For the 11th year running, we’ve called on you, our devoted readers and Plymouth residents, to nominate and vote for your favorite local businesses in our “Best of Plymouth” competition. From doggy daycares to bakeries, to insurance agencies and yoga studios, these quality people and places are what make your community shine. Because each year there are several close races in the almost 50 categories, we always include the runners up to recognize the other special nominees.
What’s new this year? In addition to some great new categories (Best Date Night Spot, Best Place for Craft Beer, Best Tutoring Center), we’ve included “On These Pages” quotes to showcase some of the glowing things that have been said about our winners in this magazine over the past year.
So find a cozy spot to sit down and peruse these pages for your own favorite Plymouth businesses. And if you don’t see your favorites, be sure to nominate them next year. Let’s celebrate the Best of Plymouth together!
Food and Restaurants
Whatever you’re in the mood to eat or drink, you’ll find a host of options in Plymouth. If you’re looking for the perfect place to take the family for a night out or want to enjoy the fresh air outside on a Plymouth patio, here are the places Plymouth Magazine readers call their favorites.
Best New Restaurant
The Sunshine Factory Bar & Grill
It seems odd that the best “new” restaurant has had the same motto of “quality and consistency” since 1976, but that’s because The Sunshine Factory just moved from New Hope to Plymouth in November 2013. General manager and partner April Hanson says the secret to this consistency is a head chef and two sous chefs who make almost everything from scratch using traditional recipes, adding something that’s more like common sense than a secret: hard work. “You have to work hard to earn the customers’ loyalty and, once you have them, work even harder to keep their business,” Hanson says. Plymouthites most frequently request the Buffalo flatbread, chicken quesadillas and shrimp skewers with pineapple salsa.
4100 Vinewood Lane; 763.535.7000
Runners up: Cōv, Digby’s (now closed)
(Photo by Emily J. Davis)
Lunds communication manager Aaron Sorenson says the bakery team in Plymouth loves to do custom work for events such as birthdays and holidays, and there are plenty of freshly prepared options waiting each morning, too. One of our favorite specials continues to be the free “smash cake” you can get for your child’s first birthday: Simply order a 7-inch, double-layer (or larger) decorated cake, and bring in a copy of your child’s birth certificate a minimum of three days before you need the sweet treats.
3455 Vicksburg Lane; 763.268.1624
Runners up: Truffles and Tortes (Plymouth location now closed), Wuollet Bakery
Jake’s City Grille
When talking burgers at Plymouth’s Best Burger joint for 2015, it’s easy to defer to The Jake, a half-pound of black Angus topped with crispy onions and cheddar cheese. But expand your mind, Plymouth: We think the real reason Jake’s stands out above the others in this competitive category is the City Melt, a half-pound of black Angus topped with herbed cream cheese, sautéed onions and cheddar on grilled marble rye ($12.50). It comes with a side of Jake’s fries, but we say splurge and get sweet potato fries for just $1.25 more. Or consider the bleu bacon cheeseburger, a delicious conglomeration of tangy bleu cheese, mushrooms, sweet grilled onions and crunchy, savory bacon bits, all topped with melted Swiss cheese on the half-pound of Angus ($12.95).
3005 Harbor Lane N.; 763.559.1595
Runners up: Cowboy Jack’s,Digby’s (now closed)
Cowboy Jack’s might be best known for its Wild West ambiance—the décor incorporates plenty of leather—and this includes all the beer and specialty whiskey drinks you can consume responsibly, so no wonder it’s your pick for top bar/tavern this year. Happy hour runs twice daily from 3 to 6 p.m. and from 10 p.m. to midnight. Rail drinks and beers are just $2, house wine is $4, and many appetizers and flatbreads are half-price. “We strive to be a place where anyone can enjoy any type of gathering with great service,” manager Anastasia Leahy says. “Our Wednesday night special is what we are known for—our guests can enjoy our half-pound, all-natural Angus beef burgers for $2 from 5 to 10 p.m.” Leahy’s favorite guilty pleasure? “Definitely our Jack’s Truffle,” she says. “It’s our specialty, so try it. You won’t forget or regret it.”
