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home : features : featurestory October 20, 2017

What Women Want
"Three Sister's Song Dream" quilt by Jan Reich
Text by Nancy B. Nordgren


What Women Want!
You told us. We tell all.
Here are the results of the Minnesota Women's Press annual readers' survey.



Eat & Drink
Favorite co-op or green grocer
Mississippi Market

Member-owned Mississippi Market offers local, sustainable and organic foods, plus baked goods, housewares and health products at three St. Paul stores. Community outreach encompasses free classes (such as "Cooking With Co-op Basics"), event sponsorships and the Positive Change program, which gives you credit for a reusable bag or for rounding up at the register.
You also go green at the Seward Community Co-op and the Wedge Community Co-op.

Favorite women-friendly wine shop or winery
Haskell's

You value the great service, broad selection and prices at Haskell's, founded in 1934 by wine pioneer Fritzi Haskell. You also take advantage of tastings, a rewards program, the Bacchus Wine Society - with its dinners, river cruises and tastings - and the Big Cheese gourmet delis in Minneapolis and St. Paul. And you appreciate their delivery services.
You also swirl, smell and sip wines from the Alexis Bailly Vineyard, The Cellars Wines & Spirits, North Loop Wine & Spirits, Solo Vino Bottle Shop and The Wine Thief.

Favorite farmers market
St. Paul Farmers Market
You scurry to the resurgent Lowertown neighborhood on Saturdays and Sundays to find the freshest produce, which is entirely locally grown. You also pick up meat, baked goods, cheese, honey, plants and more at the market, which has been in operation for nearly 160 years. While you shop, you enjoy live music and activities for kids. You also love their more than 20 locations.
You also are tempted by plump tomatoes at the Midtown Farmers Market and the Minneapolis Farmers Market.

Favorite weekend brunch
Birchwood Cafe

Diners agree it's worth the wait for the hugely popular brunch at the Birchwood, where the eggs, meat and cheese for such dishes as the "Birchwood Benedict" are locally sourced from Minnesota and Wisconsin farms. Add a bloody mary made from sake or a mimosa from the café's wine list.
You also while away a lazy day at Hazel's Northeast, Hell's Kitchen and the Red Cow Restaurant & Bar.

Favorite women-friendly brewery
Urban Growler Brewing Co.

Brewer Deb Loch and entrepreneur Jill Pavlak founded Minnesota's first woman-owned microbrewery in 2014. Their St. Paul taproom and beer garden are a welcome spot for girlfriend gatherings. Check out the beer pairings for lunch and dinner menu items. And if you hear someone yell, "I need more CowBell," it's for the thirst-quenching CowBell Cream Ale.
You also quaff your ales at Bent Paddle Brewing Co., Finnegans and Surly Brewing Co.


Celebrating
Favorite venue for a special occasion
Como Dockside at the Como Lakeside Pavilion

For weddings or other special events with anywhere from 50 to 150 guests, you select the historic pavilion's banquet rooms on St. Paul's Como Lake. The full catering packages include a picnic buffet, seafood boil and others.
Crooners Lounge and Supper Club
A throwback to the mid-20th century, Crooners offers elegant spaces and catering services for your special occasion - from retirement cocktail parties to full sit-down wedding dinners. Its dining room has a view toward Fridley's Moore Lake for a serene atmosphere.
Green Acres Event Center Crystal chandeliers in a historic, restored 1940s dairy barn in Eden Prairie? Why, yes. Plus fireplaces, an Italian fountain, antique jukeboxes, kerosene lanterns and player-pianos. You rave about the catering service, the décor and the outdoor space.
You also wow your friends and relatives at Joan's in the Park, the St. Paul Hotel and W.A. Frost.

Favorite bakery
Wuollet Bakery

For family-run Wuollet Bakery, wedding cakes are the icing on top. Perhaps you'll choose the tiered, white Classic Lady Baltimore with buttercream frosting or the classic red velvet with nondairy icing. Wuollet's is also your favorite source of birthday or celebration cakes with custom designs tailored to the honorees.
A Baker's Wife Pastry Shop, Butter Bakery Cafe, Sarah Jane's Bakery and Salty Tart Bakery also take the cake.

Favorite event planner
Ann Nelson/Ann Plans

Nonprofit organizations all over the Twin Cities - from the Courage Kenny Foundation to Friends of the St. Paul Public Library - call Ann Nelson again (and again) to organize lunches, galas, fundraisers, festivals, conferences and more. Her secret? Helping guests connect meaningfully with the client's mission.
You also put Do Good Events and Rosetree Weddings & Events in charge of your gala's calendar.


