Minnesota Women's Press | St. Paul, MN


home : features : featurestory May 2, 2016

What Women Want 2012!
ReadersSurvey: You told us your favorites. We tell all.

Favorite Farmers' Market
St. Paul Farmers' Market
Today's downtown St. Paul Farmers' Market is near the site of its first farmers' market set up at 7th and Wabasha in 1853 and now spread over 20 locations. From bakery goods, cheese, buffalo, beef and lamb to flowers and shrubs, only fresh, locally grown produce is sold from the grower to you. Truly local, not just downtown, but in several locations.

You also like to get your big bouquets of color and scrumptious veggies and fruits at Midtown Farmers Market, Mill City Farmers Market, Minneapolis Farmers Market (Lyndale Avenue) and Minneapolis Farmers Market (Nicollet Mall).

Favorite Grocery Store for a Fun Experience
Kowalski's Markets
Founded more than 25 years ago with the principle of supporting local growers, Kowalski's offers fresh, local products along with the unusual and newest in food trends. Need new recipes or helpful suggestions for your next dinner party? Kowalski's likes to spread the joy of good eating.

Trader Joe's
The cedar plank walls and crew in Hawaiian shirts make for a casual and entertaining shopping experience. These traders-who think grocery shopping should be fun, not a chore-search the world over for cool items for you. Thai Chicken Pizza? Rumble Cakes? Three Buck Chuck? Need we say more?

You also enjoy getting your gastronomic ingredients at Ingebretsen's Scandinavian Gifts, The Wedge and Whole Foods.

Favorite Place to Splurge on a Healthy Dinner
Good Earth
The name says it all: Good Earth restaurant shows respect to the earth and animals raised for the food they prepare for you. Farm animals are humanely raised and are antibiotic-, hormone- and nitrate-free; seafood is from sustainable sources, harvested by ocean-friendly methods; seasonal and fresh veggies are served, often organic and from local sources.

Located in the Mill District of downtown Minneapolis, Chef Brenda Langton has been committed to serving you delicious meals made from sustainably produced ingredients for more than 30 years. This gourmet, contemporary, natural cuisine is tops.

You also enjoy the eats at French Meadow Bakery & Cafe and Lucia's.

Favorite Neighborhood Coffeehouse
Caribou Coffee
For every pound of coffee Caribou buys, the Minneapolis-based company contributes to schools, clinics, reforestation projects and water-cleaning programs in its partner coffee-growing communities.

Dunn Bros Coffee
"Locally owned, globally grown" is Dunn Bros' motto. Offering certified, sustainably produced coffee, craft-roasted on site. An added bonus: You get a 25-cent discount for every purchase in a reusable mug.

You also like your caffeine fix from Anodyne Coffeehouse, Blue Moon Coffee Cafe, Java Train, Kopplin's Coffee, May Day Cafe and Riverview Cafe.

Favorite Co-op or Green Grocer
The Wedge
Awesome produce, and great selection, service and prices-plus a sense of community. What more could you want? Free eco-bonus points-rewards for purchasing earth-friendly products.

You also like to get your healthy and green stuff at Mississippi Market and Seward Co-op.

Favorite Minnesota Winery
Alexis Bailly Vineyard
The winery, which opened its doors in 1978 with the motto: "Where the grapes can suffer," produces wines made from 100 percent Minnesota-grown grapes. Nan Bailly engages her clientele to pull up a cushion and share a bottle at wine-tasting events such as "chocolate and wine pairing" or "music in the vineyard."

Saint Croix Vineyards
The La Crescent Dessert Wine-an ice wine exhibiting intense tangerine and a hint of floral aromas, with a concentrated nectar finish-won the "dessert wine of the year" award at the Indy International Wine Competition. Founded in 1992, this Stillwater-area winery has developed nine different white wines, five reds and four dessert wines.

You also like sipping samples at Carlos Creek Winery, Goose Lake Farm & Winery and WineHaven.

