Bizz Buzz: Walker goes local

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November 21, 2011
By: Jeremy Zoss
Jeremy Zoss
Walker Art Center opens store for local artists

HENNEPIN — The Walker Art Center’s Walker Shop has teamed up with mnarts.org for a new mini-store within the Walker Shop dedicated to the works of Minnesota artists. The mnartists.marketplace opened on Nov. 17 and stocks local art, artistic wares and art-inspired goods.

The mnartists.marketplace is co-curated by the Walker Shop and mnartists.org. Local artists will be invited to submit designs twice annually, providing them with a chance to produce limited edition design objects that will be sold exclusively at the mnartists.marketplace.

The first such limited edition release is a series of pint glasses featuring the works of local artists Michon Weeks, Craig Eliason, Christy Johnson, Steven Lang, Max Mose and Andy Ducett. Other items in the initial lineup of offerings include soft toys by Fantastic Toys, mugs by Sixdot, wood toys by Smiling Tree Toys and more.

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Kitchen in the Market brings food trucks inside

MIDTOWN — Now that the cold weather is upon us, many of the street food vendors that populated the city during the summer have packed it up for the year. Fortunately, street food fans won’t have to wait until next year to patronize their favorite vendors. Kitchen in the Market at the Midtown Global Market has announced that it will host a monthly “Food Truck Fix” that brings street food indoors.

One Sunday a month, Kitchen in the Market will host two street food vendors, starting with Smack Shack and Foxy Falafel on Dec. 4. On Jan. 29, St. Paul’s Gastro Truck will serve alongside Minneapolis’ newest vendor, yumMi Bahn Mi. Kitchen in the Market plans to hold Food Truck Fix events through April. Visit facebook.com/
kitcheninthemarket for more information.

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Studio Thr3e opens with sliding-scale massage services


SHERIDAN — In mid-October, Nena Englund opened Studio Thr3e, a new massage studio in The Foundry building at 349 13th Ave. NE. The business features a unique sliding scale pricing system that lets customers pay anywhere between a minimum rate and a typical salon rate based on their financial situation. The pay structure has brought a lot of customers to Studio Thr3e in a short time.

“It’s been good,” said Englund. “Referrals like crazy. It’s a new way of pricing and people are rally excited about that.”

Not bad for someone who never planned on opening her own business.

Englund has been working in massage for four and a half years after graduating from the Aveda Institute and was working at a salon spa while planning a trip to Spain. Her former employer decided to close the spa part of the business, which left Englund with no job and a planned vacation.

“It was like ‘I gotta find a job, but then I’m gonna have to ask for a month off,’” said Englund.

Englund was introduced to Kelly Sharp, owner of The Foundry Building, which houses businesses The Barber Sharp and Tiger Rose Tattoo, as well as the Tarnish&Gold gallery. They clicked, and Englund signed a lease for a small space in the building. “It wasn’t planned at all,” said Englund. “I think it was meant to be.”

Studio Thr3e’s compact size would be an unnatural fit for many businesses, but it’s perfect for Englund’s customer-centric model. It affords her the opportunity to let customers take their time, rather than rush them out to fit in more clients. Like the sliding scale, the intimate space and relaxed pace is part of Englund’s goal of making massage affordable, accessible and comfortable. “My clients like that it’s all about them,” said Englund. “Wellness shouldn’t be an indulgence.”

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Metro Dogs celebrates grand opening


NORTH LOOP — Metro Dogs, the new doggie daycare and boarding facility at 506 11th Ave. N., celebrated its grand opening on Nov. 18 with a ribbon cutting ceremony and a blessing by “animal chaplain” Sid Korpi. According to owner Amy Rosenthal, the blessing is a great way to symbolize the building’s transformation from the former Animal Control building to a new state-of-the-art boarding facility.

“Out with the bad spirits, in with the good spirits,” said Rosenthal.

Metro Dogs features more than 9,000 square feet of play area with movable dividers to accommodate multiple playgroups for dogs of different sizes. The facility also includes a boarding area for overnight stays and offers an “event package” for those who want to enjoy a night on the town before picking up their dog from daycare. For a flat $10 fee, a dog in daycare can be picked up as late as 10 p.m.

Rosenthal says business has been good in the first few weeks, and that downtown dog owners appreciate the location, cleanliness and flexibility of the packages Metro Dogs offers. One feature that will soon come online is a webcam that will allow customers to remotely watch their dogs play.  

For more information on Metro Dogs, visit metrodogsmn.com. The facility is currently accepting canine boarders for the busy holiday travel season.

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Town Hall Brewery becomes Minnesota’s most-awarded brewer

SEVEN CORNERS — The Town Hall Brewery at 1430 Washington Ave. S. took home three medals at the 2011 Great American Beer Festival, making Town Hall the most-awarded brewpub in the state. The Great American Beer Festival (GABF), which Town Hall Master Brewer Mike Hoops says is “like the Superbowl” for brewers, has awarded Town Hall 12 medals since first entering the GABF in 2000.

“This year was quite a surprise, because we hadn’t won anything in two years,” said Hoops. “We won a Gold and two Silvers. We won the Gold for a beer called Hope & King Scotch Ale. That beer in previous years had won a Bronze and a Silver, so this is its third medal. We’re very happy about that.”

The Silver medal was awarded to seasonal beer LSD (Lavendar, Sunflower Honey and Dates) and the Bronze was awarded to another seasonal, Eye of the Storm Honey Ale.

Hoops said the GABF medals have gained Town Hall a lot of exposure in the national beer world and in the local scene, which has changed dramatically in recent years. News of Town Hall’s accomplishments at the Great American Beer Fest should be a big draw for craft beer fans, despite the increasingly crowded local scene. “The beer market in the Twin Cities has grown exponentially in the last two or three years. There are a lot of great new local beers,” said Hoops. “It’s easy for a little brewpub to get lost.”

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Panting Puppy checks in on Northeast dogs

If you need someone to check in on your dog at home in Northeast Minneapolis or the surrounding communities, Panting Puppy is there to help.

Business owner Carisa Sibbet will come to your home to give your dog a walk, a potty break, check on your cat and otherwise make sure your pet is happy and healthy at home. Panting Puppy also offers dog boarding, a pet taxi service, trips to the dog park and will soon add pet grooming to the mix. For those who want to keep their dogs at home during vacation, Panting Puppy will check on your pet up to three times a day and tackle minor household tasks like dealing with mail and garbage.

Sibbet founded Panting Puppy after being laid off from a job in graphic design. A lifelong animal lover, she decided to use the layoff as an opportunity to pursue work with animals and has been operating the company since September. For information on pricing and services, visit pantingpuppy.com.

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Izzy’s Ice Cream eyeing new headquarters in Minneapolis

MILL DISTRICT — St. Paul’s Izzy’s Ice Cream could be crossing the river to Minneapolis. According to the city, Izzy’s has made a substantial offer on a vacant lot at 1100 2nd St. S. If the sale is approved, the plan calls for a one-and-a-half story building that would produce Izzy’s ice cream and be open for tours and retail sales.

If the plan is approved, Izzy’s owners Jeff Sommers and Lara Hammel would begin construction on the new facility next year. Duluth’s award-winning architect David Salmela has been identified as the project’s architect.

Reach Jeremy Zoss at jzoss@mnpubs.com.