Buy Local
Favorite local, independent gift shop
The Bibelot Shops

You know you'll always find the perfect gift at one of the four Bibelot Shops - described as a "retail resource for all things delightful." Fresh from a 50th anniversary year, the stores offer everything from seasonal décor, toys and locally made items to jewelry, note cards and women's clothing in ever-changing, well-designed displays.
You also shop for your loved ones - or yourself - at CorAzoN, I Like You, Ten Thousand Villages and Three Sisters Eclectic Arts.

Favorite local, independent bookstore
Common Good Books

You pop into Garrison Keillor's shop at the bustling corner of Grand and Snelling Avenues in St. Paul to find the right book or to browse. The store often features author appearances - for example, readings by Amy Goldstein ("Janesville: An American Story") or Heather Lyn Mann ("Ocean of Insight: A Sailor's Voyage from Despair to Hope").
Magers & Quinn Booksellers
At Magers & Quinn in Minneapolis' Uptown area, you search for new and local works, plus used, rare, out-of-print and collectible titles - for example, a signed copy of "An Acquaintance with Description" by Gertrude Stein. In addition to author events and readings, they offer workshops, such as novel writing with local mystery writer Jessica Lourey.
You also thumb through the stacks at Boneshaker Books, Drury Lane Books, Moon Palace Books and Subtext Books.

Favorite local, independent place to get your new specs
Specs Appeal

"Not your average eyewear," says Specs Appeal, which calls itself "your fun, funky neighborhood optical boutique." You visit this Grand Avenue favorite for frames from designers like Caroline Abram, Tom Davies and Jacque Durand - whether classic, bold or unique. You also get your eyes examined or fitted for contact lenses here.
Spectacle Shoppe
At Spectacle Shoppe locations in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Burnsville and New Brighton, you feast your eyes on everything from vintage looks (cat eye, anyone?) to designer frames - for example, from Minnesota natives Coco & Breezy, who made distinctive "third-eye" sunglasses for Prince. With eye exams on site, you get a one-stop shop.
You also look your best in specs from Grand Spectacle, InVision Distinctive Eyewear and Look + See Eye Care.

Favorite local, independent clothing store
Scarborough Fair

This boutique, which relocated to St. Paul's St. Anthony Park neighborhood last year, wants women of all sizes to "feel enveloped by enchanted whimsy and beauty." Indeed, you choose from such styles as the wearable art of Nataya or Lee Andersen or the simple, clean lines of Eileen Fisher. Or you use their online shop.
You also get spiffed up with pieces from Key North Boutique, Judith McGrann & Friends and Primp.


Going Places
Favorite retreat center
ARC Retreat Center

Are you contemplating time for contemplation? You choose ARC's nurturing space for "silence in a deafening world, serenity in an overcharged society, wholeness in a fractured life." You visit the center's 90 wooded acres - complete with labyrinth - with a group or alone. Retreats include silent group meditation and homemade meals.
You also reflect and feel renewed at Audubon Center of the North Woods, Carondelet Center, Clouds in Water Zen Center and the McIver Center at The Retreat.

Favorite destination for a girlfriends' road trip
North Shore

With its abundance of activities and sights, Minnesota's rocky, wave-swept North Shore of Lake Superior beckons girlfriends year-round. You sample everything, from summer hiking to fall colors to winter skiing to spring waterfall watching - plus dining and shopping. Happily, many resorts on the 150-mile route from Duluth to Grand Portage on Hwy. 61 offer getaway packages.
You also pack for outings to Cannon Falls, Mackinac Island, Minnesota State Parks, Red Wing, Stillwater and the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.

Favorite women-friendly car repair shop
Bobby & Steve's Auto World

Did you get a flat tire (ouch)? Hear a knocking noise? Or did that pesky "check engine" light come on? You choose certified technicians at the eight Bobby & Steve's to bail you out with towing and fast, efficient service. They also offer an unlimited monthly carwash program.
You also drive with your pings and dings to Action Auto, Dunrite Automotive, Maplewood Toyota and Quality Coaches.

