543.9080.
Runners up: DeAnn Larson at Tree of Life, Megan Reinking at Lake West Chiropractic & Natural Health
New Reflections Salon
This Aveda salon offers customized services to help each guest look their very best. General manager Linda Voigt knows that each of her clients has specific concerns. “Our results-driven facials and massage treatments are customized to address your unique needs,” she says. 3530 Vicksburg Lane Ste. 400; 763.559.3185.
Runners up: Christopher J Salon, Simonson’s Salon and Spa
Best Insurance Agent
Brad Kaplan, Kaplan Insurance Agency
“We understand the importance of protecting people’s lives and financial picture, and we take that responsibility very seriously,” Brad Kaplan says. His business is focused on creating customized policies with the best combination of coverage and price. “We really take our time finding the right policies for the client.” 3555 Plymouth Blvd. Ste. 118; 763.746.5000.
Runners up: Karen Acket, Dawn Bijou Janes
Simonson’s Salon and Spa
Ever since the professional team at Simonson’s wowed this editor with premium nail care in an Axxium gel finish, there hasn’t really been a question of where these fingers get their fix and where the ol’ tootsies get pampered. Inquire about price-matching promises (get the best deals possible on in-between polishes), and check out the Style Perks that earn you points toward free and discounted products and services. 2855 Glacier Lane; 763.550.1121.
Elisabeth Ansley Photography
Liz Ansley doesn’t just make portraits; she creates art. “My photography business mainly caters to authors and book publishers looking for cover art for novels,” Ansley says. “I also do creative sessions for clients looking for out-of-the-box portraiture or wall art.” 763.208.1272.
Runners up: Greg Gittsovich for accentphotography.com, Rhonda Stark for rhondastarkphotography.com