Favorite Minnesota Microbrew
Surly Brewing Co.
This Brooklyn Center-based microbrewery was founded in 2005. Its craft beers are served in more than 500 restaurants and bars in Minnesota. In 2011, Surly worked to overturn a Prohibition-era law restricting the selling of beer on the site where it's brewed.

You also like to wet your whistle with a beer from Summit Brewing Co.

Favorite Independent Clothing Store
With its forward trend with a bit of classic presence, this Uptown Minneapolis boutique is where you like to find your locally designed clothing that has a young, eclectic edge. Watch for fashion events throughout the year, including "Avoid the Grey."

You also find your own sense of style at Chico's, Hot Mama, Midwest Mountaineering and Trade Winds.

Favorite Consignment or Thrift Shop
Nu Look
Established in 1981 as the first maternity consignment shop in the Twin Cities, Nu Look has expanded to more than 6,000 square feet loaded with clothing and accessories for women (pregnant or not), men and children. Retro or funky? Casual or business? You'll find it all at Nu Look.

You also like the thrifty things you find at Arc's Value Village, Rewind, Turn Style Consignment Stores and Unique Thrift Store.

Favorite Independent Shoe Store
Schuler Shoes
Treat your feet! You don't have to sacrifice fashion for sensibility and health. Sign up for the free foot evaluation and get expert advice. Schuler is certain to have the right shoes for your peds.

You also like to pad your soles at Shu Global Footwear.

Favorite Independent Place to Get Your New Specs
Specs Appeal
Looking for eyewear with a European or Asian flair? Need special lenses for your active, athletic lifestyle? Not only does this store have style, there is a full-service optometrist available. You like to head to Grand Avenue in St. Paul to take care of your vision.

You also get your face framed to perfection at eyedeals, Northwest Opticians and the Spectacle Shoppe.

Favorite Independent Gift Shop
French silk footies, lavender hot wraps, scarves and jewels, picnic totes, "Spinmallows" for this summer's campfire, decorative iPhone covers. Witty and colorful, gifts from Patina are sure to please the receiver.

The Bibelot Shops
Journals and jewels, gifts and toys, kitchen tools and bath/body pampering. Bibelot stores carry a line of earth-friendly, recycled and socially conscious products. Whether practical or whimsical, you'll find something for everyone on your list, including you!

You also find treasures for that special someone at Gypsy Moon, i like you and the Textile Center Gift Shop.

Favorite Independent Toy Store
Creative Kidstuff
Theses stores know kids, like kids and know what kids like. The toys encourage creativity and problem-solving and help kids discover and develop their natural sense of curiosity. The hands-on, DO-touch stores are a barrel of fun.

More than a toy store, this family owned, family store in St. Paul believes in nurturing strong bonds between children and their parents. In this alternative toy and baby-supply store, nearly everything is made of natural woods and fibers-no batteries or vinyl toys here. Check out the wood toys, baby slings, cloth diapers and breastfeeding support.
You also find Pacifier and Red Balloon Bookshop to be kid-friendly.

Favorite Place for Personal Banking
Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union
You're not a customer, you're a member at this 80-year-old, not-for-profit credit union. Affinity Plus promotes financial literacy for all people in Minnesota to empower you to take an active role in your financial well-being.

Sunrise Community Banks
Through the banks' Socially Responsible Deposit Fund, your investment in any checking, savings or CD account is reinvested in your local Minneapolis or St. Paul community. For every dollar deposited, Sunrise generates an average of $6 in economic return. Sunrise was recognized with a Community Reinvestment Award in 2012 for its innovative solutions for lower-income communities.

Wings Financial Credit Union
Begun by seven airline employees in 1938 to provide services to the Northwest Airlines staff, Wings Financial is now one of the country's largest credit unions. Membership is open to employees of the U.S. air transportation industry and their family members, plus anyone living or working in the 13-county Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area.

You also trust your well-earned dollars to SPIRE Federal Credit Union, US Bank and Wells Fargo Bank.

Favorite Resource for Retirement Planning
Ameriprise Financial
Whether you are in retirement, near retirement or far from retirement, Ameriprise has planning tools tailored to you. Take the Retirement Check-In questionnaire to help determine your needs and get advice on how to reach your goals.