Favorite place to buy outdoor gear
REI Co-op

What's your favorite escape? Camping or hiking? Skiing or snowboarding? Kayaking or rock climbing? You pick out stuff for all these activities and more - as well as performance and casual clothing and shoes - at member-owned REI. Join (just $20) and earn yearly dividends. You can also explore the outdoors on an REI Adventures tour.
You also get fully outfitted for fun at Midwest Mountaineering and the Repair Lair.

Favorite women-friendly travel agent or service
Como Rose Travel
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When you book a trip through Como Rose, you often are getting firsthand information about the locale - because they've been there. You count on this St. Paul agency to handle the air, car and lodging details of your honeymoon, vacation, family reunion or business trip. Or you pounce on a cruise - large ship or small, ocean or river.
You also cross a dream trip off your bucket list with Borton Overseas and Road Scholar.

Favorite women-friendly bike shop
Erik's Bike Shop

No matter where you ride - from paved paths in city parks to gravel roads to mountain bike terrain - you find your wheels at Erik's 16 Minnesota shops. Their TruFit bike sizing get your saddle and handlebar set to the right position. You also appreciate women's group rides and same-day service for quick repairs.
The Hub Bike Co-op
You click on the "Women's Specific Products" tab at thehubbikecoop.org to browse the Hub's wide variety of bikes, clothing, shoes, helmets and accessories. And you attend women/transgender/femme open shops at the University of Minnesota Bike Center or take women's group rides. You also admire that the Hub is the Twin Cities' only worker-owned bike shop.
You also go for spokes at Bikes and Pieces, Cycles for Change and Freewheel Bicycle.

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On the Home Front
Favorite garden center
Bachman's

You score anything and everything at the six Bachman's stores - from a wide variety of annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs to patio furniture, fire pits, all kinds of supplies, and home and garden décor. You also praise the Purple Perks customer loyalty program, with its deals and extended warranties.
Mother Earth Gardens
At Mother Earth, with locations in south and northeast Minneapolis, the name of the game is "sustainable." In spring and summer, you select organic seeds, vegetables and herbs, plus annuals and perennials that are sustainably grown. And you return in fall and winter for Halloween décor and natural Christmas trees.
You also juggle pots of geraniums at Gertens, Highland Nursery and Wagners Greenhouses & Garden Center.

Favorite women-friendly plumber
St. Paul Pipeworks

When you need a plumbing project done today, particularly in an older home, who do you call? St. Paul Pipeworks. Because this owner-run firm's trucks are well-stocked with supplies like faucets and toilets, they typically don't have to order parts - thus, saving time and money.
You also phone Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, Bonfe and Suzie B's Plumbing to stop those pesky leaks.

Favorite home remodeler
Castle Building & Remodeling

You trust Castle to live up to its tagline - "the best value in professional remodeling" - calling on them for kitchens, bathrooms, attics and whole-house renovations, or even smaller jobs like deck and porch repair. You like what they call their "three-pronged guarantee" for precise upfront estimates, the completion date and a unique lifetime warranty.
White Crane Construction and Wonderwoman Construction also redo everything - including the kitchen sink.

Favorite woman realtor
Diana Allen of Minnesota Home Venture

Diana Allen makes it a point to educate her clients and share resources to keep them informed. And what if you must short-sell or walk away? She understands what you're going through and will show compassion and respect. She credits her success to "treating my clients the way I want to be treated."
Amy Ruzick of RE/MAX Results
First-time home buyers, and those relocating or aiming to downsize, call Amy Ruzick's No Place Like Home team - including Kay T. Johnson and Keith Taylor - for their 30 years of combined experience. You like that they give back, working with community groups such as RECLAIM for LGBTQ youth and Dining Out for Life.
Margaret Thorpe Richards of Coldwell Banker Burnet
Margaret Thorpe Richards specializes in residential and multifamily real estate, negotiations, marketing, customer service and more. She promises to be "your trusted guide" to the real-estate process. She also serves on the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors' Board of Directors. As one satisfied client says: "Her professionalism and personal approach always make her stand out."
Jennifer Dunn of Dunn Realty, Cyndi Johnston of Keller Williams and Mary Sommerfeld of Edina Realty also help you pick the perfect place to make your own.

Favorite woman architect
Laurel Ulland of Laurel Ulland Architecture

You engage Laurel Ulland, who specializes in older St. Paul and Minneapolis neighborhoods, when you want to breathe new life into your Dutch Colonial or design your dream home. You are delighted by her attention to detail and emphasis on quality materials. For her firm, "the homeowner is the center of our world."
You also choose blueprints from Rosemary Dolata of Concentric Architecture, Molly Reichert of Futures North and Mythili Thiagarajan of Auromira Architects.

