BIZZ BUZZ // Ruff Love Dogs celebrating grand opening with Halloween Party

Updated: October 24, 2011 - 9:09 am

SHERIDAN — Ruff Love Dogs, the new dog daycare at 1528 Marshall St. NE, opened its doors on Oct. 1, but owners Jessen Como and Charles Johnson decided to wait for the end of the month for its grand opening party. They’re celebrating their business with a Halloween party for dogs and their owners alike.

The “Howlin’ Halloween Grand Opening Party” will be held at 4 p.m. on Oct. 30 and feature music, mingling pet photographer Sarah Beth Photography and, of course, lots of dogs in cute costumes. Proceeds from the event will benefit pit bull rescue organization Save-A-Bull Rescue.

Other upcoming events at the space include adoption events for a greyhound rescue organization and an art show for two artists who created murals for the business’ exterior. That may sound like an eclectic lineup for a doggie daycare, but that’s all part of the plan. Como and Johnson want Ruff Love to be a social space where dog lovers can mingle. After all, introducing your dog to other dogs is a big part of the fun of being a pet owner.

“We’re really trying to key into what’s fun about having a dog,” Johnson said.

Ruff Love Dogs features 7,000 square feet of indoor space across five rooms and 20,000 feet of outdoor space. The business also offers dog training, all-natural treats and holistic therapy, and a unique overnight dog-sitting service. Pets are picked up from their homes, spend the day at Ruff Love’s facilities and returned to sleep in their own homes to minimize stress. Dog daycare will be offered from 6 a.m.–6 p.m., with private training sessions available from 6 p.m.–9 p.m.

Comedy Corner Underground launches monthly triple feature program

SEVEN CORNERS — Get ready for a triple dose of comedy. Comedy Corner Underground, the comedian-run club in the basement of The Corner Bar at 1501 Washington Ave. S., is launching a new monthly event featuring three sets by experienced comedians.

“Basically, it will be three different comics, usually one local and two national who will come in and each do between 20 to 30 minutes,” said Bob Edwards of Comedy Corner Underground. “Three guys who are about the same level, most of which will have reached the point where they get paid to do comedy for a living. It’s unique in that there’s not anywhere else doing that sort of format.”

A more traditional format, says Edwards is a short set by a part-time or amateur comedian, a half hour by a “feature” comedian, and an hour by a headliner.

The first triple feature will be held on Thursday, Oct. 27 at 9 p.m. The three scheduled performers are Justin Colucci, Chris Knutson and Pat Susmilch, all of whom are veteran of Acme Comedy Company’s “Funniest Person in the Twin Cities Contest.” Knutson won the title in 2010, Colucci is the current title holder and Susmilch was a recent finalist. Tickets cost $7 in advance, $10 at the door or $5 with college ID.

According to Edwards, the Twin Cities has one of the most vibrant comedy scenes in the country. Many local comedians moved here to be part of the scene, which Edwards characterizes as smart and supportive.

“I was a touring comedian and I met my wife opening for a show here,” said Edwards. “In this scene, there are probably a dozen people who moved here for the comedy. It’s competitive, but not in the sense that New York or LA where it’s harder to get stage time unless you’re in with the networks. Here it’s everyone constantly trying to build other comics up so the scene is better and funnier.”

Origins Coffee and Tea brings coffee culture to the street

NICOLLET MALL — For the past two months or so, Joseph Struyk has been selling beverages from his Origins Coffee and Tea cart at 4th & Nicollet. His may not be the highest-profile cart to emerge from the street food explosion of the summer, but his business is growing steadily with every day that passes.

“Most of the time when people try me out, they come back every day and they always bring friends,” said Struyk.

During The Journal’s brief visit to Origins coffee, several regulars indeed stopped by. And they all brought friends.

Former banker and English teacher Struyk founded Origins Coffee and Tea after returning from a period teaching English in France. While there, he because interested in running a culinary business, and like many others, found a food cart to be the most affordable option.

While downtown does not lack coffee shops, Struyk found that it was missing the independent coffee shop culture so prevalent in other parts of the city. He approached Uptown’s Dogwood Coffee about serving their brews on the streets and trained at the shop for several months before striking out on his own. His cart also offers teas from Art of Tea and uses Autumn Wood milk from Forest Lake for espresso beverages.

Struyk is still working on his plans for the winter, but hopes to stay out on the streets to serve his customers as long as possible. “That’s the best thing about this job,” said Struyk. “I love people. I love my customers.”

findfurnish finds a home

LOGAN PARK — The first thing Marie Zellar tells visitors to her new gallery and show room at the Casket Arts Community is that nothing is sacred — the chairs that sit at her makeshift desk, the lamp that sits atop it and the glowing globe on the table stand situated to her left could each leave the building, for the right price.

“The thing is, we’re going to find something just as cool the next time we go out,” says Zellar, the co-owner of findfurnish, which began as a home-based business a little over a year ago. “We’re kind of charmed that way. We’re like a foster home for wonderful things.”

Looking around the newly refurbished, 4,000-square-foot store Zeller and her co-owner Brian Wilcox have put together over the last few months, the analogy rings true.

In one corner of the industrial, cement-lined space sits an old foreman’s desk salvaged from a steel manufacturer liquidating in St. Cloud. Elsewhere there is a classic sofa from the mid-century master Milo Baughman, a giant wrap-around wooden Brunswick bench saved from a bowling alley and an antique, foldable military table.

All of the items come from the late 1940s to early 1970s, and have been collected from around the Midwest through a sort of grassroots collection process that is part networking, part luck. The items have more character, are better made and are less costly than many of their modern-day counterparts, Zeller said.

“This is a new aesthetic for Minneapolis,” Zeller said during a recent visit to the studio. “We’re taking these things that had completely different lives, and giving them new ones.”

Zeller and Wilcox decided to move out of Zeller’s Northeast home so they could centralize their growing inventory and have more room to repair their finds.  

As of press time, Zeller and Wilcox planned to open the new store, at 1720 Madison St. NE, on Oct. 15.

Though there will not be regular business hours — giving Zeller and Wilcox time to collect and repair their finds — the store is expected to be open the first and third Thursday of each month. It will also be open on an appointment basis.


• New menswear store Askov Finlayson has opened at 200 N. 1st St., which is also home to The Bachelor Farmer and Marvel Bar. All three are owned by Eric and Andrew Dayton, who named the shop after two Northern Minnesota towns that share an exit off I-35. The store is open Tuesday through Sunday and carries brands chosen for “quality construction and timeless design.”

• Taste Twin Cities Food Tours has launched a new tour focusing on quality dining that is accessible through the skyway system. The tours will run November through March and make stops at Crave, Hell’s Kitchen, Cocoa and Fig, Northern Lights Tea and Candyland. Owner Rebecca Pfeiffer plans to offer the tour twice a week for groups up to 12 at a time. For more information, visit

• Hell’s Kitchen is considering adding a bakery to its restaurant at 80 9th St. S. The bakery would sell Hell’s Kitchen’s caramel rolls, sausage bread and signature baked goods. The restaurant is asking fans for input on what the potential bakery should be named.

— Drew Kerr contributed to this report