Best Of Edina 2016 Winners

by | Jul 2016

Winner of the Best Florist category, Spruce.

Winner of the Best Florist category, Spruce. Photo: Marissa Martinson

Abundance overflows in Edina. It is a place of firsts and of bests. As early as the 1920s, Edina’s Country Club neighborhood, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, helped establish the community’s identity as notable and prestigious. Edina is also home to the nation’s first fully enclosed, climate-controlled shopping center; an award-winning hospital; and a top-ranked public school district. Philanthropy in Edina pours out generously for innovative and worthy causes. Edina has much to boast about.

But Edina rarely boasts. This city’s excellence speaks for itself. And in this issue of Edina Magazine, our readers have spoken and told us some of what they like best in Edina.

Take a tour with us as Edina Magazine travels from the central shopping district of 50th and France down past the Galleria toward Southdale Center. We will spotlight some of the city’s best retailers, health care providers, homebuilders, restaurants, community organizations and much, much more. Need to get a workout in before lunch? We’ll point you toward the best fitness studios. Need an insurance agent or a landscape designer? We know the most highly recommended folks in those respective fields. We even know the best place to get breakfast with the family or grab a beer with friends after work.

You’ll also find a collection of editor’s picks: people and places that we believe deserve special mention for excellence in areas outside of our online voting categories. Even then, it’s impossible to capture a complete image of all that is outstanding in Edina. But within these pages, you’ll surely find a comprehensive list of local standouts.

Better than any national online data collection service, our annual list of “bests” are locally focused and specifically curated to serve Edina residents, visitors and business owners. So the next time you’re trying to decide where to shop for home furnishings or to get your hair done, look no further than our top picks! Because we have an abundance of insight into the best of Edina.

We kick off our categories with a community themed Editor’s Pick.

EDITOR’S PICKBest Community Organization
Edina Community Foundation
Established nearly 40 years ago, the Edina Community Foundation provides financial support to several local initiatives and causes near and dear to the hearts of Edina residents. This non-profit organization assists approximately 65 designated beneficiary funds representing groups like the Edina Garden Council and Public Art Edina. Its own philanthropic programming includes Connecting With Kids, Edina Challenge, Edina Reads, the July 4th parade, CEO Roundtable and Edina Dialogue. If you care about it, it’s likely that the Edina Community Foundation supports it. The collaborative nature of this organization, its broad support of local causes and the simplicity of charitable giving provided to donors is why we believe the Edina Community Foundation is a treasured local resource. For more information about the Edina Community Foundation, we spoke with Dick Crockett, executive director.

What makes the Edina Community Foundation unique?
In addition to a traditional endowment program and independent grant making, the foundation makes its non-profit status available to other organizations. This generates a unique and comprehensive network of community giving and facilitates community engagement. Not to mention the benefit received by booster clubs and other small entities attempting to raise funds.

What are some accomplishments of the Edina Community Foundation?
Since 2004, artwork from 24 artists has come to the city through a partnership with Public Art Edina. That equates to approximately $382,000 worth of public art, including sculptures by renowned artists Nick Legeros and Marcia McEachron. Legeros created Reflecting on Friendship, Dreams Take Flight and Glamorous Days of Flight; the flight-themed pieces are meant to recognize the contributions the men and women of Northwest Airlines, including Donald W. Nyrop of Edina, have made in the area of commercial aviation. McEachron created Pinecone, a 10-foot stainless steel sculpture situated in Centennial Lakes Park. The sculpture was designed to represent prosperity and the potential for growth. Also, Edina Dialogue is in its 10th year of providing local speaker programs. These programs are always free and open to the public. There is inter-generational participation at these public forums and the topics engage the public. It’s a great reflection of community life in Edina.