Being Creative
Favorite theater company
The Guthrie Theater

What's your taste in theater? Classic or contemporary drama? Shakespeare or Sondheim? This world-renowned regional theater company, which has engaged audiences for more than 50 years, does it on three stages in Minneapolis' historic Mill District. This season's major offerings include Toni Morrison's "The Bluest Eye."
You also watch the curtain rise at the History Theatre, Penumbra Theatre, Ten Thousand Things Theater and Theatre Unbound.

Favorite art festival
Powderhorn Art Fair

More than 180 national and regional artists will set up their white tents around the lake in Minneapolis' scenic Powderhorn Park on Aug. 5-6 for the 26th annual Powderhorn Art Fair. The event includes a Community Showcase, with juried local artists, and a Group Exhibit area for local arts organizations.
You also pick out paintings and pottery at Art-A-Whirl, the Loring Park Art Festival and the St. Paul Art Crawl.

Favorite art gallery or museum
Minneapolis Institute of Art

The Mia, whose vision is "inspiring wonder through the power of art," celebrated its 100th birthday in 2015. It now holds more than 89,000 works from across the centuries and around the world - notably from Africa, Asia and the Americas.
You also stroll through the Grand Hand Gallery, the Minnesota Museum of American Art, the Museum of Russian Art and Three Sisters Eclectic Arts.

Favorite women-friendly place to hear live music
Crooners Lounge and Supper Club

You're transported back to the jazzy, blues-y 1950s and 1960s in Fridley's intimate 200-seat Crooners Lounge and 90-seat Dunsmore Room, with its signature Steinway piano. There you catch national acts as well as Twin Cities artists like Patty Peterson, Debbie Duncan, and Davina and the Vagabonds. Besides top-notch music, supper-club fare is served.
You also tap your toe to tunes at the Cedar Cultural Center, the Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant and First Avenue.


In Our Communities
Favorite peace and justice organization
Women Against Military Madness (WAMM)

The Trump administration may give WAMM new fodder for its grassroots efforts - for example, warning against potential U.S. military action against Iran. You recognize the group's 1,000 member households for their commitment and passion - still demonstrating for peace on the Lake Street-Marshall Avenue Bridge every Wednesday afternoon, as they have for 18 years.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Minnesota, Showing Up for Racial Justice and TakeAction Minnesota also inspire you to act on your beliefs.

Favorite place to volunteer
Feed My Starving Children

You grab your church group, a bunch of co-workers, or your kids' soccer or hockey team and head for a packing session at Feed My Starving Children - assembling meals for malnourished children around the world. Click the "Volunteer" tab at fmsc.org to find available times and locations.
The Animal Humane Society, Emma Norton Residence, NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota and Open Arms of Minnesota are also grateful for your time and generosity.

Favorite women-friendly spiritual community
St. Joan of Arc Catholic Community

When you attend masses - in the gym with "relevant and inspiring" music or quieter prayer services in the church - you feel welcome, no matter where you are in your faith journey. You also can serve in St. Joan's peace and justice ministries like Arm and Arm in Africa, Loaves & Fishes or the ISAIAH network.
Wisdom Ways Center for Spirituality
A ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, you turn to the Wisdom Ways Center to be uplifted by a range of programming - from labyrinth walks to seasonal retreats to workshops such as "Writing the Sacred Journey." The center says its programs "encourage imagination, honor creation and integrate the voice of the feminine."
You also nourish your soul at Common Ground Meditation Center, Edina Community Lutheran Church, Mount Zion Temple and River Garden Yoga Center.


Strong Voices for Women
Favorite Minnesota politician who stands up for women's rights
U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar,

You admire Sen. Amy Klobuchar for many things, including championing efforts to stem the tide of human sex trafficking. Her bipartisan Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, which President Obama signed into law, included a provision based on Minnesota's "Safe Harbor" law that treats underage girls sold for sex as victims, not criminals.
You also tip your hat to Gov. Mark Dayton, U.S. Sen. Al Franken, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, and state Reps. Erin Murphy and Ilhan Omar.