You also trust Wings Financial Credit Union with planning for your nest egg.

Favorite Place for a Girlfriends' Night Out
Café Barbette
This cafe takes its name from the stage name of renowned circus aerialist Vander Clyde. Barbette offers a bistro atmosphere with beautiful food. It is a member of the Heartland Food Network and promotes sustainable local agriculture.

Chatterbox Pub
Besides great food, you like the great game menu: Atari, Nintendo and Sega Genesis (Frogger, Mario Bros., Sonic and more) plus a library of your favorite board games. There's karaoke, music bingo and an acoustic open mike for your syncopated pleasure.

First Avenue
First Avenue, housed in a converted Greyhound bus depot that has featured live music since 1970, is committed to fostering excellence in arts, music and entertainment-from the avant garde to the mainstream.

Nye's Polonaise Room
This northeast Minneapolis landmark hasn't changed much since it opened in 1950. Red carpeting, dark wood paneling and gold-flecked booths make it a true classic. Sing along at the piano bar or dance to the World's Most Dangerous Polka Band.

Favorite Day-Trip Destination
Whether it's the historical charm, riverside setting or cute, independent shops, Stillwater is your favorite destination for day-tripping with your girlfriends.

You also like to get away for a day to Lanesboro, the Red Wing-Lake City-Pepin route, the St. Croix River Valley and Stockholm, Wis.

Favorite Resort for a Girlfriends' Road Trip
Breezy Point
You like to escape to the Brainerd Lakes area to this spacious lodge built in 1921 of native Norway pine. The resort provides everything you need and more, including one recreation center, one boat marina, two 18-hole golf courses, two restaurants and three bars. One, two, three ... let's go!

Lutsen Resort
Whether you're looking for rustic picnics or fine dining, you can have either during your stay at the historic Lutsen Lodge on Lake Superior. You won't run out of things to do. Try sea kayaking, take a wildflower observation hike, cross-country or downhill ski at nearby Lutsen Mountains and enjoy an evening campfire on the beach. Or simply watch the waves caress the shore. Check out the special Girlfriend Getaway Package!

Sundara Inn & Spa
Start your getaway today, simply by going to Sundara's website and listening to the relaxing, rejuvenating, restorative music ... the same that provides the background for your stay at this retreat for pampering for you and your girlfriends in the Wisconsin Dells. Come for a day at the spa, for an overnight or a whole week. You may never want to leave.

You also head north with your gal pals for a stay at Bluefin Bay, Cove Point Lodge and Northern Lights Lodge & Resort.

Favorite Art Festival
Powderhorn Art Fair
The setting can't be beat! A lake and green grass vs. pavement and sidewalks. Mark your calendars for this year's event on Aug. 4-5. Some of the festival proceeds help fund park programs such as theater arts, a computer lab, a teen center, a pottery studio and team sports.

You also like to peruse the outdoor art at Art-A-Whirl in northeast Minneapolis, the Edina Art Fair, the Grand Marais Arts Festival and the Uptown Art Fair.

Favorite Museum
Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Because the museum has a permanent collection of about 80,000 objects, you're bound to see something new every time you visit. With its free, general-admission policy, classes for adults and children and interactive media programs, you're bound to visit often.

You also like to roam the galleries at Minnesota History Center, Science Museum of Minnesota and Walker Art Center.

Favorite Women-Friendly Car Repair Shop
You put your car in Autopia's good hands because you trust the staff to treat you fairly, provide honest estimates and perform necessary repairs at reasonable prices and you're even served free cookies and Starbucks coffee while you wait.

You also trust the car advisers at Buerkle Honda, Good Carma and Quality Coaches.

Favorite Women-Friendly Bike Shop
The Hub Bicycle Co-op
Mondays in the summer are women's nights at the Hub with a "road ride" and a "casual ride" leaving from the Minnehaha Avenue location. The Hub is worker-owned and democratically managed. The large number of knowledgeable women on staff are there to help you build your cycling and wrenchability skills.