Best New Restaurant
Agra Culture

Agra Culture is among Edina’s newest in fast-casual dining. As advocates for good food and better health, the staff at Agra Culture share their passion for eating real food. With a number of dishes filled with favorites such as kale and quinoa, the menu is fit for every eating style and makes healthy alternatives readily and widely available. Fusing flavors from responsibly sourced and GMO-free farmers, the restaurant is committed to more than just talking the talk. Their cold-pressed juices are particularly popular in providing an energy boost that is rich in antioxidants and with just the right amount of sweetness.
Runner-up: Coconut Thai, third place: Lela

Photo by Emily J. Davis

Best Bakery
Wuollet Bakery
“Wuollet Bakery has become part of people’s traditions,” says Laura Fickes, manager and director of sales and marketing. Having treated customers with traditional Scandinavian baking since 1944, this is the second year in a row that Wuollet has reached the top of our list and become the “new old-world bakery” for a loyal clientele. From custom cakes decorated by in-house artists to their timeless princess torte made from vibrant green marzipan, the bakery also offers a wide variety of white, whole grain and tea breads baked fresh daily.
Runner-up: Patisserie Margo, third place: Patrick’s Bakery and Café

Best Breakfast
Edina Grill
The Edina Grill has served as a neighborhood breakfast spot since 1999 and is showing no signs of slowing down. Over the past year, the restaurant has gone green, receiving the area’s first grant to reduce its footprint by doing its own composting and achieving a zero-waste dining room. But what keeps people rising early, says owner Stephanie Shimp, is the hospitality and interesting breakfast selections. Traditional French toast and riffs on eggs Benedict top the list, but buckwheat and quinoa pancakes and spinach frittatas have put Edina Grill at the breakfast forefront by putting its unique spin on the day’s most important meal.
Runner-up: Original Pancake House, third place: Good Earth

Buckwheat and quinoa pancakes at Edina Grill.

EDITOR’S PICKBest Place to Watch the Big Game
Buffalo Wild Wings
Whether it’s March Madness or the NHL playoffs, gathering with fellow sports lovers to watch a big game or several games at once doesn’t get much better than at Buffalo Wild Wings. This game day standby, located in Southdale Center and headquartered in Minneapolis, still serves up our favorite wings, burgers, beers and sports. The franchise might have grown to over 800 locations with local CEO Sally Smith at the helm, but it still feels like a neighborhood hangout where friends can enjoy the most American of pastimes, cheering on our favorite athletes and wiping wing sauce from our chins.

Best Patio Dining
Tavern on France
For the third year in a row, Tavern on France has reached number one in patio dining in Edina. With a number of other accolades, including Best Happy Hour in last year’s Best of Edina, general manager Megan Clark says the tavern is still the go-to spot to enjoy an intimate meal outdoors. More than a dozen tables and a full patio bar have always drawn local residents, though Clark says the year-round fire pits are a particularly popular fixture. The patio is expertly designed to meld the outdoors and chic urban dining, making for a dining experience that is very unique to the area.
Runner-up: Edina Grill, third place: Salut Bar Americain

Best Tavern/Bar
Tavern on France
With craft cocktails making their way into the suburbs, Tavern on France has responded with a drink menu that has won over patrons looking for new and innovative refreshments. With a foundation built on handmade margaritas and mojitos, the newly added Minneapolis Mule has been a hit among guests. “We wanted to create something we’re proud of,” says Megan Clark, general manager. The bar experience at Tavern is complete with an array of popular appetizers, such as the farmers market flatbread pizza and the crowd-pleasing bleu chips. Joining the Tavern Club rewards program has proven popular with patrons. And 25-ounce tap beers for $3.75 have also made Tavern a fixture on Edina’s bar scene.
Runner-up: Red Cow, third place: Barrio

EDITOR’S PICK: Best Sustainable Food Source
Grass Fed Cattle Company
Edina folks are aware of the importance of healthy eating, sustainability and earth-friendly farming practices. That’s why Edina’s own Grass Fed Cattle Co. fits perfectly with the values of many Edina shoppers. This small consortium of local farmers (all located within 150 miles of the Twin Cities) is committed to raising 100 percent free-range, grass-fed cows, with no added hormones or antibiotics. Connecting with GFCC can be economical and practical, too. Buying into GFCC’s beef CSA lets consumers take advantage of bulk-priced beef without investing in a deep freezer. Simply put, this company “was created to economically provide the highest quality safe and responsible beef to people living in Minneapolis and St. Paul.” That’s why we think it’s the best.