Favorite Minnesota role model for women in education
ReBecca Koenig Roloff

St. Catherine University President ReBecca ("Becky") Koenig Roloff came full circle when she was appointed last year - she is a graduate of St. Kate's. According to St. Kate's, Roloff "has been renowned as a caring and results-oriented leader who works with people, not over them, to achieve success for the organization she is leading."
You also hold in high regard Marcie Boles, a special education teacher in the Anoka-Hennepin School District; Monzong Cha of Wilder Research, and Mary Mackbee, St. Paul Central High School principal.

Favorite Minnesota role model for women in business
Nancy Lyons of Clockwork

As CEO of Minneapolis firm Clockwork - "where marketing and technology meet" - Nancy Lyons is recognized as a leader, an author and a speaker on the culture of work. Her mottos? "Think strategically, act thoughtfully and be a good human." In addition, she chairs the Family Equality Council's national board of directors.
You also are impressed by the success of Amy Lynn Brown of Chowgirls Killer Catering, Lili Hall of KNOCK, Julie Ingebretsen of Ingebretsen's Scandinavian Gifts and Mary Tjosvold of Mary T., Inc. M

Favorite Minnesota role model for women in health care
Mary Brainerd of HealthPartners

Mary Brainerd, who is retiring in June 2017 after 15 years as president and CEO of HealthPartners, has led more than 22,500 employees - including 1,700 doctors - who provide care to more than 1.5 million. In the community, she is a founder and former chair of the Itasca Project, which works to ease economic disparities.
Penny Wheeler of Allina Health
Penny Wheeler is president and CEO of Allina Health, leading more than 27,000 workers, including 6,000 doctors, at 61 clinics and 12 hospitals. An obstetrician/gynecologist, she previously served as the system's chief clinical officer. In the community, she serves on the Portico Healthnet board, helping the uninsured get access to care.


Kids
Favorite indoor play area
Edinborough Park

It's always sunny and 70 degrees at Edina's indoor park. Kids navigate its Adventure Peak play structure - complete with tube slides, climbing wall and 30-foot lookout. A toddler area keeps littlest ones bouncing. There's also the Great Hall with a moonwalk, scooters and balls, music and theater classes, and birthday party packages.
You also let the kids burn up excess energy at Eagles Nest Indoor Playground, Good Times Park and Maple Maze.

Favorite summer camp for kids
YMCA

You start kids as young as four down the path of YMCA camping at 10 day camps, such as Camp Kumalya in Lake Elmo. Four overnight camps for ages 7 to 17 offer traditional and specialty (think sailing or photography) activities. Camps Menogyn and Widjiwagan take teens to new heights on wilderness canoeing or backpacking trips.
Concordia Language Villages and the Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys also create lasting camp memories.

Favorite place for kids' music lessons
Cadenza Music

Do you have a practicing pianist? A beginning bassoonist? A gifted guitarist? You send your kids to toot, strum, pluck and drum their way through lessons from the experienced teachers at Cadenza, on St. Paul's Snelling Avenue. Instruments are available to buy or lease as well.
You also send your budding maestros to Ensemble Music - Music Together, MacPhail Center for Music and St. Joseph's School of Music.

Favorite local, independent kids' bookstore
The Red Balloon Bookshop

In St. Paul for more than 30 years, the store offers story times, author events, book clubs, a birthday club - even birthday parties. A "Bookshop-in-a-Box" subscription program lets you send select titles to a special child far away. You can buy and download eBooks, too.
Wild Rumpus
Wild indeed! At Wild Rumpus, in Minneapolis' Linden Hills area for 25 years, you might encounter a cat or two, a chinchilla or even a ferret amid outdoor-themed décor. The store hosts field-trip groups and book fairs as well as preschooler "Tail Time" readings.

Favorite place to go with kids on a rainy day
The library

When storm clouds roll through, you grab your youngsters and head to your local branch for readings, concerts and puppet shows. Check out "Story Yoga" in the Hennepin County system or "Baby & Me Storytime" in the Ramsey County libraries. In St. Paul, libraries have story time in several languages, including Somali, Hmong, Karen and Oromo.
Science Museum of Minnesota Watch lightbulbs go on over kids' heads (figuratively, anyway). They'll see dinosaurs, a tornado, a mummy, Native American objects - even quirky medical devices. In the new Sportsology exhibit, kids test motion (like throwing a football), race a T.rex or measure their jump. Still raining? Catch a film in the Omnitheater.
You also gratefully take cover in Como Park's Marjorie McNeely Conservatory and the Minnesota Children's Museum.