You also like to spin your wheels at Erik's Bike and Board Shop, Freewheel Bike and Penn Cycle.

Favorite Place to Continue Your Career Education
St. Catherine University
When you're choosing to continue your education in health care or human services, you look to St. Kate's to advance your career. In the College for Applied and Continued Learning you can earn your professional certificate or associate degree in health-care related occupations with an emphasis on relationship-centered care and socially responsible leadership.

You also advance your career with classes at Metro State University, Saint Mary's University of Minnesota and the University of Minnesota.

Favorite Women-Friendly Graduate Program
St. Catherine University
With weekday, evening, weekend, online or summer-intensive class options, St. Kate's offers certificate, masters' and doctoral programs to fit your needs. It is committed to the education of women that values collaboration, challenging conventional norms, and respect for diverse voices and perspectives.

You also get the grad work done at Adler Graduate School, Hamline University and Saint Mary's University of Minnesota.

Favorite Place to Learn a Language
Community Education
¡Hola! Guten Tag. Hej. Is ka warran. No matter what language, you want to greet people in (Spanish, German, Danish, Somali or more), classes through your local community ed are a good place to start learning a new-to-you language.

We'd all prefer to learn the language in the actual country we plan to travel to, but you say the language classes at the University of Minnesota are your next best bet.

Favorite Place for a Writing Class
The Loft Literary Center
More than 130 classes for all ages. Whether you write novels or sestinas, memoirs or 'zines, movie scripts or blogs, you'll find writers who are dedicated to their craft at the Loft. Teachers include multiple award-winners from dozens of publishers.

Favorite Place for an Art or Craft Class
Community Education
Anyone for painting, drawing, pottery, photography, scrapbooking? You find your creative inspiration and great instruction through your local community ed classes.

You also bring out your inner artist with classes at ArtScraps, Crafty Planet, the Minnetonka Center for the Arts, Mosaic on a Stick, North House Folk School in Grand Marais and the Textile Center.

Favorite Garden Shop
Always a favorite, this family-owned business has been growing and selling plants and flowers for three generations. You like the wide selection of annuals, perennials and nursery stock-the majority of which Gertens staff grow themselves.

Mother Earth Gardens
Get your organic seeds, sustainably grown plants, advice, eco-friendly gardening supplies and knock-your-socks-off annuals and perennials from this corner-block location in Minneapolis' Longfellow neighborhood.

Tangletown Gardens
If you're after heirloom vegetables, unusual woody shrubs and trees, aquatic plants or any of 3,000 perennial varieties of plants, check out this urban oasis in Minneapolis' Tangletown neighborhood.

You also give your green thumbs up to Highland Nursery, Linder's Garden Center and Sunnyside Gardens.

Favorite Garden Designer or Landscaper
Ecological Gardens
This team of certified Permaculture Designers (also horticulturalists, gardeners and farmers)-Paula Westmoreland, Lindsay Rebhan, Laura Freund and Lea Berg-creates landscapes and gardens that integrate food, function and beauty.

Field Outdoor Spaces
The goal of Field owners Shannon O'Halloran and Jason Rathe is to create, revitalize and maintain your outdoor spaces to enhance your everyday life. From simple gardens to landscape overhauls, they specialize in natural woodland plantings, stonework, rain gardens and small, urban gardens.

You also look for assistance with your natural design from Masterpiece Landscaping, Minnehaha Falls Nursery & Landscaping and Sarah's Cottage Creations.

Favorite Home Remodeler
Castle Building & Remodeling
Your knights in shining armor, Castle uses a team approach to your home remodeling project and thinks that you're an important player. You can live through your remodel knowing your team is overseeing every detail from start to finish.
You also trust Natural Built Home, Ostroot & Ostroot Professional Remodelers and RRR Construction to carry out your home remodeling dreams.

Favorite Handy Person
Castle Building & Remodeling
Not just home remodeling! Need your porch straightened, a railing added, tile replaced in your bathroom? Call for the "handy persons" at Castle to get the smaller projects done right, too.