4120 Berkshire Lane N.; 763.559.0257
Runners up: Jake’s City Grille, The Sunshine Factory
Best Patio Dining
Jake’s City Grille
With nightly bonfires during the summer months and plenty of room to walk around, it’s easy to gather a group willing to bask in the sun or under the stars and dine alfresco at Jake’s patio. Assistant general manager Nick Smith says the design is intentional—think full outdoor bar (no long wait for drink refills), two large stone fireplaces (no bad seat in the house) and the ambiance-enhancing central fountain that is visually and audibly relaxing.
3005 Harbor Lane N.; 763.559.1595
Runners up: Lucky’s 13 Pub, The Sunshine Factory
Best Date Night Spot
Jake’s City Grille
Whether you’re stopping in for a nightcap or just to grab some late night grub, Jake’s City Grille is worth considering for your next night out. Of note is the Monday night special, where you can build your own pasta entrée and pair it with half-price wine. On other nights, assistant general manager Nick Smith recommends the lobster tacos ($15.95) with a bottle of Kenwood Chardonnay to start date night off right. And specializing in small plates, Jake’s starter menu is not to be ignored; notables include the chicken lettuce wraps (responsibly healthy) and the beer-battered anything (special night = indulge)—both less than $10.
3005 Harbor Lane N.; 763.559.1595
Runners up: Kobe, The Sunshine Factory
Best Place for Craft Beer on Tap
Lucky’s 13 Pub
Lucky’s 13 Pub has been open in Plymouth just two years but already makes a name for itself thanks to its bar, decorated and designed to replicate a traditional Irish pub. Antique-style fans adorn the faux tin-tile ceiling and are actually run by a pulley system; the bar booths are designed as half circles facing out into the crowd, just like you’d find in Dublin; and the tall bar tops are rich in dark wood detail. Decorating the bar itself is a more American visage: a sign stating, “Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.” Lucky’s keeps a selection of seasonal beers on tap (Guinness, locally brewed Indeed and Summit, Founders and at least 20 more at any given time), so you can pick a brew that matches the sweet serendipity of a Plymouth spring/summer or the changing flavors of other more dynamic Minnesota seasons.
3000 Harbor Lane N.; 763.746.0071
Runners up: Digby’s (now closed), Jake’s City Grille
Best Dessert Spot
Honey & Mackie’s
Ice cream at Honey & Mackie’s is made in small batches in the store and the fries are cut from Idaho potatoes— no pre-fab items here. “I would say our goal every day is to make people happy and to be happy doing it,” says owner Amy Albert. A scoop of ice cream in a homemade waffle cone is Albert’s favorite: her greatest pleasures are her boys, Henry (Honey) and Max (Mackie), for whom the business is named. “I love that memories are made at the ice cream shop,” she says. “Kids ride their bikes here in the summer...birthdays are celebrated.”
16725 County Road 24; 763.225.6682
Runners up: Jake’s City Grille, Truffles and Tortes (Plymouth location closed)
Editor’s Choice: Best Big Event Cake
When you’re looking for a fabulous finish for your next big event, Gateaux’s cakes are like the fireworks at the end of the night. In Plymouth Magazine, we’ve described some of the bakery’s hand-sculpted masterpieces as “storybook,” “dreamy” and “seductive.” With fanciful fillings including fruit studded vanilla mousse, lemon curd and homemade salted caramel, topped off with real buttercream and satin smooth Swiss fondant, these sweet works of art are show stoppers. Each cake has a different look to reflect the spirit of the occasion and the customer’s personal style. All cakes are made to order with a three-tier minimum; call for pricing and to book ordering times.
15705 35th Ave. N.; 763.577.9815
(Photo by Emily J. Davis)
Chelsea Farniok, Cowboy Jack’s
Chelsea Farniok has been a bartender at Cowboy Jack’s for the past five and a half years. “Give us all day, and we still wouldn’t have enough time to list all the great qualities Chelsea possesses,” manager Anastasia Leahy says. “She is one of those rare breed of bartenders who does it all—she genuinely cares about the wellbeing of every guest who walks through the door. Also, make her laugh, and you’re guaranteed to start laughing yourself—it’s contagious.” Farniok’s specialty drink is a Grape Ape—she makes it with Stoli Blueberri vodka for “a little dance party in your mouth,” she says: “Delicious!”
4120 Berkshire Lane N.; 763.559.0257
Runners up: Kevin Bong, Broadway Pizza; Brian Reiss, Lucky’s 13 Pub
(Photo courtesy of Cowboy Jack’s)
Plymouth residents are proud to call this community home, and to keep their own homes and yards in the best possible shape, they rely on these local professionals who specialize in remodeling, design, landscaping and more.