Favorite local, independent toy store
Creative Kidstuff

You shop at the seven Twin Cities stores for everything from newer items such as Playmobil's NHL Shooting Pad for hockey buffs or LEGO sets based on Disney's "Moana" to time-tested classics such as wooden puzzles and blocks. The well-chosen selection fits Creative Kidstuff's belief that play "is joyful, educational, creative and inspiring."
Mischief
A toy store for older kids? Indeed. This Grand Avenue shop describes its offerings as "games, collectibles, books, art and friendly mayhem" - for example, a safe-for-indoors bow-and-arrow-set, a unicorn lunchbox and a "Joke-A-Day" spin game complete with a fake worm. "Magic: The Gathering" fans can meet Friday nights in the upstairs game room.
You also indulge your child's playful side with gifts from Choo Choo Bob's Train Store and Lark Toys.

Favorite organization growing strong girls
Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys

Serving 30,000 girls with 9,000 volunteers, the Girl Scouts aim "to build girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place." They do this by working on badges, giving back to the community and - yes - selling cookies. Summer camps let girls challenge themselves with new activities like archery and sailing.
You also admire the efforts of the Ann Bancroft Foundation, Girls on the Run and the YWCA.


Animal Friends
Favorite place to adopt a pet
Animal Humane Society

When you open your heart and home to a new dog or cat (or bird or rabbit), you visit Animal Humane Society locations in Buffalo, Coon Rapids, Golden Valley, St. Paul or Woodbury. There you'll meet adoptee hopefuls with names from A (Ace, a Doberman Pinscher) to Z (Zeus, a long-haired kitty).
You also find furry friends at Feline Rescue, Second Chance Animal Rescue and Underdog Rescue.

Favorite place to board your pet
Avian Suites

When you travel - or perhaps are remodeling, painting or having your carpets cleaned - you bring your birds to Avian Suites in south Minneapolis. The facility has 17 private, temperature-controlled and well-ventilated rooms to help keep your bird safe and healthy. Birds get playtime, fresh breakfast and a daily report card e-mailed to you.
Now Boarding
Your dogs, cats, gerbils, birds - even snakes - happily stay at Now Boarding in south Minneapolis, which offers convenient shuttles for pet owners to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Services include grooming, outdoor play areas, and doggy suites and kitty condos. Try a "Short Spell Stay" as a trial or when you leave on a day trip.
Your pets are also safe (and loved) at Dog Days, Minnehaha Animal Hospital and Silver Dog Bed & Biscuit.

Favorite animal hospital or veterinarian
Minnehaha Animal Hospital

For services from routine exams to surgery and dentistry to hospice care, you choose Minnehaha Animal Hospital in Minneapolis to take care of your four-legged family members. Sign up for puppy or kitten classes online or download their app to make appointments and score customer loyalty points.
St. Francis Animal & Bird Hospital
Operating in Roseville since 1992, St. Francis focuses on preventive, surgical and palliative care and offers an in-house pharmacy. They especially stress relationships, compassion and educating owners so you can make medical decisions - whether for cats and dogs, birds, or small mammals like guinea pigs, hamsters and gerbils.
All Paws Animal Hospital, East Lake Animal Clinic, Midway Animal Hospital and Nokomis Pet Clinic also take great care of your beloved pets.


Money Smarts
Favorite woman financial planner
Heather Bantle of Foster Klima

Heather Bantle leverages her skills as a former licensed social worker to ease clients in talking about money management - especially for women in transition, small-business owners or members of the LGBTQ community. She uses a holistic approach and aims for clients to "continue, in retirement, to live financially free and with abundance."
Maura Steblay of Minneapolis Financial Group
Are you preparing to pay for college or ready to retire? Needing insurance? Maura Steblay promises "a new level of attention, insight and capability" to help you reach your financial goals. A former early-childhood educator, she also specializes in helping single women, business owners and families whose children have special needs.
You also get ready for retirement with Joan Gilles of Financial Planning Partners, Kay Kramer of Birchwood Financial Partners and Kay Stienessen, CPA.

Favorite woman family law attorney
Elizabeth Cloutier of Cloutier Law Offices

You schedule a free consultation with Elizabeth Cloutier, an attorney since 1988, when you have a question about family or employment law, estate planning, LGBTQ rights, or auto-accident injuries. In particular, she helps her clients through complex cases of such matters as divorce, child support, paternity, adoption and prenuptial agreements - up to and including litigation.
Karen Tarrant of Tarrant & Liska You contact Karen Tarrant, a partner in the St. Paul firm Tarrant & Liska, when you need a "problem solver" with decades of experience. She can help your family with estate planning, wills and trusts, power of attorney, and guardianship. In addition to initial half-hour consultations, she will meet potential clients evenings and on weekends.
You also consult with legal eagles Jane Binder of Binder Law Offices, Carla Kjellberg of Kjellberg Law Office and Carelle Stein of Stein Law Office.

