Best of Woodbury 2O15 features our readers’ choices for their favorite pieces of our city.
Have you ever watched a child open up a new box of colorful building blocks, the kind that snap together and interlock with other parts to create an array of objects? The child opens the box, the one with the picture of a castle on the lid. He or she tips it upside down, and all of the intricate pieces tumble onto the floor in a jumbled heap. And yet, somehow, the child knows exactly what to do. Piece by piece she builds and builds until, to your surprise, there’s a castle sitting on your floor.
What’s even more impressive, however, is the next day, when you discover that the castle is gone and a rocket ship has taken its place. Remarkably, the child didn’t use the instructions this time. Only her imagination. It’s a unique creation that is better than the original.
A community is like a box of interlocking blocks. It contains different parts that fit together to make up the whole—restaurants, financial institutions, schools, clinics, houses and more. What makes it truly unique, however, are the people who live and work in the community. With this in mind, we recognize some of the best in Woodbury.
For the 11th year, Woodbury Magazine asked readers to vote for the best our city has to offer. Our readers participated in our online survey from October 1 through November 15. The votes have been tallied, and now we’re pleased to announce this year’s winners.
As our city continues to grow, each resident and local business builds upon the city’s foundation and adds a unique, interlocking piece to create a vibrant community. Like the child with a box of blocks, Woodbury is limited only by our imagination, resourcefulness and dedication to building something great.
Food & Restaurants
When hunger strikes, Woodbury has a multitude of options where you can find just the right thing to satisfy your craving. Whether you want to plan a romantic dinner for two, treat the entire family to chocolate cake or fresh baked cookies, or join your best friends for a pint of craft beer, Woodbury boasts an array of restaurants, cafes, bakeries and grocery stores that will appeal to even the most discriminating tastes.
Dorothy Ann Bakery & Café
71O Commerce Drive; 651.731.3323
As Dorothy Ann Bakery & Café owner Joan Conway knows, when something works, you don’t change it. In addition to using tried and true recipes that the full-line bakery has perfected over the past 60 years, they are continually finding new ways to please their customers. As this year’s recognition shows, Dorothy Ann continues to be Woodbury’s favorite destination for delicious breads, buns, doughnuts, cookies and cupcakes. When it comes to baking, Conway and her staff take the cake!
Runners Up: Keys Café & Bakery, Sugar Love Bakery
9965 Hudson Road, Suite 690; 651.256.0021
Sometimes, nothing tastes better than a great burger. When that craving hits, Woodbury’s burger lovers head to Smashburger. Once the cooks have your order, they don’t just grill the burger; they literally smash, sear and season it to perfection. If that’s not enough, the restaurant offers a selection of signature side dishes such as hand-tossed garlic, rosemary and olive oil fries, hand-breaded haystack onions and fried pickles. Rob Halberg, district manager of the Woodbury Smashburger, says, “It feels incredible to be recognized with all of the other great restaurants that Woodbury has to offer, and to know that our guests think of us as being one of the best.”
Runners Up: Jake’s Wayback Burgers, Five Guys
The Tavern Grill
772 Bielenberg Drive; 651.578.3000
A tavern is defined as an establishment for the sale of beer and other drinks to be consumed on the premises, sometimes also serving food. It’s simple in theory, but takes tremendous dedication, hard work and creativity to do it well. As a Woodbury favorite, The Tavern takes that definition to the next level with its comfortable and relaxed dining room, delicious food and beverages, and its informed, friendly staff. With happy hour specials, specialty cocktails, full wine and beer lists, plus appetizers such as the crab artichoke quesadilla on its menu, it’s clear to see how the Tavern has raised the bar.
Runners Up: O’Malley’s Irish Pub, Cowboy Jack’s
The Tavern Grill
772 Bielenberg Drive; 651.578.3000
During Minnesota’s warmer months, one of the best places to enjoy al fresco dining in Woodbury is on The Tavern Grill’s sprawling outdoor patio. Beautifully lit and complete with a full bar, more than 100 seats and a menu that features such items as flatbread pizzas, seafood, and the grill’s famous build-your-own burgers, the patio has great appeal. On a clear night, it doesn’t get much better than dining under the stars.