Best Landscape Designer/Architect
Yardscapes, Inc.

What sets Yardscapes, Inc. apart from other landscape professionals, says owner/designer David Kopfmann, “is the integration of art and science to create a unique experience for each client.” Yardscapes considers each client’s lifestyle, as well as the types of plants and foliage that not only look great from the driveway, but also will thrive in the new environment. Their work isn’t limited to landscaping, however. The company also does driveways, pools and renovations. “Edina is fun to work with,” says Kopfmann, noting that they’ve built long-term, lasting relationships with clients, many of whom are responsible for the numerous referrals that speak to Yardscapes, Inc.’s commitment to serving all their clients’ needs.
Runner-up: Bachman’s Third place: Sunnyside Gardens

Photo courtesy of Yardscapes

Best Interior Designer
Engler Studio Interior Design

Owner Linda Engler has been doing business around the metro area for 30 years, but has called the Edina studio home since 2010. Focusing efforts on homes and residential spaces, their appeal cannot be pinned to one specific style, making them one of the most recognized design studios for customized design. They work closely with clients to provide guidance, design input, and ideas that drive the creative process. “Clients are interested in style and functionality,” says Engler, “and we’re happy to accommodate them.”
Runner-up: Katie Bassett Interiors, third place: Martha O’Hara

Best Place for Home Furnishings

Becky Lepley has been the general manager of Gabberts for more than eight years and says their customer base has changed dramatically in the last several years. But in the face of changing times, Gabberts once again prevails and is voted as best in Edina for home furnishings. Lepley attributes this success and longevity to the company’s belief in quality products to fit a client’s lifestyle. “We’re very customer-focused,” she says, adding that functionality plays as much a role in home décor as aesthetics. Gabberts’ massive showroom houses everything from traditional furnishings to “mountain modern,” a trending rustic take on contemporary design.
Runner-up: Room & Board, third place: Arhaus

Gabberts helps customers combine functionality with aesthetics.

Best Builder/Remodeler
John Kraemer & Sons

John Kraemer & Sons began over 30 years ago and though times may have changed, this family has remained strong in their belief in customer satisfaction, ethics and building trusting relationships with their clients. Specializing in luxury projects, sales and marketing director John Kraemer says their favorite project is always “the one they’re currently working on.” Splitting their business between renovation and new construction of large and small spaces, Kraemer says partnering with a variety of designers and architects makes each home “truly custom.” Whether you’re starting next week, or in three years, John Kraemer & Sons takes pride in being involved from groundbreaking to move-in.
Runner-up: Bizal Built, third place: REFINED, LLC

John Kraemer & Sons specializes in luxury projects. Photo by Emily J. Davis; Courtesy of John Kraemer and Sons

Best Senior Living Residence
The Waters Senior Living

When transitioning loved ones to a senior living community, a center with great food, programming and care is essential. These three categories are paramount for The Waters Senior Living, says Karen Swain, director of operations. “We do things differently,” she says. With fitness equipment, a therapy pool, theater and game room, The Waters is more like a stationary cruise ship. There is always at least one nurse on duty, but the resident-based programming allows for independent living. Having been in its Edina location since 2013, The Waters is gaining momentum from its dedication to the lives of residents which makes it such a nice place to live.
Runner-up: Sunrise Senior Living, third place: York Gardens

Best Home Service Company
Pronto Heating & Air Conditioning

More efficient circulation and allergen reduction are two things not many consider when purchasing a new furnace or air conditioning unit. That’s where the staff at Pronto comes in. “Our job is to help people understand what’s out there and that the benefits are real,” says vice president Greg Sedgwick, who grew up in the industry. Pronto takes pride in its highly trained and knowledgeable staff whose biggest focus is properly identifying a client’s problems and delivering results. “We believe we should be available when you need us,” Sedgwick says.
Runner-up: Edina Heating & Cooling, third place: Centerpoint Energy