You also call on Handyman Matters and LetUs Service to do the needed fix-ups around the home.

Favorite Interior Designer
Rachel Guerrero
Experts at enhancing living and working spaces, Rachel Guerrero and her carpenter husband, David Guerrero, can design and integrate creative solutions for your interior environmental problems.

You also redesign your spaces with help from Heidi Dockter Interior Design, Katie Jaydan of Castle Building & Remodeling and Loring Interiors.

Favorite Independent Home Décor Store
Patina's goal is simple: Create an environment housed with accessories for a good life.

You also spruce up your surroundings with elements for the home from Gypsy Moon, Natural Built Home and The Bibelot Shops.


Favorite Book by a Minnesota Female Author
"Tree Spirited Woman" by Colleen Baldrica
This Stillwater writer takes her readers along on her yearlong expedition, sharing her spiritual journey of personal enlightenment through her conversations with her mentor, Tree Spirited Woman.

You also are enlightened or entertained by these authors and books: "Dorie LaValle" by Mary DesJarlais, "Haunted Ground" by Erin Hart, "The Latehomecomer" by Kao Kalia Yang and every book by Louise Erdrich.

Favorite Independent Art Materials or Craft Store
Wet Paint
Need a new paintbrush, canvas, bookmaking supplies or gel pens for your next art project? Wet Paint has more than 30,000 different products-and 3,000 different kinds of decorative papers, in addition to standard artist's paper-for your creative needs.

You also fill your artistic supply needs at Art Materials, ArtScraps and Crafty Planet.

Favorite Spa Salon
You love Aveda products no matter what spa or salon you visit. Fifty percent of the ingredients in Aveda's bodycare oils and lotions are from plants, non-petro minerals and other natural sources. Many products are certified organic. Plus, Aveda never has never conducted animal testing on the products and pledges that it never will.

You also relax, renew and replenish yourself at Aesthetic Amour Beauty Lounge, Riverstone Salon Spa and Sundara Inn & Spa.

Favorite Theater Company
Guthrie Theater
Besides presentation of classical literature and new work from diverse cultures on its three stages, the Guthrie offers a range of options for pre-show dining and bars as well as dramatic views of St. Anthony Falls and the Stone Arch Bridge.

Theatre Unbound
For 13 years, Theatre Unbound has brought you thought-provoking, live performances conceived and created by women, providing female perspectives on issues that are relevant and universal. The latest production is "Julius Caesar" with an all-female cast.

You also give your applause to History Theatre, Mixed Blood Theatre, Park Square Theatre and Penumbra Theatre.

Favorite Women-Friendly Place for Tattoos and Piercings
Saint Sabrina's
It's sparkling clean, with a casual atmosphere and lounging areas to hang out and enjoy a coffee or tea. You can enjoy getting your tattoo in private or invite your gang of girlfriends to the party. Women-owned and women-friendly, this is not your typical piercing and tattoo studio.

You also customize your bodyart at Art With A Point, Tatus by Koré and The Ink Lab.

Favorite Place to Go with Preschoolers
Minnesota Children's Museum
Don't tell your kids, but play is learning. For more than 30 years, the Minnesota Children's Museum has embedded the research on play, creativity and child development into its interactive learning environments and programs.

You also like to hang out with your youngsters at Como Park and Zoo, Hyland Lake Park Reserve, Lake Elmo Park Reserve play area, Minnesota Zoo, Sabes Jewish Community Center and St. Paul Public Library.

Favorite Young Adult Book Empowering Girls
"Esperanza Rising" by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Tragedy shatters her family's wealthy life in Mexico, forcing Esperanza and her mother to flee to California and settle in a farm labor camp during the Great Depression. The young girl confronts the challenges of hard labor, acceptance by her new community and economic hardship, and learns the value of family and community. Esperanza means "hope."

"The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins
The "Hunger Games" are an annual event in this novel about a post-apocalyptic world. One boy and one girl from the 12 districts surrounding the Capitol are selected by lottery to compete in a televised battle. Only one person can survive. When her sister is chosen to compete, 16-year-old Katniss steps up to take her place.