Runners Up: David’s Chophouse, Wild Bill’s Sports Saloon
Date Night Spot
Cravings Wine Bar & Grille
755 Bielenberg Drive; 651.528.6828
“I’m delighted that people consider Cravings a great location for date night,” says owner Greg Rick. The restaurant is known for offering excellent cuisine without pretense, its intimate dining room, and a friendly, knowledgeable staff. “When people go out at night, they want a memorable dining experience with great conversation,” Rick says. “We help our customers with the menu selections, and then we leave them alone to talk.” But even on date nights, guests can count on being greeted at the door. Rick says, “We know about a third of our customers by name and we love seeing them come in. That’s what makes it wonderful to work here in Woodbury.”
Runners Up: The Tavern Grill, Craft Kitchen & Bar
Place for Craft Beer on Tap
Craft Kitchen & Bar
700 Commons Drive; 651.735.1997
When a new dining establishment opened in Woodbury last year with a name like Craft Kitchen & Bar, Woodbury residents hoped to discover an excellent selection of craft beers. They weren’t disappointed. Craft Kitchen & Bar offers hard cider, domestic and imported beers, as well as a variety of craft pints such as Deschutes ‘Fresh Squeezed’ IPA from Oregon, Dark Horse Crooked Tree IPA from Michigan, and Minnesota’s own Surly Furious. Cheers!
Runners Up: The Tavern Grill, Lakes Tavern & Grill
Craft Kitchen & Bar
700 Commons Drive; 651.735.1997
A newcomer to Woodbury’s culinary scene, Craft Kitchen & Bar already has a loyal following. Voted this year’s best new restaurant, the establishment features classic American dining in a casual dining room made to feel like home. With 36 years in the restaurant business and more than 70 restaurants between them, owners Steve Wagenheim and Dean Vlahos know the importance of great food and creating a welcoming environment for their guests. The staff are committed to providing diners with chef-created comfort foods that pair well with handcrafted cocktails, beers and distinctive wines.
Runners Up: Punch Neapolitan Pizza, Cowboy Jack’s
Osaka Sushi & Hibachi
9900 Hudson Road, #622; 651.731.3333
No need to trek outside of Woodbury for fabulous sushi. Osaka offers dozens of fresh, delicious choices to please your palate, including the tasty and beautiful Woodbury roll: spicy tuna tucked inside spicy salmon, topped with a combo of salmon, tuna and avocado. Head to Osaka for lunch, happy hour and dinner to experience their sushi; they also have excellent hibachi, teriyaki and tempura dishes.
Alyssa Rick, Cravings Wine Bar & Grille
755 Bielenberg Drive; 651.528.6828
Cravings Wine Bar & Grille is known as much for its excellent food as it is for its exceptional service. Woodbury’s favorite bartender, Alyssa Rick, joins her colleagues in creating a welcoming environment in the family owned restaurant. “Not only does Alyssa make great drinks; she genuinely cares about our customers,” says owner—and Alyssa’s proud dad—Greg Rick. “She has the ability to remember our people’s favorite drinks. When they walk in the door, she greets them by name and asks, ‘The usual?’” Alyssa is best known for her old fashioneds and Manhattans, but her TLC makes any drink special.
Runners Up: Ben Knutson, Angelina’s Kitchen; Chuck Pasqua, Craft Kitchen & Bar
2170 Eagle Creek Lane; 651.998.0474
While Angelina’s Kitchen quickly became a Woodbury favorite for Italian food, this year residents skipped over dinner and went straight to voting for dessert. Continuing in her tradition for homestyle dishes made with fresh, high-quality ingredients, chef and owner Angela Verrastro is serving up such memorable desserts as a decadent chocolate cake, rich carrot cake, and a banana pudding that is quintessential comfort food. Who saved room for dessert?
Runners Up: Cravings Wine Bar & Grille, Keys Café & Bakery
It is widely known that Woodbury is continuing to grow. The city was incorporated as a rural township in 1967 and today is Minnesota’s 10th largest community. We’ve landed on national lists such as “Best Places to Live” (Money Magazine, 2012 and 2014) and “Best Places to Move in the U.S.” (forbes.com, 2009). What makes our community special isn’t the size of our expanding neighborhoods, but rather, the people who live here. Our homes are a reflection of the great pride we take in our community, and the following are some of our favorite businesses that help us tend to them.
Warner’s Outdoor Solutions
6625 Bailey Road; 651.735.2100
Based in Woodbury, Warner’s Outdoor Solutions provides a variety of lawn care and landscape design services for both residential and commercial properties. Servicing the Twin Cities metro area for more than 18 years, the company’s trained professionals pride themselves on getting the job done right the first time. “I’m originally from Woodbury; I live here and our company is based in this community,” says company president Ryan Warner. “I believe many residents like to support local companies as long as they perform a good service at a fair price. The most enjoyable part about working in this community is the people. Woodbury’s residents are great.”