Favorite place for business banking
Sunrise Banks

A preferred Small Business Administration lender, the six family-owned Sunrise Banks branches in the Twin Cities' urban core offer commercial loans and leasing and a new Xceleration Capital product, along with checking, savings, credit card and cash management tools to help you grow and run your business. Money aside, you support Sunrise's efforts to create positive change as one of the only 100 or so Community Development Financial Institutions in the country and as a member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values.
You also count on BMO Harris, BankCherokee and Northeast Bank to assist women entrepreneurs.

Favorite woman insurance agent
Davina Baldwin of State Farm

A State Farm agent since 1996, Baldwin can help you with everything from combining renters' and auto insurance to choosing between term or permanent life insurance to getting set for retirement. Her mission is "to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected and realize their dreams."
You also rest assured that Kim Bennett of American Family Insurance, Kimberly Nybo of State Farm and Deb Streeter of Farmers Insurance will protect your home and car.

Favorite woman accountant
Phyllis Burdette of Burdette & Associates

You trust your tax preparation to Phyllis Burdette, a CPA for 35 years. You also turn to Burdette's firm - which is dedicated to "professionalism, responsiveness and quality" - for help with financial tasks like QuickBooks, financial reports, payroll and cash-flow management.
Bonnie Russ of Mahoney, Ulbrich, Christiansen and Russ
As a partner in this award-winning St. Paul accounting firm founded in 1989, Bonnie Russ specializes in taxes, small businesses and nonprofit organizations. You also commend Russ for her efforts toward work-life balance and advancing women in the accounting field.
You also take your vexing tax questions to Jill Abrahamson of Schechter Dokken Kanter; Karen Palm, CPA; and Stacie Usem of Lurie.

Favorite woman estate planner
Chris Tymchuck of Unique Estate Law

As an attorney, Chris Tymchuck fills a supportive yet necessary role specializing in estate planning for LGBTQ families, including trusts, wills, health-care directives and power of attorney. As one satisfied couple says, "We know our daughter will be taken care of if anything happens to us."
Julie Wilcox of Blue Owl Law
An attorney making house calls? Julie Wilcox does. For Wilcox, "estate planning ... is about having important conversations with the most important people in your life." She offers free initial consultations, flat fees, and weekend and evening appointments to "guide strong people through tough situations."
You also trust your will and trust to Susan L. Anderson of DeWitt Mackall Crounse & Moore and Rachel Schromen of Schromen Law.

Favorite place for personal banking
Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union

This not-for-profit co-op, dating to 1930, now has more than 180,000 member-owners. Its 28 locations statewide offer checking, savings, student loans, home and auto loans, and more - "from piggy banks to retirement accounts." You also take advantage of perks like the WINcentives savings rewards and discounts on theater tickets and wireless plans.
US Bank
With Minneapolis-based US Bank, the nation's fifth largest commercial bank with 145 Minnesota locations, you combine checking and savings packages for special rates on savings and loans. You also tap into the bank's credit and debit cards, and home, auto, and student loans. The START Smart program rewards you for regularly socking small amounts away.
You also visit the ATMs of BankCherokee and Spire Federal Credit Union.

Favorite nonprofit to support financially
Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota

You put your money where your mouth is at a time when this provider of affordable health care and reproductive services is under political fire. You believe in supporting Planned Parenthood's clinics, which provide everything from birth control to pap tests and annual exams to STD testing.
You also pledge financial help to the Animal Humane Society, Friends of the Hennepin County Library, Friends of the Ramsey County Library, Friends of the St. Paul Public Library, Gender Justice, Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys and the Sexual Violence Center.


Learning All the Time
Favorite women-friendly graduate program
St. Catherine University
At women-centered St. Kate's, you take your leadership and communication skills to the next level in more than 20 master's, doctoral and certificate programs. Areas of study include business, health, education, social work, library science, theology and interpreting studies. You appreciate the flexibility, with most classes meeting evenings in St. Paul, online or both.
You also hit the books at St. Mary's University and the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

Favorite place to learn a language
Community Education Classes

If you are a beginning or advanced English Language Learner, you register with your local Community Education department. You can also brush up on your French or Spanish, or study conversational Chinese in Minnetonka, Polish in northeast Minneapolis or American Sign Language in Roseville.
You also twist your tongue with Alliance Française, the International Institute of Minnesota and Language Central.