Best Fitness/Yoga Studio
CorePower Yoga

Discover your most powerful self at Edina’s popular CorePower Yoga. Between live music classes, signature heated vinyasa and sculpt classes, spa services, a huge retail boutique, and new Core Cardio Circuit classes, you could say you can get it all at this mecca for wellness. But the Edina community is what makes the experience at CorePower extraordinary!
Runner-up: Pure Barre, third place: Physical Culture (v)

Photo courtesy of CorePower Yoga

Best Pediatric Clinic
Southdale Pediatric Associates

Convenient evening and Saturday morning hours as well as user-friendly scheduling make parents happy with Southdale Pediatric Associates. The team of health care providers focuses on offering the very best health care possible each and every day. From well-child visits to allergy consultations, the pediatricians and allergists are board certified experts, and all the nurses have experience in pediatrics. “I so appreciate the helpful and friendly staff, the informed nurses on the nurse advisory line,” client Kelly Siemon says. “We receive fantastic care from our primary doctor as well.”
Runner-up: Metropolitan Pediatric Specialists, third place: Pediatric Services

Best Medspa
Skin Rejuvenation Clinic

A place with heart. When you walk into this clinic, you feel at home. The staff embodies the compassionate and friendly culture that owners Dr. Mark and Dr. Beth Hagberg cultivated from the beginning in 2004. Clients love the high level of professionalism and service. The four physicians are not only on site each day, but administer all of the injectable treatments and the vast majority of the anti-aging laser and body contouring services themselves. Skin Rejuvenation clinic providers truly care about each patient and giving them the cosmetic results they expect and deserve.
Runner-up: Lili Salon Spa, third Place: Beautifeye

Best Chiropractic Clinic
Chiropractic Health and Wellness

Only two chiropractors in the state of Minnesota are certified to do chiropractic biophysics, and Dr. Tim Fargo, the clinical director at Chiropractic Health and Wellness, is one of them. Offering fabulous customer service and genuine care, the staff here takes a whole-person approach to care that offers patients the best results possible. If you need food sensitivity testing, wellness services, or even massage therapy, Chiropractic Health and Wellness is your place to go.
Runner-Up: Resolution Chiropractic P.C., third place: Moore Chiropractic and Wellness

Dr. Tim Fargo is committed to patient health and wellness. Photo by Marissa Martinson

Best Orthodontic Clinic
Edina Orthodontics
If you have a questionable brusher or a child who needs traditional braces, Edina Orthodontics has two Edina locations and is the chosen clinic by our readers’ survey. They have served patients for over 40 years, and take pride in making sure patients are well informed while receiving high-quality orthodontic care in a comfortable environment. Edina Orthodontics is well respected in the community for the outstanding smiles they consistently create.
Runner-up: Pearson Orthodontics, third place: Pan Orthodontics

Best Dermatology Clinic
Dermatology Specialists

A team of 13 board-certified dermatologists and support staff creates a culture centered on patient care. The physicians continue a 30-year tradition of acclaimed expertise in medical, surgical, cosmetic and academic areas of dermatology. “What I love about what we do is we are able to make such a difference in so many different ways. Skin is the most visible organ,” says Caleb H. Creswell, M.D. With a renewed look and confidence, patients have a smile as they go out the door.
Runner-up Zel Skin & Laser Specialists, third place: Advanced Dermatology and Cosmetic Institute

Best Eye Clinic
Edina Eye Physicians and Surgeons

Established in 1963, Edina Eye is one of the nation’s leading resources for medical, surgical, and cosmetic eye care and optical services. They have built a reputation by maintaining an unyielding commitment to personalized excellence. You will not find another group of experts more experienced and committed to the overall health of your eyes. “We can’t say enough great things about Edina Eye,” says client Elle Puett. “Dr. Hassan put our young daughter at ease while examining her eyes, and when he explained she needed glasses, she was excited to be able to see.”
Runner-up: Southdale Eye Clinic Third place: Sanderson Eye Specialists