Runners Up: LCS Lawn Service, Horticulture Services
Amy Leferink, Interior Impressions
2190 Eagle Creek Lane, Suite A; 651.337.2184
Woodbury residents take great pride in their homes and at times, when taking on that special design project, they seek the assistance of professionals. Once again this year, our favorite go-to interior designer is Amy Leferink of Interior Impressions. Whether you want to update the window coverings in a dining room, re-upholster an armchair, or refurbish an entire room or two, Leferink has the experience and creativity to not only meet your expectations, but to exceed them.
Runners Up: Marsha Anderson, Shasha Interiors; Diane Kane, Pomegranate Designs
7600 Hudson Road; 651.734.2555
Whether residents are looking for indoor or outdoor furnishings for their home, they chose HOM Furniture as their favorite local retailer. “Store manager Cameron Johnston and the Woodbury staff keep the showroom appearance vibrant,” says HOM executive director of marketing, Jerry Underwood. “Our entire Woodbury team works very hard every day to make sure our customers are happy with their selection of furniture. Without a doubt, they are beaming with pride to receive this recognition.”
Runners Up: Schneiderman’s Furniture, Pomegranate Designs
S & R Heating, Cooling & Appliance Repair
4118 Hoffman Road, White Bear Lake; 651.429.0001
S&R Heating, Cooling & Appliance Repair has proudly served homeowners and businesses in the east metro for the past 30 years. If Woodbury homeowners need to have their appliances or heating and cooling systems repaired, or are simply interested in having them cleaned and inspected for optimal performance, owners Scott Sicard and Rob Langer of Woodbury and their entire team are ready to help.
Runners Up: Priority Heating nd Cooling, Ed’s Heating and Air Conditioning
7779 Afton Road; 651.578.0122
“Part of our vision is to positively impact the communities we serve and leave them better than before we became involved. I think the voters know that we care about each client and our community,” says Ispiri president, Jason Fabio. The company offers house architectural design, interior design and construction management services. They pride themselves on delivering peace of mind, convenience and expertise on all of their homeowners’ remodeling projects. “We have been blessed and are fortunate to have won this award four years running, and this is our fifth nomination,” Fabio says. “Our entire team is grateful and humbled to be recognized for the work we do here in Woodbury.”
Runners Up: Custom One Homes, Michael Lee, Inc.
4800 Cottage Grove Drive; 651.769.2663
Heins Nursery has been in the residential landscaping business for more than 40 years and, this year, the Woodbury community is recognizing them as a leader in their field. Heins Nursery has become known for its high quality shade, ornamental and evergreen trees, as well as its selections of shrubs and perennials chosen from a select group of wholesale growers. For those looking for design guidance while updating their Woodbury yards and gardens, Heins Nursery’s knowledgeable design staff, landscape foremen and crews are ready to dig in.
Runners Up: Northwoods Landscaping, Landscapes Unlimited
Hardware/Home Improvement Items
Frattalone’s Ace Hardware
1750 Weir Drive; 651.738.1697
We all spend a lot of time in our city’s “big box” stores. That’s why it’s refreshing to walk into Frattalone’s, with its local mom and pop store feel. There’s a lot packed into this Valley Creek Mall anchor, and helpful people to assist you with whatever you need for that home improvement project.
Health & Wellness
Most people are continually looking for new ways to take care of themselves and their loved ones, and of course, health and wellness means different things to different people. For some, it’s finding the right pediatrician to care for their children, or selecting the best senior living center for an aging parent. Others may be seeking ways to improve their fitness. Whether you’re looking for ways to manage your health or your overall feeling of wellbeing, Woodbury is home to excellent medical facilities, spa and fitness centers, and senior living residences. In 2015, we offer a toast to the health, wellness and happiness of our residents and continued success to this year’s favorite providers.
Woodbury Dental Care
3060-B Woodbury Drive; 651.739.7910
Smile and the world smiles with you! Woodbury Dental Care, led by dentists Kyle Edlund, Michael Pelke and Jason Thimjon, provides high quality dental care in a welcoming environment. If they can handle dental needs of professional athletes, including players with the Minnesota Wild, Woodbury patients of all ages (and all skating abilities) are in good hands.