Favorite place to take a craft class
Goddess of Glass

You get an introduction to glass fusing by making plates, coasters or soap dishes in popular beginner workshops taught by award-winning artist Connie Beckers. Or you bring friends for a private party.
Quench Jewelry Arts
Learn basic metalsmithing and make simple rings. All ages and skill levels are welcome in classes or workshops. After taking a class, you attend the monthly open studio every first Thursday.
Textile Center of Minnesota Embroidery? Felting? How about weaving or dyes? You learn these crafts and more at the Textile Center in Minneapolis. Starter classes include "Color Theory" and "Fiber Fundamentals."
Wet Paint You explore your inner artist in classes on everything from lettering, drawing and origami to watercolor, painting and collage. You also buy supplies at this St. Paul independent art supply store.
The Minnetonka Center for the Arts, Mosaic on a Stick and The Yarnery also spark your creativity.


Healthy Directions
Favorite birth coach
Sarah Rao of the Twin Cities Doula Project

As part of the Twin Cities Doula Project, Rao - like other volunteers - assists women who can't afford to pay for labor support. Says Rao: "Birth is this beautiful combination of body and spirit. ... It's incredible to see a woman connect with her own strength."
Minnesota Birth Center
The Birth Center offers mothers-to-be a "midwife-led care model at clinics, birth centers and hospitals - which includes a medical safety net." Also offered are pregnancy and postpartum care, childbirth education and more. Attend parent topic nights or the La Leche League St. Paul Mothering Café.
Erin Sutton of Enlightened Mama
Erin Sutton, a Lamaze-certified childbirth educator, certified lactation counselor and doula, says she strives "to help mamas and their partners feel empowered to become their own best advocates." She also says: "I am simply honored to support each awesome mama and her partner in welcoming their sweet babe."
You also breathe more easily with Dionne Corcoran of Northland Midwifery and Sue Chargo of New Heart Doula Care.

Favorite woman doctor
Dr. Sandy Stover of Sawtooth Mountain Clinic

Dr. Sandy Stover is a family physician at this Grand Marais community health clinic in far northeastern Minnesota who offers care on a sliding fee scale. She is particularly interested in end-of-life and palliative care.
Dr. Deborah Swendrowski of Healtheast
Dr. Deborah Swendrowski is a family physician at Healtheast's Grand Avenue clinic, who does everything from annual exams to pregnancy, labor and delivery. She is particularly interested in women's health, preventive care and complementary medicine.
You also receive excellent care from Dr. Channing McKinley of Channing McKinley Chiropractic and Elizabeth Sonnier of HealthPartners.

Favorite woman dentist
Dr. Joan Jakubas of Jakubas Dental Clinic

Many times it's all about the relationships. Minneapolis dentist Dr. Joan Jakubas, in private practice for nearly 30 years, takes pride in taking "an avid interest in her patients' lives and health," in addition to their teeth. Her clinic provides everything from general dentistry to implants and Invisalign orthodontics.
Dr. Alice Ottavi of ADT Dental
Dr. Alice Ottavi, who has been with ADT Dental in Minneapolis for 20 years, practices general dentistry and particularly has experience in comprehensive restorative dentistry. Her clinic offers digital radiography to minimize exposure to radiation and uses eco-friendly products. They also pride themselves on long-lasting professional relationships.
You also open wide for Dr. Juliana Mirodone of Uptown Dental and Dr. Stacy Shearen of Associated Dentists.

Favorite elder services
Benedictine Health System

The Benedictine Health System is entrusted with advancing the life-enhancing senior care ministry of the Benedictine Sisters of Duluth. BHS provides a variety of services in the Twin Cities, including independent and assisted living, skilled nursing care and rehabilitation.
Mary T. Inc.
Serving the community for more than 40 years, since its founding by entrepreneur and humanitarian Mary Tjosvold in 1976, Mary T. is your trusted provider for seniors and people with disabilities, including person-centered home health and hospice care, independent apartments, assisted living, memory care, brain injury services and more.
Care Partners of Cook County and The Geneva Suites also provide your loved ones with gracious TLC.





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