Best Home Retail/Furnishings
Though HOM has grown beyond Minnesota, they don’t overlook the small details that make a business succeed. “We have excellent customer service,” says Bruce Christopherson, general manager, “And we have a huge selection of furniture. We have the largest mattress department in the area, and we carry such a wide range of items.” As the snow melts and the sun begins to shine, think of HOM when you’re considering furnishing your backyard: “Our outdoor patio and seasonal concepts department is a really nice part of what we do,” Christopherson adds.
4150 Berkshire Lane N, Plymouth; 763.744.2888
Runners up: Schneiderman’s, Mingle
Best Interior Design
Jayne Morrison Interiors
For more than 20 years, Jayne Morrison has helped bring design changes from a dream to a reality. Conceptualizing the homeowners’ vision and bringing their personality into the mix is something Morrison specializes in. Her secret? “It’s a passion for what I do. I love what I do so very much, and I love all of my clients,” she says. It shows—this is Morrison’s third consecutive Best Interior Designer award.
2850 Alvarado Lane N., Plymouth; 763.476.9563
Runners up: Gayle Crummer, Mingle
(Jayne Morrison, owner of Jayne Morrison Interiors, celebrates her third consecutive Best of Plymouth win; Photo by Emily J. Davis)
Best Landscape Design/Architect
This family-owned nursery has more than just an award-winning floral department. Dundee is home to a full-service landscaping department, with designers and crews on staff, ensuring that the entire team is fully committed to great service. Homeowners can plan out an entire yard’s design, or just rework their garden, and Dundee does everything in between. “We can do plants, patios, concrete additions, retaining walls, and we can build decks, too,” says Kim Gaida-Wagener, former store manager.
16800 Highway 55, Plymouth; 763.559.4004
Runners up: Cathy Waldhauser, Mark Hauri (MH3 Design Group)
Ditter Cooling & Heating
“Longevity,” says Jim Ditter, on why he thinks Ditter Cooling & Heating is the best of the best. Open since 1946, the business has years of experience with both heating and cooling services, a must for those unpredictable summers and winters in Minnesota. Some of their specific specialties include: installation and replacement, repair, and air quality services such as air purifiers, filtration systems, and dehumidifiers.
820 Tower Drive, Hamel; 763.515.8410
Runners up: Heating & Cooling Two, High Road Heating & Cooling
Best Yard Service
Nelson Lawn and Landscape
Dan Nelson, owner of Nelson Lawn and Landscape, started his first lawn service at age 13. Now, he is in charge of his own successful business, a full-service lawn and landscape company, with experience in both single home and apartment complex services. Nelson is committed to monthly check-ins with clients and has a team of employees who are passionate about their work and your yard.
7308 Aspen Lane N., Suite 152, Mpls.; 612.888.6525
Runners up: Northern Roots, Cutting Edge
Josh Shonkwiler is a third generation construction company owner, and grew up working in the business, so it’s no surprise that his Platinum Remodeling is such a success, winning this award for the second year in a row. Platinum provides full design services, home, kitchen, and bath remodels, basement finishing, additions, and general contracting, all at the hands of talented employees, making a stressful remodel a fun adventure.
3109 W. 50th St., Suite 352, Mpls.; 612.823.5592
Runners up: Lennar, Gonyea Homes
(Before and after photos from one of Platinum Remodeling’s kitchen projects; Photos courtesy of Platinum Remodeling)
Editor’s Choice: Best Home Design Showroom
Everything about this expansive space is inviting and tantalizing, from the latest home appliances to the inventive designs displayed by Mingle’s interior design partner, Studio M. When you’re looking for inspiration on that remodel, or having a hard time imagining what those countertops actually look and feel like in a room setting, Mingle is the perfect place to surround yourself with a variety of looks and textures. In addition to its 25,000 square feet of showroom space, Mingle offers fabulous cooking and entertaining classes.
12955 Hwy. 55; 763.717.8500.
Health and Wellness
Staying healthy and fit is a top priority for Plymouthites, and there are many local providers whose skill and services have taken them to the top of their game. The personal attention they offer is second to none.
Best Dental Clinic
For more than 30 years, Boger Dental has been perfecting smiles in the Plymouth area. The practice has family roots, as Dr. Chad Boger and Dr. Joseph Madden bought the practice from Dr. Stephen Boger, Chad’s father. The two, in conjunction with Dr. Kristi Scherweit and Dr. Anamaria Betterman, have continued to maintain a stellar reputation in family and cosmetic dentistry, making the trip to the dentist something to actually look forward to.