Runners Up: Saluté Dental, Park Dental
650 Commerce Drive, Suite 170; 651.738.3866
Orthodontist Curtis Dunn and his staff are bringing smiles to their patients’ faces. “We try to make each and every patient feel welcome and special,” Dunn says. “I think what really makes us unique is the care we take with all of our patients from the very first appointment to the last. It feels great to know we are making our patients happy.”
Runners Up: Henseler Orthodontics, Horton Orthodontics
10150 City Walk Drive; 877.442.4476
Stress. Unfortunately, it affects everyone at one time or another. There are many ways to alleviate stress, and one place in particular, ChiroWay, is receiving recognition for being successful in relieving residents of the tension that builds up in our bodies and minds. “We believe our model of non-therapeutic chiropractic care at a fixed fee per month allows everyone the ability to experience regular chiropractic care,” says chiropractor and owner Trent Scheidecker.
Runners Up: Lifeline Chiropractic, Snyder Chiropractic
St. Paul Eye Clinic
2080 Woodwinds Drive; 651.578.6949
St. Paul Eye Care, voted this year’s favorite eye clinic, has a history that dates back to 1969 and one ophthalmologist. It quickly became known as a trusted source for many area doctors and their patients’ vision care. Today, the clinic operates 9 office locations, including Woodbury, and has a staff of more than 100 eye care professionals including board-certified ophthalmologists, therapeutic-certified optometrists and certified opticians. Given their expertise and excellent customer care, it’s clear to see why Woodbury voted them the Best of 2015.
Runners Up: Associated Eye Care, Woodbury Eye Care Clinic
7803 Afton Road; 651.738.0470
When Woodbury children are running fevers or fussing over an earache, parents know the medical team at Central Pediatrics will have just the healing touch they need. In fact, families have been counting on Central Pediatrics’ expertise and bedside manner since the Woodbury clinic opened in 1983.
Runners Up: HealthEast Woodbury Clinic, Allina Medical Clinic
Senior Living Residence
8725 Promenade Lane; 651.264.3200
When visiting Stonecrest, it’s easy to see why the senior living residence is considered the best in Woodbury this year. In addition to the welcoming atmosphere, its convenient location can’t be beat. At the facility’s Town Center, residents can enjoy a cup of coffee at the Quarry Café or shop for gifts at the marketplace. There are games being played in the recreation room, fitness classes in the wellness center, dinners in a beautiful dining room, and worship services in the on-site chapel. When you factor in Stonecrest’s proximity to the YMCA, Central Park, the public library and Kowalski’s Market, it’s easy to see that, at this senior living residence, people can experience all Woodbury has to offer.
Runners Up: Woodbury Senior Living, Oak Meadows
8375 Seasons Pkwy.; 952.915.2900
Obagi blue peel? Urban oxygenating facial? Remineralizing body wrap? You don’t need to travel far to treat yourself to luxurious spa treatments. The talented staff of professionals at Spalon Montage is dedicated to providing each of their clients with personal, enriching and rejuvenating experiences. Whether it is a soothing massage, a facial treatment, discovering a new look or a full day of pampering, Spalon Montage helps residents escape, relax and enjoy—all in the comfort of their own community.
Runners Up: Radiance Medspa, Salon Ultimo
587 Bielenberg Drive, Suite 200; 651.578.2700
Dermatology Consultants was founded in 1949 to provide dermatologic medicine in the Twin Cities. Today, the clinic offers a full spectrum of services including general skin care for adults and children, skin cancer surgery and reconstruction, and cosmetic dermatology. The Woodbury clinic is one of four Twin Cities offices, and although our voters may be biased, it’s our favorite.
Runners Up: SkinSpeaks, Advanced Dermatology Care
Energy Pilates Fitness Yoga
2170 Eagle Creek Lane; 651.337.0425
This year’s best fitness/yoga studio is Energy, a boutique exercise facility that offers more than 50 classes each week in over 20 different formats. The studio is well known for the contagious enthusiasm of Debra Tourek and her staff, who are helping their customers achieve fitness results while having a good time. As Tourek says, “We’re serious about exercise, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously. After all, don’t we all just want to have fun?”
Runners Up: Life Time Fitness, CorePower Yoga
If you’re the type of person who enjoys a little retail therapy once in a while, you live in the right community. Whether it’s a new garment, an imported cheese and the perfect wine to pair with it, or the perfect gift for that special person in your life, you’re sure to find it easily in Woodbury without having to drive far from home. When shopping around town, be sure to stop by one of this year’s favorite retailers.