You also find girl power in these books: "Blooming" by Susan Allen Toth and "Walk Two Moons" by Sharon Creech.

Favorite Summer Camp for Kids
YMCA Camping
Whether your kids are canoeing, backpacking or rock climbing at Y camps near Ely, Grand Marais, the St. Croix River or other locations, they will have experiences to be remembered for a lifetime. "YMCA camp allowed my daughter to become an incredibly independent and wise young woman," said one proud mom.

These camps also enrich your young ones' summertime: Concordia Language Villages, SteppingStone Theatre, Urban Arts Academy and Youth Performance Company.

Favorite Female Attorney
It's a three-way tie. Cloutier offices in Minneapolis, Brandl and Tarrant in St. Paul. You can trust their legal expertise on either side of the Mississippi River.

Elizabeth Cloutier
Cloutier's law practice has an emphasis on personal injury law, family law, employment law and general civil litigation.

Jean Brandl
Brandl specializes in criminal law and recently broadened her practice to employment, personal injuries and LGBT legal issues.

Karen Tarrant
Estate planning, probate, real estate, corporate law and litigation are Tarrant's areas of expertise.

You also appreciate help navigating the legal system from Beth Bertelson and Susan L. Allen.

Favorite Independent Shop for Tech Emergencies
When Maury and Betty Zuckman founded the radio repair company Z Radio in 1941, who knew it would transition into the high-tech computer sales and services company it is today? The Zuckman sons, Arnie, Rick and Harvey-and their 60 employees-offer the largest and most complete Apple repair service and support center in the Upper Midwest.

When your screen goes dark, you also call in Chipheads Computer Repair Shop to get you up and running again.

Favorite Life or Career Coach
Barbara Parks
Looking for a "green" career? Barbara Parks of Green Career Tracks is the one to coach you in finding meaningful and sustainable work in the green market.

Mary Olk
What are you growing into? As both coach and cheerleader for her clients, Mary Olk works with individuals to envision a meaningful live and take the action steps needed to grow into that vision.

Favorite Place to Get a Business Loan
Locally owned and operated, BankCherokee has a 100-plus-year tradition of partnering with small to mid-sized businesses, offering a full range of loans and lines of credit. It is a member of the Twin Cities Metro Independent Business Alliance.

Park Midway Bank
Franklin Bank, Park Midway Bank and University Bank make up Sunrise Community Banks, a group of locally owned and managed banks. They specialize in funding small business development through their Socially Responsible Deposit Fund and the New Markets Tax Credit Loan Program. They are one of 62 banks nationally certified as a Community Development Financial Institution.

You also like to do business with Hiway Federal Credit Union, M&I Bank and Wells Fargo Bank.

Favorite Minnesota Female Politician
Sen. Amy Klobuchar
Minnesota women are proud of Sen. Klobuchar, the first woman elected to represent us in the U.S. Senate. You see her as a beacon of hope in the current political discourse. From the Hennepin County Attorney's Office to Washington, D.C., she's paved the road for all our daughters. You appreciate her efforts for consumer safety, especially with children's toys, simplifying international adoptions and strengthening the voice of community bankers.

You also admire the efforts of Rep. Susan L. Allen, former Sen. Tarryl Clark, Rep. Alice Hausman, Rep. Phyllis Kahn, U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, Rep. Carly Melin, Attorney General Lori Swanson and Sen. Patricia Torres Ray.

Favorite Minnesota Male Politician
Gov. Mark Dayton
You admire Gov. Dayton's stands to protect ordinary Minnesotans and our environment. You appreciate his work to reform how Minnesota buys and pays for health care, to grow Minnesota jobs, to improve our infrastructure and to be a strong voice for a tax system that is more fair for all.

Rep. Keith Ellison
When Rep. Ellison says, "Everybody counts, everybody matters," it's more than a slogan. He's a champion for underrepresented voices. The Minneapolis congressman helped author the Local Jobs for America Act to create 1 million public jobs. He has championed legislation to keep roofs over the heads of our most vulnerable citizens-seniors, disabled and low-income Americans. He supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, to protect employees from discrimination based on their real or perceived sexual orientation.