2720 Annapolis Circle N., Plymouth; 763.546.7707
Runners up: Versa Dental Care, Smile Design Dentistry
(Photo courtesy of Bloger Dental)
Best Pediatric Clinic
South Lake Pediatrics
When seeking care for a child, a parent always wants the best of the best, and South Lake Pediatrics is just that. Since 1974, South Lake has been setting the standard for excellence in pediatric care. Armed with a knowledgeable and warm staff, the clinic alleviates the anxiety of going to the doctor as much as possible for both the child—and the parent.
2805 Campus Drive, #235, Plymouth; 952.401.8300
Runners up: Partners in Pediatrics, Park Nicollet Clinic
Best Fitness or Yoga Studio
How do you create an award-winning workout? The folks at Orangetheory have it down to a science—literally. Made up of three components—treadmill interval training, indoor rowing and weight room or resistance training, workouts are open to all fitness levels. The physiological theory behind the Orangetheory workout is known as Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption, or EPOC, head trainer Kristi Gess says. “During the 60-minute workout, participants perform multiple intervals designed to produce 12 to 20 minutes of training at 84 percent or higher of their maximum heart rate,” she says. “Our program design produces an after-burn effect, an increased metabolic rate for 24 to 36 hours after the workout. When combining the amazing workout with EPOC, our clients burn an average of 500 to 1,200 calories.”
2700 Annapolis Circle Ste. A; 763.300.3447
Runners up: Life Time Fitness, yogastudio
Gr8 Skin MedSpa
With treatments in hair reduction, skin rejuvenation, firming, dermal fillers, Botox, and eyelash and brow tinting, Gr8 Skin MedSpa provides desired services from physicians that clients can trust. Though the services are based on outward appearance, the clinic’s main goal is helping their patients find a new inner self-confidence with each visit.
2855 Campus Drive, #475, Plymouth; 612.202.6552
Runner up: Massage Envy
Best Eye Clinic
Kennedy Vision Health Center
Paying a visit to the skilled team at Kennedy Vision is made seamless by technology. “We’re efficient and thorough, and our patients say our technology is quick and cool,” says Sherry Dawson, Kennedy Vision Health Center manager, “but we’re also really polite and knowledgeable.” The combination of effective medical practices and a warm staff make this clinic the go-to practice for vision care.
10600 Old County Road 15, Plymouth; 763.545.8850
Runners up: Northwest Eye Clinic, Complete Eye Care Medina
Best Dermatology Clinic
Minnesota Dermatology is a full-service dermatology center, with Dr. Phil Ecker, a Stanford University and Mayo Clinic residency graduate, and Eric Englund and Laura Grossman, both certified physician assistants, at the helm. The trio provides easy access to any dermatology needs, including medical, surgical, and cosmetic, along with a friendly staff.
3655 Plymouth Blvd. #110, Plymouth.; 612.486.4200
Runners up: Park Nicollet Clinic, West Health
(Photo courtesy of Summerwood of Plymouth)
Best Orthodontic Clinic
Dr. Mark Harrington has been practicing orthodontics for 27 years, and has been in this location for 11 of those years, proving that longevity and kindness go hand-in-hand. His environment is warm and welcoming, a comfort to patients. “Our office has a homey feel to it, and everyone who comes in feels like they’re family,” Candice Taylor, orthodontic treatment coordinator, says. An added bonus? Harrington brings homemade cookies to the office for his patients and staff—just don’t forget to brush!
15600 36th Ave N. #170, Plymouth; 763.473.7656
Runners up: Dr. D Orthodontics, Smile Design Dentistry
Best Chiropractic Clinic
Lake West Chiropractic
Top-notch care and personal attention are the reasons so many Plymouth residents trust doctor of chiropractic Jeffrey Wock, who took over Lake West in 2006. Readers suggest it could be the wide array of offerings—Wock specializes in sports chiropractic therapy and is also a licensed acupuncturist. More likely, however, it’s the focus on clients that his team provides—before, during and after treatments—everything from birthday cards and thank you’s to baby onesies for new arrivals.