2695 Brookview Drive E., St. Paul; 651.925.2786
Our community is fortunate to have several fine dealerships close by. One of our favorites is Merit Chevrolet located conveniently off of I-94 and Century Avenue. Providing exceptional service for more than 60 years, Merit Chevrolet is one of the premier family-owned car dealerships in St. Paul, serving the greater Twin Cities area.
Runners Up: Fury Motors, Preferred Sales & Leasing
2170F Eagle Creek Lane; 651.436.2076
Sometimes when shopping in the suburbs, it can be difficult for women to find garments that express their own unique look and personality. Heidi Martin, owner of Sisu, opened her store in 2013 with the intention of embracing women’s individuality. Sisu, an independently owned women’s boutique store, carries a small selection of merchandise that rotates regularly, ensuring that no one will show up at the same event wearing the same dress. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a size 2 or a 22—we want every woman to feel beautiful,” Martin says. “As a relatively new store, we’re tickled that our customers voted for us in this category.”
Runners Up: Primp Cheap Chic Boutique, Mainstream Boutique
Small business Customer Service
Energy Pilates Fitness Yoga
2170 Eagle Creek Lane; 651.337.0425
In addition to receiving recognition as this year’s best fitness/yoga studio, Energy Pilates Fitness Yoga has also been chosen as a small business that provides excellent customer service. “What separates us from other studios is that we care about our members and fitness, but most importantly, we want them to have fun while they’re exercising,” says Energy owner Debra Tourek. If you’ve ever wanted to feel like Norm from the television program, Cheers, simply enter Energy’s studio. Tourek and her staff pride themselves on knowing their members on a first name basis and greeting them at the door. As Tourek says, “People are the heart of our business and we never forget that!”
Runners Up: ChiroWay, Salon Ultimo
8300 Tamarack Village, Suite 110; 651.458.4011
Theatergoers weren’t the only ones going Into the Woods recently. As it turns out, The Woods, Woodbury’s northwoods-themed gift shop, was also a favorite place to explore. “We’re a very seasonal store with a variety of offerings, such as candles, Minnesota-made items and unique gifts,” says owner Dave Looney. “Polly is our Woodbury manager and she has some wonderful people working in the store with her. I’m proud to say we often hear from customers how helpful and welcoming the Woodbury staff is to everyone who comes in.”
Runners Up: Kowalski’s Market, Patina
Turn Style Consignment Store
9470 Hudson Road; 651.578.6684
Fashion-forward residents who love a great deal are turning to Turn Style Consignment Store. “We’re so thankful for our customers and consigners who bring us their merchandise,” says store manager Wendy Diamond. The store either consigns or purchases women’s and men’s clothing, as well as furniture and home accessories. “Our showroom is continually changing with brands you know from favorite stores, such as those in Woodbury Lakes or the Mall of America. Whether shoppers are looking for the latest fashion trend or that unique piece to add to their home decorations, they’ll find it for a fraction of the price.” That’s a budget-savvy way to look like a million bucks.
Runners Up: Upscale Consignment, Clothes Mentor
10150 Hudson Road; 651.731.8700
Schuler Shoes offers footwear in a variety of well-known brands, styles and colors for men, women and children. What makes Schuler stand out from other shoe stores, however, is that the store’s knowledgeable team is more concerned with how a shoe fits than how it looks. They go one step further by believing that the right shoe fit can lead to a healthier, more joyful life.
Runners Up: Running Room, DSW
Top Ten Wine & Spirits
9887 Norma Lane; 651.501.1199
Top Ten Wine and Spirits has been chosen as this year’s favorite liquor store because they offer the extensive product offering of a big box store, with the personalized customer service of a small shop. “We’re continually finding ways to optimize our customer service and make the shopping experience as easy as possible for our customers, such as answering questions in the aisles and helping carry purchases out to customers’ cars,” says the store’s wine buyer, Bill Abrahamson. “We also expanded our beer selection last August, nearly doubling its size.” In 2015, Abrahamson believes premium liquors and craft beers will continue to be a very hot category of products.
Runners Up: MGM Wine & Spirits, Haskell’s
783 Radio Drive; 651.735.4400
People wed. Babies are born. Students graduate. And anniversaries are celebrated. For the past 25 years, Johnson Jewelers has helped Woodbury residents mark the special events in their lives with jewelry and watches. It’s no wonder that voters chose the family-owned jeweler as this year’s favorite. Whether you’ve been a loyal customer since Bob Johnson first opened a small shop in the Sun Ray Shopping Center, or you’ve been helped by his children who now carry on his tradition of trust and craftsmanship, the Johnson family can help you find just the right piece of jewelry to celebrate any occasion.