Sen. Al Franken
You admire Sen. Franken's work for women's health and his dedication to ending violence against women. He supports equal marriage rights for same-sex couples and has been a leader in working to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. He has worked to make sure that every military base makes emergency contraception available, and he successfully worked to pass a law that prohibits military contractors from forcing their employees to sign away their right to go to court when assaulted, harassed or otherwise mistreated in the workplace.

You also respect the work of Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and Rep. Tim Walz.

Favorite Minnesota Champion for Women's Rights
This nonpartisan organization encourages, promotes and supports the candidacy and election of pro-choice women to all levels of public office. Since 1982, it has given $1 million to more than 2,000 individual women's political campaigns.

You also think The Advocates for Human Rights and Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet are champs.

Favorite Minnesota Role Model for Women in the Arts
Stacey Poirier of Theatre Unbound
As artistic director of Theatre Unbound, Stacey Poirier is committed to creating theater that is wholly and unabashedly about the lives of women: written, directed, set-designed, costumed and acted by women.

You also appreciate the artistic endeavors of Lucille Broderson, Mary Bussman, Ananya Chatterjea, Dessa, Phebe Hanson, Jaci Knight and Sara Thomsen.

Favorite Animal Hospital or Veterinarian
East Lake Animal Clinic
Pet owners have been taking their cats-and dogs-to these Longfellow-Hiawatha neighborhood caregivers for more than 30 years. Staff vets practice in all areas of medicine, with specialists available when needed.

You also like to trot your animal buddies to Blue Cross Animal Hospital, Camden Pet Hospital, Grand Avenue Veterinary Center, Midway Animal Hospital, Nokomis Pet Clinic, Shady Oak Veterinary Clinic and St. Francis Animal & Bird Hospital.

Favorite Place to Board Your Pet
Now Boarding
When you're off on your next adventure, you appreciate Now Boarding's closeness to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport-with parking and a shuttle service. Run by the Animal Humane Society, it offers a pool and even training services for your pooch.

Your furry friends also get quality time at Auntie Ruth's Animal Care & Wellness Center and Cahill's Critter Care.

Favorite Animal for Companionship
Sorry, Fido! Cats are clearly the hands-down favorite in this year's readers' poll.

Favorite Gym or Health Club
Lady Katherine
Get a great workout while empowering your femininity. "Rock Star Arms" is a part of every workout session in this environment designed exclusively for women. A place to be yourself, have fun, make friends and create your fit and sassy future.

YWCA of Minneapolis
Midtown, Uptown or downtown-you choose where you want to get fit. The Y has the only all-women's triathalon in Minnesota, this year on Aug. 12 at Lake Nokomis. It also offers a CREW program-Cancer Recovery Exercise for Women.

YWCA St. Paul
The Y's goal is to help you change your mind, body and life, with options ranging from aquatics to yoga. It offers workouts and classes for wee ones and up to the "silver sneakers" bracket.

You also like to work up a sweat at the Jewish Community Center of the Greater St. Paul Area, Life Time Fitness and the SweatShop Health Club.

Favorite Female Dentist
Joan Jakubas, D.D.S.
"We cater to cowards" is her motto. By keeping up with the latest dental technology and a philosophy of genuine care, Jakubas keeps things as painless as possible.

Your grin is also a little wider and whiter thanks to Adele Della Torre, D.D.S. of ADT Dental; Jennifer Herbert, D.D.S., and Jennifer DeChant, D.D.S. of J & D Dental; and Sepi M. Taghizadeh, D.D.S. of Isles Dental Associates.

Favorite Elder Housing
St. Benedict's Senior Community
When you're looking for assisted living or care for your parents or partner or self, these CentraCare Health System facilities in St. Cloud and Monticello get your vote as tops. They offer short stays, hospice care and services for those with memory loss, in addition to a variety of senior housing options and community support groups.