4100 Berkshire Lane N. #124; 763.550.1205
Runners up: The Brost Clinic, Y Chiropractic
(Photo by Michelle Letendre)
Best Senior Living Residence
SummerWood of Plymouth
For the past 10 years, SummerWood has helped seniors maintain independence while living in a community setting. The center has assisted living, senior apartments, and memory care. It boasts a beauty salon, an outdoor walking trail, a library and media room, wellness center and theater, all in-house. Just beyond SummerWood are neighborhood restaurants and parks, ensuring a safe and enjoyable home for all who live there.
16205 26th Ave N., Plymouth; 763.383.8888
Runners up: The Waters, Vicksburg Crossing
“Shop local” is not just a slogan in Plymouth, it’s a way of life as revealed in this list of Best of Plymouth retail winners and finalists. Independent businesses are an important part of the fabric of any community, and readers recognized the quality and commitment that’s easily found in these top spots.
There’s really no question which store should get this nod: the locally owned and operated (for more than 75 years) Foursome, where Plymouthites know they can go for men’s apparel, as well as men’s, women’s and kids’ shoe and leather accessory needs. Vice president Keri Rouen, granddaughter of the store’s founder, suggests waterproof Ugg Ashdale duck shoes or Ugg sandals for spring.
3570 Vicksburg Lane N. Ste. 100; 763.473.4667
Runners up: Heartbreaker, Mainstream Boutique Golden Valley
(Photo by Emily J. Davis)
Best Small Business Customer Service
Christopher J Salon
In one word, Jay Dupay, the owner of Christopher J Salon, explains what sets his business apart in terms of customer service: staff. “They know they’re accountable to me and the customer. They’re happy people who are really good at what they do. I only have twenty employees, so it’s a small staff, and each one is great,” Dupay says. Head into Christopher J for haircuts, styles, color treatment, waxing, and makeup and nail applications, all while feeling taken care of and welcomed.
2700 Annapolis Circle N., Plymouth; 763.404.8606
Runners up: Lake West Chiropractic, Northwest Animal Hospital
Best Jewelry Store
It’s not every jewelry store where the customer gets to personally meet the designer, but at Artelle Designs, that’s exactly what makes the experience so special. For 40 years, Stuart Artelle has been creating one-of-a-kind pieces. “The main designer is me, I make most everything in-store and in the studio, and we do custom design. You get to come in and talk to me personally, I’m not just a sales person,” says Artelle. While he used to do work for stores all over the country, Plymouth is now the only home to his designs, a rarity that promises exclusivity and great quality.
3555 Plymouth Blvd., Suite 216, Plymouth; 763.559.0044
Runners up: Tesa Jewelers, Jeffrey Jewelry
Former Dundee store manager Kim Gaida-Wagener knows about great floral arrangements: The company has been designing at the same level of excellence since 1981. A full service greenhouse and on-site nursery ensure incredible service no matter the time of year, she says. Specialties include, but are not limited to, optimizing a large inventory of fresh flowers, tropical plants and European/dish gardens.
16800 Hwy. 55, Plymouth; 763.559.0385
Runners up: Bachman’s, Pamela Egan Floral Design
Best Liquor Store
With such a large selection and variety of wine and liquors, it’s no surprise that Haskell’s is the best of the best when it comes to purchasing spirits. The Haskell’s brand is celebrating 80 years in the business, and the Plymouth store has a knowledgeable staff, all educated to help guide customers to that perfect glass of champagne, or bottle of wine for their favorite host.
4130 Berkshire Lane N., Plymouth; 763.553.9198
Runners up: Vinifera, The Cellars
Turn Style Consignment Stores
Store manager Missy Serier, who’s been at Plymouth’s Turn Style since 2001, says it’s tough to narrow down the coolest thing she’s seen for sale, but couture pieces and a great pair of Tory Burch shoes are among them. “Plymouthites might not realize that we offer such a wide variety—something for the entire family, men, women and children—as well as home decor and furniture. There are a lot of hidden treasures here,” she says. “You can get anything from a big-box-store pair of jeans to high-end designer fashions.” Bring in your like-new and current clothing, furniture, jewelry and home items to get 45 or 55 percent of the selling price back. And there’s just a $60 flat rate pick-up and delivery fee, so whether you purchase one or 10 items (or need them delivered for sale at the store), Turn Style makes consigning a snap.