Runners Up: Shane Co., Knox Jewelers
8505 Valley Creek Road; 651.578.8800
Many among us don’t simply cook; we pride ourselves on being “foodies.” When we want to find that special, hard-to-find ingredient—or inspiration for a new meal—we’re sure to find what we’re looking for at Kowalski’s Market. “I would say a foodie is someone with an above-average interest in food. They don’t just ‘eat to live’ they ‘live to eat,’” says Kowalski’s culinary director, Rachael Perron. “We provide the best of the best in everything from kitchen staples to those innovative gourmet foods that pique the interest of our foodie friends.” In addition to having a unique selection of merchandise, Kowalski’s is proud to have in-store partnerships with Starbucks, Vom Fass Oils and Vinegars and, most recently, Cooks of Crocus Hill. It’s enough to satisfy the most dedicated foodies among us.
Runners Up: Olive Branch Oil & Spice Co., Angelina’s Kitchen
Sweet Peas Floral
783 Radio Drive #111; 651.730.9115
When the gift of flowers is the best way to celebrate, console, or express our feelings, Woodbury puts their trust in Sweet Peas Floral. Designers at the family owned florist thrive on designing to their customer’s specific needs. This year, Sweet Peas will feature a different flower each month. In April, for example, they will feature the shop’s namesake flower, the sweet pea. “We go above and beyond to make something that is unique for the situation; every order gets individual attention,” says owner Tara Carlson. “We have a fun atmosphere here at Sweet Peas. We love to laugh, joke and get to know our customers.”
Runners Up: Woodlane Flowers, Flowers on the Park
572 Commons Drive; 651.730.7284
While Woodbury is home to many wonderful coffee shops, local coffee drinkers chose Brix Coffee as a local favorite. Perhaps it’s the shop’s Arabica coffees from Café Sati of Strasbourg, France, brewed creatively into classic and espresso drinks, as well as signature coffee drinks such as turtle mocha or caramel obsession. Or the distinctly European-inspired café design that makes the coffee drinking experience so enjoyable. Then again, it could be Brix Coffee’s menu items that pair so well with coffee, such as their delicate crepes or frozen custard.
Runners Up: Dunn Bros, Caribou Coffee
8320 City Centre Drive; 651.578.2538
One of City Centre’s newest tenants is already causing a buzz in Woodbury. Patina opened its first Twin Cities store in 1993 and its growing popularity has led this gift shop retailer to expand into other communities—most recently, Woodbury. The store offers a shopping experience that is meant to elevate customers’ senses, broaden their perspective and celebrate lifestyle changes. From women’s accessories and home decorations, to children’s gifts and greeting cards, Patina has a little something for virtually anyone on your shopping list.
Runners Up: Sisu, Big Frog of Woodbury
Place for a Little Retail Therapy
9020 Hudson Road; 651.251.9500
For the latest in fashion, take a walk through Woodbury Lakes, which features top-notch stores providing great choices for the entire family. The recent additions of Pink by Victoria’s Secret, Primp Cheap Chic Boutique and Soma Intimates brought even more options to this shopping mecca, which also is our city’s top spot for practicing your parallel parking skills.
Kids, Family & Pets
For those who live here, it is no surprise that Family Circle magazine named Woodbury one of the “Top 1O Best Towns for Families” in 2O14, and businessweek.com recognized us as one of the “Best Places to Raise Your Kids” in 2O1O. With our excellent schools, a thriving arts scene and a multitude of recreational activities and park land to keep everyone active, it’s no wonder our city has earned the reputation for being an outstanding place to live and raise a family. We asked residents to vote for their favorite places to care for their loved ones and they responded with this family-friendly list.
Primrose School of Woodbury
10350 City Walk Drive; 651.731.5333
When it comes to building blocks and creating foundations in education, Primrose School is one of our favorite childcare and preschool providers. The school offers a holistic approach to the care and education of Woodbury’s babies and preschoolers, from playground time to the creative arts. Considering its fundamental core values of integrity, fairness, social responsibility and enthusiasm, local families give this school an A+.