Best Dental Clinic
44th Street Dental

Don’t miss the sweet house with the white sign that is 44th Street Dental. The building houses a top-notch staff, who make sure every patient is completely satisfied. They are known for a kind, comfortable and compassionate dental experience. Patients here benefit from the staff’s commitment to excellence and the small-town feel of being known. Plus, you’ll gain a smile that will last a lifetime.
Runner-up: Heidi M. Brandenburg D.D.S., third place: Southdale Dental


Best Jewelry Store
R.F. Moeller Jeweler

In 1951, Brian Moeller’s grandparents opened the first Moeller’s jewelry store in St. Paul. They crafted exquisite jewelry while running the store. The Edina location was purchased from Korst and Sons, and Phil Korst still works at the Edina location. In 2016, R.F. Moeller will have been in business for 65 years, providing a high level of customer service and some of the finest inventory in the area. Generational history, a small-town feel, and exquisite jewelry make this store stand out. You’re sure to find a few of your favorite things here.
Runner-up: Tiffany & Co., third place: Robert Foote Jewelry

A luxury timepiece from R.F. Moeller Jeweler displays a love for quality and excellence; Photo by Tate Carlson

Best Liquor Store
Edina Liquor

This is your community liquor store. With three Edina locations, when you purchase wine, spirits or beer at Edina Liquor, you are essentially contributing to the Edina community. One hundred percent of Edina Liquor’s net profits go directly back to the community. Edina Liquor sells more wine in a year than any other municipal liquor operator in the state.
Runner-up: France 44, third place: Total Wine

EDITOR’S PICK: Best Menswear Shop

All the local love for retail shouldn’t go only to women’s shops. Edina is home to lots of great clothing stores specifically for men. For years (the shop will turn 12 in July), Twill by Scott Dayton in the Galleria has outfitted Edina men in updated traditional men’s apparel. A native Minnesotan and member of the Twin Cities’ Dayton family, Scott Dayton has always had an appreciation for fashion. He understands how men living in the north should dress, and he and his staff at Twill help male shoppers figure out how formal they need to dress depending on career and occasion. This shop offers everything a sophisticated shopper could want including custom-fitted suits, sport coats and slacks as well as weekend wear, outerwear and accessories. If your closet (or your husband’s closet) hasn’t had an overhaul in a while, we think Twill is the best place to begin any man’s fashion evolution. We picked Dayton’s brain for a few men’s fashion tips.

Which versatile piece of clothing should every man have in his closet?
A navy blue blazer is a must. It’s even better to have two blue blazers in varying seasonal fabrics. A linen version is easy for summer and can be thrown over a golf shirt to transition from the golf course to the clubhouse and beyond. Pair your navy blazer with gray dress pants and you’ll always look well dressed. Just remember, pants with a flat front will look more updated than those with pleats. The entire silhouette in men’s clothing is much trimmer than in years past.

Is there a men’s fashion item that is always worth an investment?
You definitely get a better product when you invest in a good suit. Suits are the easiest thing to wear to work since they require little thought in getting dressed. But even men who don’t regularly wear suits to work should consider having a charcoal gray and/or a navy suit in their closet. That way, you’re always prepared for any upcoming weddings, events or important business meetings.

What exciting new items can shoppers find at Twill?

• Alden Shoes. Twill started carrying this iconic brand of shoes (made in Boston) this past fall.

• Anything in the Peter Millar Crown Shop. The Crown Shop (the only one in the Upper Midwest) was launched in 2014, making Twill one of the largest Peter Millar specialty stores in the country.

• Gyde Heated Outerwear. Heated panels in vests, jackets and gloves keep you warm for up to eight hours, and the temperature can be controlled on your iPhone. These items are great for those cold mornings walking the dog or spending an afternoon at the hockey rink or on the ski slopes.