15545 34th Ave. N.; 763.694.6173
Runners up: Clothes Mentor, Wabi Sabi Shop
Best Shoe Store
The Foursome offers comfort and fashion in their shoe department, carrying some of the best footwear designers for the past 79 years. Men can look for Allen Edmonds, Ecco, Cole Haan and Sperry, while women can browse through Ugg, Minnetonka Moccasins and Ariat, to name just a few. With family members working at The Foursome, their dedication to preserving its great legacy is apparent, “We’re about building relationships and finding high quality products at a value for our customers,” says Michael Engel, vice president and CFO.
3570 Vicksburg Lane N. Ste. 100, Plymouth; 763.473.4667
Runners up: Schuler Shoes, DSW
Best Foodie Shop
While you might just consider it your neighborhood grocery store, Lunds is anything but. The shelves are constantly stocked with new and unique items, making the store feel more like a personalized market than a grocer. Plus, the customer service is always memorable. “We pride ourselves on giving each customer extra attention and we have an outstanding staff who love what they do,” says Christopher Gibbons, manager.
3455 Vicksburg Lane, Plymouth; 763.268.1624
Runners up: Cocina de Ana, Byerly’s
Best Car Dealership
Cornerstone Auto of Plymouth
Cornerstone Auto sells a wide variety of cars, trucks, vans, and SUVs—all pre-owned, and with lots of financing options, helping to make the process of buying a car go smoothly. The accessibility to their service continues after the car has been purchased, as Cornerstone services all makes and models and has a large selection of in-house parts and accessories.
3901 Vinewood Lane N., Plymouth; 763.559.5300
Runners up: Morrie’s, Lexus of Wayzata
Best Coffee Shop
Accomplishing a cheery disposition in the early morning is no easy task, but the baristas at Dunn Brothers do just that. From recognizing regulars to brightening first-timers’ mornings, the shop makes everyone feel at home while they grab their delicious cup of Joe. If coffee just isn’t hitting the spot, there’s a smattering of handcrafted drink offerings that will, and an entire bakery case full of tempting treats just waiting to be sampled.
3195 Vicksburg Lane, Plymouth; 763.383.0030
Runners up: Peet’s, Mountain Mudd
Best Gift Shop
When searching for that perfect gift, what you want is selection, and there are few places as diverse in offerings as Patina. Located just down Hwy. 55 in Golden Valley, the shop is known for its quirky cards and notepads, quaint dishtowels and kitchen accessories, creative books, jewelry, and pretty much anything and everything in between.
7814 Olson Memorial Highway 55, Golden Valley; 763.546.1497
Runners up: Bachman’s, The General Store
Editor’s Choice: Best New Shop
Last June, three local home décor/fashion favorites—Lillian’s, Yesterday’s Charm and Painted Table—teamed up and turned a sprawling Medina warehouse space into a destination shopping experience. It’s an eclectic mix of current and vintage-inspired products, from unique refurbished finds in everything from fashion to furniture. With such a great variety of treasures, you might walk away with a trendy tunic, a brightly painted coffee table and a colorful spring wreath all in one spree. Customers can bring furniture in for customization, and there are even weekend workshops for those who want to try the do-it-yourself approach, but appreciate the expert guidance. The occasional complimentary coffee and snacks, hip music and bell-ringing staff just add to the cool vibe.
3795 Pinto Drive, Medina; 763.478.3601
Kids and Family
It’s family first in Plymouth, and whether you’re looking for the best care for your two-legged or four-legged family members, these Best of Plymouth winners and finalists have made the most positive impression around town.
The Goddard School
The Goddard School is an early childhood center that teaches academics alongside a curriculum that includes manners and nutrition. Owners and Plymouth residents Aaron and Lisa Amic love being a part of the Plymouth community by helping kids get ready for kindergarten. “We are onsite 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—learning for fun, learning for life.” One of the specialties of the school is emphasizing that children learn through play. “My favorite quote is from Albert Einstein,” Amic says. “‘Play is the highest form of research.’ And my favorite children’s game is Candyland.”
16755 County Road 24; 763.557.7020
Runners up: Bloom Early Learning Center, Primrose Schools
Best Doggy Daycare/Kennel
Camp Bow Wow
Owner Nick Netley, a Plymouth resident for eight years, says his aim since opening Camp Bow Wow in 2007 has been to give clients and pets the best bang for their buck. It’s working, as his company has either won or been a finalist in the Best of Plymouth for each of the past five years.