Runners Up: New Life Academy, Stepping Stones Early Learning Center
Hudson Road Animal Hospital
8154 Hudson Road; 651.739.0117
In addition to being this year’s Best Veterinary Clinic, Hudson Road Animal Hospital is being recognized for providing excellent day care and kennel care for those times when pet owners need a trusted place for their pets to stay. “We offer pets socialization with our team; clean, cozy kennels; fresh water and food; and medication administration as needed,” says practice manager Marcy Ward. “Another option our clients appreciate is the convenience of having doctor visits or grooming during the stay.” Ward adds, “Woodbury is an amazing community of very dedicated pet owners who want the best care. We want to continue offering compassionate and progressive care for the lifetime of their pets. It’s what we love to do and it comes naturally to us.”
Runners Up: Pet Images Country Inn, K-9 Connection
Place to Spoil Your Pet
2230 Eagle Creek Lane; 651.337.2388
How do you spoil your pet? Go shopping! “We love to know not only our customers but their pets as well, so we encourage all of our visitors to bring them along,” says Rian Thiele, co-owner of Pet Evolution. Every product offered at the store has been vetted by the owners, so customers know they’re treating their pets with quality products. “We want to know our customers’ names, their pets’ names, and we want to treat all of our guests with love, compassion, humor and friendship,” Thiele says. That dedication has helped Pet Evolution become a leader of the pack.
Runners Up: Posh Pooch Pet Salon & Boutique, Dog Spaw
Hudson Road Animal Hospital
8154 Hudson Road; 651.739.0117
Dr. Michael Westfall and Dr. John Clappier, owners and veterinarians, believe in offering compassionate care for the furry family members among us. They stay current on trends in veterinary medicine and emphasize the human-animal bond. “We provide the best care for the specific needs of every individual pet,” says practice manager Marcy Ward. “We offer options that cater to our pets and their families, using progressive veterinary medicine.” What’s the best aspect of working for Woodbury’s favorite veterinary clinic? Ward says, “We get to work with animals every day—who wouldn’t love that?”
Runners Up: Carver Lake Veterinary Center, Woodbury Animal Hospital
Learning/ Tutoring Center
8425 Seasons Parkway, Suite 101; 651.262.5900
Woodbury is fortunate to have an exceptional school system in which our students are challenged, supported and stimulated. There are times, however, when parents seek additional assistance to help their children overcome certain obstacles or reach new levels of achievement. According to this year’s “Best Of” voters, LearningRx comes highly recommended. LearningRx has developed a powerful and effective brain training program that is proving successful in helping students in our community reach their academic goals.
Runners Up: Mathnasium, Brain Balance
Woodbury Dance Center
380 Rivertown Drive, Suite 1100; 651.735.9252
It is often said that if you pursue your passions, success will follow. This is precisely what happened when Woodbury sisters and dance enthusiasts, Kathy Johnson Mueller and Buffy Johnson Breen opened Woodbury Dance Center in 1995. The family owned studio offers quality dance instruction for students ages 18 months to adults, at both the competitive and recreational levels, and in a variety of dance styles. Since the studio opened, many students have experienced the joy of dance, and this year, they’re recognizing the studio as the best in our community. That’s cause for celebration and dance!
Runners Up: Yackel Dance Studio, DelMonico Dance
Woodbury Community Theatre
380 Rivertown Drive; 651.200.4610
When it comes to an excellent theater experience, we in Woodbury don’t have to travel to the Ordway, Guthrie or Orpheum. Since 1975, Woodbury Community Theatre has been a gem in our fair city, offering sparkling, affordable performances which showcase local talent. The beautiful venues of the Loft Stage and Black Box Theater at East Ridge High School, plus the rehearsal and office space at the Merrill Community Arts Center on Rivertown Drive, provide a spectacular home for local theater. Each season brings enjoyable productions for everyone in the family, at a great price.
Life is good in Woodbury, but it isn’t always easy. We work hard, raise our families, care for our health, tend to our properties and manage our finances. We cook, clean, carpool, commute. Thankfully, there are a number of trustworthy professionals in our community who can help us ease our worries and reduce stress. With this year’s list of the best service providers, we can improve our stability and ease our stress.
Real Estate Agent
Dixie Ewing, Edina Realty
520 Commons Drive; 651.730.2307
Over the past 36 years of her career, Dixie Ewing has enjoyed helping countless customers in the process of buying and selling real estate and has made a lot of loyal customers and friends along the way. “What I enjoy most is matching buyers with new homes and helping sellers move on to their next step of their journey,” Ewing says.