Best Florist

Considered a new-fashioned flower shop, Spruce specializes in creating clean, organic designs for celebrations, weddings and life. They share their passion for flowers with people by creating an inspirational in-store experience and also by offering classes. The shop is passionate about their flowers and their clients.
Runner up: Haute Flower Boutique, third place: Flowers of Edina

Best Apparel Boutique

Born here in Edina with the first store opening as Hot Mama in 2004, Evereve is a casual, contemporary women’s clothing boutique for the fashion-loving mom. This store makes fashion accessible—a place where women with kids of all ages can shop with ease for fashion trends chosen just for them by stylists who understand their lifestyle. Evereve’s mission is to inspire every mom to embrace her beauty and power. Evereve now operates 60 stores in 21 states across the U.S., but Edina Magazine readers love their local spot here in the heart of Edina.
Runner-up: Bluebird Boutique, third place: Corset Styling

Best Grocery Store
Lunds & Byerlys

Family-owned for generations, and so much more than a grocery store. “People who grew up in the area are now coming back and bringing their own kids to the store,” says Merrily Smith, general manager and 28-year Lunds & Byerlys employee. “Dogs are tied to the railing out front while people sit at tables and enjoy coffee or a meal. People show up and know they will see familiar faces and be able to catch up on kids, jobs, and the ups and downs of life while standing in the produce section.”
Runner-up: Jerry’s Foods, third place: Whole Foods

Best Specialty Foods Store
France 44

“Once a simple bottle shop that opened in 1959,” says Benjamin Roberts, “France 44 now has evolved into a gourmet lifestyle shop with a unique and delicious variety of cheeses, Old World charcuterie, chocolates, honey varieties and custom catering.” If you need ideas for entertaining or wine and liquor for your party, the friendly, knowledgeable staff at France 44 will equip you with the finest spread around.
Runner-up: Cooks of Crocus Hill, third place: Lunds & Byerlys


Best Learning/Tutoring Center
College Nannies and Tutors

Connecting with a student is of great importance when it comes to tutoring, and College Nannies and Tutors has perfected this practice since its founding 15 years ago. “What we provide resonates with families,” says owner Laura Davis, who has helped College Nannies and Tutors build stronger families from cradle to college since 2004. Their nannies and tutors are recruited based on a desire to build a relationship with students and an ability to provide an engaging and quality experience for clients. College Nannies and Tutors has been featured by many publications as an authority in the field and has become a trusted resource throughout the community.
Runner-up: Mathnasiumthird place: Kumon

College Nannies and Tutors pairs dedicated instructors with appreciative clients to create a successful partnership; Photo courtesy of College Nannies

Best Place to Spoil Your Pet
Bone Adventure

Bone Adventure has been a fixture of the 50th & France business district since opening in 1991. For the second year in a row, Bone Adventure has been named the number one place to spoil your furry family members and for good reason. Garnering honors for exquisite pet grooming and a “Best of the Cities” spot in other publications, Bone Adventure continues its reign as the one-stop shop for all things canine. From distinctive toys and pet apparel, to treats and dog food that are a cut above, pets are treated like family at each of Bone Adventure’s four metro locations.
Runner-up: Chuck & Don’s, third place: Zoom Groom

EDITOR’S PICK: Best Place to Enchant Your Inner Child
Creative Kidstuff

Better than any national chain toy store or big box retailer, this homegrown Minnesota gem curates an assortment of imaginative and educational toys for children of all ages. If you’re ever on the hunt for a birthday gift, baby shower gift or simply a surprise for your sweet kiddos, look no further. Creative Kidstuff will amaze you with its selection of unique and playful items. Tweens, teens and adults will love Creative Kidstuff as much as the younger set. From slack lines to zip lines, robotic building sets to drones, your big kids will love you as much as the little ones whenever you bring home something fun from Creative Kidstuff. In fact, we think you’re sure to enjoy exploring this store even if you’re not searching for a gift for a child. For more insight, we chatted with Happi Olson, vice president of marketing.