2067 East Center Circle; 763.383.9585
Runners up: Adogo Pet Hotel, Puptown
Best Place to Spoil Your Pet
Chuck & Don’s
It’s good to be inclusive when servicing the pet industry, as Chuck & Don’s has discovered in its 25 years of business. The locally based pet store chain includes grooming services and has done some boarding/kenneling/dog training in the past, but it’s the wide array of high quality food and accessory products—not just for dogs and cats, but also reptiles, fish, small mammals and birds—that really sets the store apart. Popular brands include Green Tripe, Innova and The Honest Kitchen.
3525 Vicksburg Lane N. #300; 763.559.0146
Runners up: It’s a Pet’s Life, Premier Pet Salon
Best Learning/ Tutoring Center
The Plymouth Mathnasium branch is notable for its instructors, center director Brian Schoenrock says. The instructors are very excited about math, love working with students and make sure the center has a fun learning atmosphere. Clients say it works because the lessons are customized for the individual. “We pride ourselves in being committed, responsive and ethical,” Schoenrock says. “We are always looking for the best way to accomplish the learning goals for our students, and once we have found them, looking for even better ways to advance them further.”
3505 Vicksburg Lane N.; 763.567.8143
Runners up: Brightmont Academy, Kumon
Best Dance Studio
Summit Dance Shoppe
Tap, jazz, hip-hop, lyrical, creative movement, and ballet are a few examples of classes that Summit Dance Shoppe offers. From young children to adults, students can participate in the studio’s offerings including competitive programs and fun, recreational lessons. “We have an outstanding faculty, we were ranked sixth in the nation for our competitive program by the Federation of Dance Competitions, and we’ve won a lot of awards. A lot of our teachers grew up dancing here, and then came back to teach for us,” says co-owner Jenny Roth. The studio’s store has a wide variety of accessories and clothing, making it a one-stop shop for all things dance.
2800 Fernbrook Lane N., Plymouth; 763.553.1870
Runner up: Just for Kix
Best Veterinary Clinic
Northwest Animal Hospital
Northwest Animal Hospital is a favorite of the Plymouth vet scene. “It’s not a good day if you’re not covered in fur,” says Molly McGinnis, Northwest’s first certified veterinary technician. “We consider our business a family practice. It’s like a small community here. Each appointment is like a conversation between us and pet owners.” Northwest regularly opens its doors to the public, giving presentations to school kids and welcoming Scout troops into the hospital. “We’ve also enjoyed working with the Plymouth Police K-9 unit,” McGinnis says. “We have donated veterinary services to the three K-9s since we opened.” Aside from McGinnis, veterinarian Sara M. Williams and two others make up Northwest’s team; the staff boasts more than 50 years of combined experience.
2045 Merrimac Lane N.; 763.475.2448
Runners up: Rockford Road Animal Clinic, TLC Cat Clinic
(Photo by Jeffery Stone)
Editor’s Choice: Best Park
French Regional Park
Part of what makes Plymouth so special is its residents’ sense of community. French Regional Park embodies that community, with a beautiful setting, unique recreational opportunities and volunteer programs that give Plymouthites a welcoming place to gather and spend quality time. Many of those special moments have been captured in these pages in photographs of kayakers, family beach fun, snowy walks and wildlife sightings. With maple syruping, kids’ camps and GreenFit Club’s organized yoga, archery, geocaching and Nordic walking—French Park truly has it all.
12605 Rockford Road; 763.694.7750
Whether you’re seeking expert advice from financial leaders or seasoned experience from local beauty professionals, you can be assured that all of these professionals can help you live your best life and look great while you’re doing it.
Best Hair Stylist
Tabitha Fredrichs, Christopher J Salon
Favorite services of Best Hair Stylist Tabitha Fredrichs include color foils, up-dos and pedicures—this range of personal interests reflects her effervescent demeanor, which surely made a difference in her being named the top hair artist in town. Her secret: Keep up with the ever-changing styles, trends and hair environment through continued education. An employee at Christopher J Salon for the past five years, Fredrichs exemplifies the three words that owner John Jay Dupay uses to describe the salon: personable, professional and precise. And be sure to supplement your service when next visiting Fredrichs. “This spring, we have a great new line of products that are safe for the environment,” Dupay says. “Nail art and gel polishes are also trendy, on the mani/pedi side of things.”