Runners Up: Kim Ziton, Keller Williams Premier Realty; Wade Hanson, Re/MAX Results
Mark Hargis, Falcon Financial Group
6949 Valley Creek Road, Suite 240; 651.735.8970
One of the keys to Mark Hargis’ success is staying connected to the needs of his clients, while being actively involved in his hometown of Woodbury. “We do an extremely good job getting to know clients individually and understanding their unique objectives, and then we make specific recommendations as they relate to their personal goals. We’re in constant communication with our clients,” says Hargis, a certified financial planner and managing partner with Falcon Financial Group, formerly Stohlmann Hargis Financial Group. “I enjoy the people that we have the opportunity to work with and creating out-of-the-box ideas that help people plan accordingly and plan successfully. I also really enjoy that I am able to work in Woodbury, the town I grew up in and the place that I can help continue to grow.”
Runners Up: Eric Rislove, Edward Jones Investments; Michael Brocker, Legacy Wealth
Geri Martin, State Farm Insurance
1520 Woodlane Drive; 651.739.3604; statefarm.com
Geri Martin has been a State Farm agent for 29 years and absolutely loves it. That passion for her work shows; her commitment to her clients and her proven results puts her in this year’s spot as Woodbury’s top insurance agent. “I think our customers value the relationships we’ve developed over the years,” Martin says. “We know that families are busy and they appreciate all of the help that we can bring to making your insurance simple.” Martin takes a very personal approach to her work. “I enjoy talking to people every day and learning about them and their families. We have such a great rapport with our clients we know them on a first name basis. Woodbury is a fantastic community and I am so glad to be a part of it.”
Runners Up: Katie Olafson, Farmers Insurance; Dan Wright, State Farm Insurance
Axel Parady, Spalon Montage
8375 Seasons Parkway; 952.915.2900
Woodbury has chosen Axel Parady as this year’s best message therapist for people who seek help in alleviating chronic pain, or who simply want to relax and rejuvenate. Parady received his training at the Aveda Institute and has been working at Woodbury’s Spalon Montage location for nearly three years. His specialty is deep tissue massage and trigger point therapy. “Most of my clients are in need of therapeutic massage,” he says, “so I’m happy that I am able to relieve them of their pain.”
Runners Up: Jessica Heroux, Salon Ultimo; Adrienne Mobley, Body Rhythms Massage
2190 Eagle Creek Lane; 651.436.3050
Whether we’re talking manicures or pedicures, acrylics or gels, residents raised their beautifully manicured hands to vote for Mia Nails as this year’s best nail salon. Following the success of Mia Nails in Eagle Valley Marketplace, Woodbury residents and owners Steven and Melody Tonthat expanded their nail business last year by opening Miley Nails and Pedicures in the new Commerce Hill retail site near Super Target.
Runners Up: Ocean Nails; Salon Ultimo
8375 Seasons Pkwy.; 952.915.2900
Spalon Montage is receiving great recognition from voters this year, capturing the best massage therapist, best medspa/rejuvenation clinic, and best salon/spa categories. It’s a testament to their continued dedication to offering their clients exceptional beauty and spa treatments in a state-of-the-art facility. With a relaxing environment and professional staff, Spalon Montage provides hairstyles, manicures, pedicures, massages and facials that make women look and feel their best. After all, when you look good, they look good.
Runners Up: Salon Ultimo, HAIRitage ‘Hous
Connie Meyer, Salon Ultimo
783 Radio Drive, Suite 109; 651.738.5904
Master stylist Connie Meyer’s old fashioned customer service approach is resulting in modern-day success. When asked about the key to building her client list, some of whom she has had for over 25 years, she says, “I am genuine and I treat each of my customers as if they are my only client. It’s more than just a haircut or color; it’s a time to be pampered in this busy world. I’m passionate about caring for everyone’s needs, and am happy to deliver kind and attentive service.” In return, she is rewarded by the smiles she sees on her clients’ faces when they look in the mirror and admire the finished product. “Imagine going to work and doing something you love and the outcome being joy in everyone you touch,” Meyer says.
Runners Up: Michelle Hanson, HAIRitage ‘Hous; Emily Woodstrom, HAIRitage ‘Hous
U.S. Bank Woodbury
8575 Valley Creek Road; 651.264.0200
The U.S. Bank on Valley Creek Road near Kowalski’s is a buzz of activity. With cars streaming in and out of the parking lot, there’s a constant press of clients both inside and at the drive-through. That’s why the professional and fast service of the tellers, offered with a smile (and even a treat for your dog), make outings to this bank an enjoyable experience.