How has Creative Kidstuff evolved since its inception?
The beginning concept was a hands-on touch environment for kids and it’s still that way. We’ve nailed down the right mix of education based toys and toys that are just fun. We have turned [toy shopping] into a family affair to help families play together. Creative Kidstuff is mindful of helping families connect. This means that in a digital age, our tech area is filled with robotics and coding games that are lots of fun for tweens and teens. Creative Kidstuff understands that kids are never too old for toys.

What makes the toy buying experience at Creative Kidstuff so unique?
We are experts about every single item in the store and can help customers navigate choices. We partner with parents and families and provide solutions to gift buying challenges. Shoppers can even call ahead for assistance and have their item paid for, wrapped and brought out to your car for you. That time saving service is even better for most busy parents than online shopping.

What does it mean to be a GreaterGood company?
Two years ago, Creative Kidstuff became part of the GreaterGood family, an organization that has given over $40 million to charity. Every single purchase made at Creative Kidstuff provides a donation to people, pets or the planet.

Tell us about being named one of America’s Retail Champions.
Creative Kidstuff is honored to be associated with other retailers that are doing retail well, treating customers well and showing support for local businesses.

There’s a TV show?
The Happi House on the CW is a locally produced magazine style show with segments for moms and families such as DIY projects or cooking segments. The program also highlights nonprofit work that GreaterGood does. It’s exciting and gaining momentum. It’s about making life accessible and easier for families with kids.

Finally, what’s the best part about going to work every day as a member of the Creative Kidstuff team?
We treat people really well and want people to be happy. We are invested in our people and the training program is extensive. I just love that every day is a different day at Creative Kidstuff.

Photo courtesy of Creative Kidstuff

Best Place for Kids Activities
Platinum Dance Center

Erica Leanna and Lexi Zimmerman met as part of the Timberwolves’ dance team. Both grew up in small towns where dance classes quickly become their creative and physical activity outlet. Now having settled in Edina, the duo has been teaching a diverse group of dance students for five years. Leanna says much of Platinum Dance Center’s success comes from “teaching more than dance.” Both Leanna and Zimmerman encourage students to keep a balanced lifestyle. This has become the philosophy of Platinum Dance Center. The studio regularly participates in Toys for Tots, Feed My Starving Children and organizes benefit dance productions, hoping to share the company’s passion for dance with the community.
Runner-up: Edinborough Park Third place: Corda Mor Irish Dance

The owners of Platinum Dance Center encourage kids such as Kira Hoedeman to keep a balanced lifestyle.

Best Preschool/Child care
Especially for Children

Especially for Children has humble origins, beginning in Edina’s Highland School in 1982. Since then, they have grown to three locations around Edina and have expanded as far as Coon Rapids and beyond. The company offers both half-day and full-day childcare and focuses on a play-based creative curriculum. Priscilla Williams is president and also has grandchildren in the program. She says much of Especially for Children’s success comes from the hardworking staff who design lesson plans specific to each class’s needs. “Parents will comment on how much their kids learn from their time there,” Williams says, adding that working both for and with parents is paramount in maintaining the reputation they have earned over the years.
Runner-up: Creekside Children’s Placethird place: Kinderberry Hill

Best Doggy Daycare/Kennel
Pets Are Inn

For the second year in row, Pets Are Inn has reached No. 1 in pet boarding by allowing owners to vacation and travel without worry or guilt. Whether you own a dog, cat or even a chinchilla, each pet boarded with Pets Are Inn stays in a private “host” home that has been evaluated, prescreened and interviewed to suit each individual client and their pet’s needs. Providing pick-up and drop-off allows owners to travel smoothly and send whatever items they choose along with their pet. Owner Ann Platt says that some clients’ animals will even wait in anticipation of their host family, adding that about 85 percent of clients are return customers. “I’ve heard people say they wouldn’t place their pet anywhere else,” she says.
Runner-up: Augusta Dog Services, third place: Woof Central

Best Veterinary Clinic
Westgate Pet Clinic

Once again, the veterinary team at Westgate Pet Clinic has gained recognition for their exceptional staff and great relationships with clients. The clinic specializes in treating cats, dogs and other small animals and provides many alternatives to traditional treatments such as acupuncture, animal prosthetics and laparoscopic surgery. Dr. Teresa Hershey says, “Delivering the quality care our clients expect and our pets deserve” is top priority for their expert and compassionate staff.
Runner-up: Southdale Pet Hospital, third place: Edina Pet Hospital

Westgate Pet Clinic is the top choice with readers.