2700 Annapolis Circle N., Suite F; 763.404.8606
Runners up: Jessie Homan, The Style Room; Chris Miller, Christopher J Salon
(Photo by Emily J. Davis)
Best Financial Advisor
Bill Tollerud, Edward Jones
Bill Tollerud makes sure his clients are feeling valued and appreciated, with special events and a focus on their best interests, while providing tailored financial solutions. Tollerud also immerses himself in Plymouth, participating in food drives, coaching T-ball, basketball, and baseball, and volunteering throughout the community. “Having grown up in a small town, I understand that people, their time, values, and beliefs, are to be treated with the highest amount of respect,” says Tollerud. “I work hard to identify and discover what is important to each individual about their family, needs, and goals when it comes to their money.”
7002 E. Fish Lake Road, Osseo; 763.416.4031
Runner up: Anthony Kosobud, Retirement Journey Advisors, LLC
Best Massage Therapist
Erin Cohler, Lake West Chiropractic
Certified massage therapist Erin Cohler is as local as they come; she graduated from Wayzata High School, then the University of Minnesota with a degree in sociology in 2005. Intrigued by massage, she completed her training at the Bio-Chi Institute of Massage Therapy in Iowa and received national certification in 2006. Her training includes Ashiatsu, deep tissue, hot stone, pregnancy, reflexology, Qigong, Swedish, therapeutic and trigger point.
4100 Berkshire Lane N. #124; 763.550.1205
Runners up: Scott Chapman, Y Chiropractic; DeeAnn Larson, Tree of Life
Best Real Estate Agent
Dayna Murray, KW Luxury Homes Division
Realtor Dayna Murray works by the motto “Changing homes, changing lives; I specialize in homes that didn’t sell the first time,” she says. And in this way, Plymouth is rich with opportunity. “Plymouth is a great value when you consider all that is here: The homes stay strong in their value, and with the Wayzata School District being one of the top in the state, it is a great place to raise a family,” Murray says. 952.405.2841
Runners up: Mark Geier, Coldwell Banker Burnet; Kerby and Cristina Real Estate, Re/Max
Simonson’s Salon & Spa
Becoming part of the Simonson’s team is no easy task: Every technician must successfully complete a comprehensive training program and a certification process germane to their position to become fully vetted. This ensures the highest quality of services—the styling is second to none. But readers also love the atmosphere. “Simonson’s promises to serve you joyfully and peacefully knowing that right thoughts and right efforts ultimately bring about the right results,” marketing and media coordinator Melissa Matthews says. If you like affordable, fashion-forward accessories, Simonson’s branched out in the past year to include an in-store 3S Boutique full of colorful scarves, stylish clothing, handbags, and dazzling jewelry.
2855 Glacier Lane N.; 763.550.1121
Runners up: Christopher J Salon, The Style Room
(Photo by Joel Koyama)
Best Insurance Agent
Brad Kaplan, Kaplan Insurance Agency
Kaplan Insurance Agency has been in Plymouth for the past eight years and has been gaining the trust of his clients ever since. “We’re not captive to one company and therefore can shop the entire market without bias for our clients and to find the best combination of coverage and price,” Brad Kaplan says. This commitment to clients sets Kaplan’s agency apart.
3555 Plymouth Blvd., Suite 118, Plymouth; 763.746.5000
Runners up: Matt Nelson, Insurance Advantage; Greg Buckingham, State Farm Insurance
Best Nail Salon
Christopher J Salon
For 47 years, Christopher J Salon has been treating its guests to some serious pampering. From manicures and pedicures, to polish changes and even nail art, the salon has perfected its craft. Thinking nails are just for a girls’ trip? Consider bringing a lucky man along instead, as Christopher J offers a men’s manicure and pedicure. Owner Jay Dupay credits his amazing staff with their customers’ satisfaction, “They take such good care of their clients, and they really know what they’re doing,” he says.
2700 Annapolis Circle, Suite F, Plymouth; 763.404.8606
Runners up: Simonson’s Salon & Spa, Nail & Co.
Editor’s Choice: Best Wedding Venue
Crowne Plaza Minneapolis West
When you set foot in any wedding reception, the first impression should be “WOW!” The Crowne Plaza Minneapolis West can achieve the “wow factor” you’re looking for with three distinctive and elegant ballrooms, including The Regency Room with high ceilings and glistening chandeliers, the Europa Room with breathtaking views of the adjacent wetlands and the Scandinavian Ballroom with a large reception area that flows into a beautiful outdoor terrace.
3131 Campus Drive; 763.559.6600