Favorite Women-Friendly Clinic
Health Center for Women (HealthPartners) Guess who this clinic is for? You're right. Women! The Health Center for Women provides you with specialized care in the family practice, internal medicine and OB/GYN departments. You want to feel safe, respected and listened to in a caring way. And, let's face it, when you have your feet in the stirrups, you want someone you can trust-another woman.

You also trust the caregivers at Aagesen Chiropractic Clinic, Abbott Northwestern Hospital's Piper Breast Center and the Family Tree Clinic.

Favorite OB/GYN
Carrie Ann Terrell, M.D.
Dr. Terrell is medical director at the new Women's Health Specialists Clinic at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview Riverside.

Marcia A. Caron, M.D.
Dr. Caron appreciates the variety of her practice at Park Nicollet in St. Louis Park, working with women from adolescence to menopause.

Sarah Streitz-Kaplan, M.D.
Dr. Streitz-Kaplan is a general gynecologist and certified menopause practitioner with a special interest in hormone therapy and medical care of women after menopause in her practice at Park Nicollet.

Favorite Organization Serving Women or Girls I'd Like to Write a Check To
YWCA of Minneapolis
Every year the YWCA of Minneapolis engages more than 1,500 urban youth in the development of life and leadership skills, academic success, and physical and emotional health. The Y advocates for early-childhood education for all children, regardless of race, economics or culture.

YWCA St. Paul
Besides health and wellness, the YWCA St. Paul provides affordable housing and supportive services for homeless women and families, youth development, and skills for life and work.

You'd also support these organizations with your generosity: Domestic Abuse Project, Planned Parenthood, Pro-Choice Resources, Twin Cities Women's Choir, Women Against Military Madness (WAMM) and Women's Foundation of Minnesota.

Favorite Place to Volunteer for Women or Girls
YWCA of Minneapolis
Become a facilitator in the racial justice program. Learn about circle dialogue to lead conversation and build awareness. Be a reading tutor or even swim for change. The YWCA of Minneapolis offers you opportunities to make a difference in the world. Sign up to receive email alerts on issues affecting women, children and people of color through the Public Policy Network.

YWCA St. Paul
You make the most of your expertise, energy and enthusiasm through volunteer opportunities at the YWCA St. Paul. You make a difference for kids, young adults and homeless moms while you gain experience, serve your community and have fun.

You also give your time and talents to Big Brothers Big Sisters, Breaking Free, Minnesota Women's Consortium, Planned Parenthood and Women of Nations.

Favorite Run, Walk or Bike for a Cause
Walk for Animals
Where else can you celebrate your special animal friends with hundreds of other human and pet families and raise funds for homeless and neglected animals? Join in the nation's largest human and animal pet walk on May 5. The 5-mile walk starts at the Animal Humane Society's Golden Valley location and includes paths through beautiful Theodore Wirth Park.

Women Run the Cities
By women for women. All ages. Join with your girlfriends on Sept. 23 at Minnehaha Park. There's a young girls' 1-mile run, a women's 10-mile run or a 5K run/walk. Whatever race you choose, you'll be supporting the Ann Bancroft Foundation and its Dare to Dream mini-grants program along with MNCREW (Minnesota Commercial Real Estate Women), the sponsors of this event. They are all about women and girls achieving economic self-sufficiency.

Favorite Women-Friendly Spiritual Community
Unity Christ Church, Unity in the Heart, Unity of the Valley, Unity North Church, Unity South Church
The inclusive Unity communities offer positive, practical and everyday spirituality. Unity honors the universal truth in all religions and respects each individual's right to choose a spiritual journey.

Unity Church-Unitarian
With a history and heritage of liberal religion, Unity Church-Unitarian, a Unitarian Universalist Church, encourages you to live a life of integrity, service and joy.

You also replenish your spirit at Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church, House of Hope Presbyterian Church, Lake Harriet Spiritual Community, Pilgrim Lutheran Church, Plymouth Congregational Church, Sacred Paths Center, Shir Tikvah Synagogue and Wisdom Ways Center for Spirituality.

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