Best Salon / Spa
Spalon Montage

Welcome to your journey of ultimate relaxation. In the middle of the shops on 50th and France is a slice of heaven. The balayage (a French word meaning “to sweep” or “to paint”) hair coloring service is all the rage. The technique creates a soft and natural look with color. Another popular service at Spalon Montage is in the skincare department: the Skin Pen. This treatment triggers new collagen synthesis resulting in smoother, firmer and younger-looking skin. Whichever service you wish, Spalon Montage caters to its clients’ individual needs, offering legendary customer service and an array of service options.
Runner-up: Lili Salon Spa, third place: Juut

Photo courtesy of Spalon Montage

Best Law Firm
Kallas Law Office

Over 20 years ago, Mike Kallas founded Kallas Law and continues to provide high-quality legal services to businesses and individuals in the community and the surrounding seven-county metro area. “My first priority is excellent client service,” says Kallas. “I am proud to be able to help my clients with a variety of legal needs.”
Runner-up: Hellmuth & Johnson, third place: Christianson & Laue

Best Insurance Agent
Joan Roisum: State Farm Insurance

Joan Roisum has been in the insurance business for 25 years. Her specialty is both personal insurance lines (home and auto) as well as commercial products. She is well versed in insurance and the care and trust she offers her clients make her Edina’s favorite insurance agent this year.
Runner-up: Michael Nelson and Michelle Nelson, State Farm Insurance, third place: Calhoun Insurance

Best Financial Advisor
Jon Kattke: Tradition Wealth Management

“Being someone’s trusted advisor is the greatest compliment you can ever achieve. It is paramount to understand my clients’ lives in order to accept their ‘personal CFO’ responsibilities,” says Jon Kattke. His primary focus is on building and preserving wealth for individuals and businesses. He takes pride in his ability to help his clients make smart decisions with their assets through regular contact, savvy financial modeling, and careful implementation. Kattke’s goal is to work with each client throughout his or her lifetime to provide assistance in navigating through the complexities and challenges of asset management.
Runner-up: Mike Clare, Northwestern Mutual, third place: Brad Johnson, Tradition Wealth Management

Hairstylist / Barber
Laura Lee Halverson: Lili Salon Spa

“May I offer you some coffee or tea?” is the first thing a client is asked when they walk into Lili Salon Spa. If you have an appointment with Laura Lee Halverson, your experience is sure to be the best. “My passion for being a stylist starts with the guest that sits in my chair. I don’t only care about their hair but I care about them as people, their lives, what drives them, and what inspires them,” Halverson says. She knows guests love a memorable experience and quality service as well as someone they can rely on and trust. Halverson’s genuine care for her clients has made her the top stylist in Edina for two years running.
Runner-up: Sandy Gray, Rocco Altobelli Salon, third place: Alli Swanson, Hair District

Photo by Tate Carlson; courtesy of Lili Salon Spa

Best Esthetician
Kathleen Maier: Skin Rejuvenation Clinic

At about the same time Kathleen Maier was ready for a change from her corporate career, she began noticing changes in her skin. She thought, “If I can figure out how to improve my skin, I can help a lot of other people.” Maier attended the Aveda Institute to study esthiology and has been a practicing esthetician for over nine years. She appreciates that advanced skincare goes far beyond facials to include things like laser technology that provide great results in improved skin tone. “I love seeing people happy with the results they see in the mirror,” Maier says. Regular skincare products Maier is passionate about include vitamin C serum and sunscreen.
Runner-up: Anne Morrison, Beautifye


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