Eat & Drink

Favorite independent bakery
Wuollet Bakery

You rely on Wuollet's for custom cakes for weddings, birthdays and other special occasions. Creative designs capture the hobbies and interests of honorees, all baked up in soufflé layers of cake and cream or in traditional Lady Baltimore, marble or devil's food. The family-run bakery also tempts you with pastries, tortes, cookies, bread and buns.
You also indulge your dessert cravings at A Baker's Wife Pastry Shop, Salty Tart Bakery, Sarah Jane's Bakery and Sun Street Breads.

Favorite co-op or green grocer
Mississippi Market

Marking its 35th anniversary this year, this St. Paul member-owner co-op is planning a third store, in the Dayton's Bluff neighborhood, to join those at the Selby-Dale corner and on W. 7th Street. The stores are certified organic retailers, emphasizing locally produced foods, minimal processing, a deli, catering, classes, and body and health care products.

Seward Community Co-op
Everyone's welcome at this bustling Franklin Avenue grocery and deli, where co-op owners get extra savings with "Owner Deals." It's so busy, in fact, that Seward launched a capital campaign for a second store in south Minneapolis. The co-op, growing since 1972, intends to stay true to its vision of "great food, sustainability and cooperation."

Wedge Community Co-op
Minnesota's first certified organic retailer, the Wedge is not only a thriving retail operation, but it's also in the business of farming through its Gardens of Eagan. Later this year, it will open a new cafe and market on Nicollet Avenue S. Meanwhile, a new lineup of events and food-centered classes will launch in September.
You also tote your reusable cloth bags to Eastside Food Cooperative, Hampden Park Co-op and Linden Hills Co-op.

Favorite farmers market
Minneapolis Farmers Market

What's your pleasure? Fresh cut flowers or fruits and vegetables? Smokehouse snacks or salmon? Shop for these items and more on the northern edge of downtown (daily) and along Nicollet Mall (Thursdays), in season. Watch a free Saturday morning cooking demonstration or subscribe to a weekly podcast in the iTunes store.

St. Paul Farmers' Market
By mid-June, you'll be able to ride the light-rail Green Line to this year-round Lowertown landmark. The market, operated by the St. Paul Growers' Association, offers only fresh, local produce, along with everything from venison to honey to baked goods. Catch the market in multiple seasonal locations around the metro area.
You also love to stroll and sample at the Midtown Farmers Market and the Mill City Farmers Market.

Place for the ultimate healthy dinner

Birchwood Café

This Seward spot - "not just for neighbors anymore" - is expanding to accommodate its legions of hungry visitors. For dinner, choose from such items as Green Curry with either Tempeh or Tilapia, the Wild Rice Walnut Turkey Salad Sandwich, a vegetable pizza (gluten-free crust available) and a healthy kids' menu. Most ingredients are sourced from organic farms.

French Meadow Bakery & Café
Described as "a tasty little oasis of thoughtful and healthy," the popular Lyndale Avenue S. eatery opened a second location on St. Paul's Grand Avenue this spring, serving high-quality fresh, local items. Dine on Faroe Islands Miso Salmon, Shrimp & Grits or Blackened Tempeh Taco, along with sides like the Baked Organic Rosemary Potato Wedges.

Good Earth
You head to Edina or Roseville for the Good Earth's meat and poultry free of antibiotics and hormones or sustainably harvested fish and seafood, accompanied by fresh, local produce. Your memorable night out might include Free Range Terikayi Chicken, Wild Acres turkey meatloaf, pan-roasted trout from Star Prairie, Wis., or even the Butternut Squash Tortellacci.
You also make reservations well in advance at Lucia's Restaurant and Wise Acre Eatery.

Favorite wine shop

Billed as "the Midwest's largest liquor store since 1934," Surdyk's is also a wine connoisseur's delight. Browse the many aisles lined with wines from all over the world, and especially from boutique wineries. The family-run store is staffed with wine experts who help you develop your palate through regular tastings and classes.
You also like to grab Cabernet or marvel at Merlot from Cork Dork Wine Co., Haskell's, Solo Vino and The Wine Thief.

Support Your Independents

Favorite local independent gift shop
The Bibelot Shops

"Whimsical, elegant and unexpected" - that's how Bibelot describes itself, and it's so true. Here's a seagrass basket, a tile-inspired mug, an "I Love You to the Moon" necklace, bath truffles, clever cards, clothing items, and Minnesota or holiday gifts. (Psst! The anniversary and after-Christmas sales are legendary.)
CorAzoN, Goddess of Glass, I Like You, Patina and Ten Thousand Villages are also on your go-to list when you want to find that perfect present.

Favorite local independent bookstore
Common Good Books

Garrison Keillor of "A Prairie Home Companion" fame is the proprietor of this eight-year-old bookstore, located at Grand and Snelling in St. Paul since 2012. Attend the many national and regional author appearances and readings, or browse the interviews, videos and poems on the store's Tumblr blog.

Magers & Quinn Booksellers
Billed as the Twin Cities' largest independent bookstore, this Uptown fixture carries new and used books on about any subject you can think of, including, but not limited to, design, gardening, LGBT, health, literature, self-help, poetry and parenting. Join the First Editions Club to collect signed keepsakes.
You also add to your bedside reading pile at Boneshaker Books, Micawber's Books and the Red Balloon Bookshop.

Favorite local independent place to get your new specs
Specs Appeal

Look here for hard-to-find, imported eyewear styles from Jean Lafont, Kio Yamato, the Rudy Project and more. If you're into sports, here's where to find prescription swim goggles or motorcycle sunglasses. You rest assured with the store's one-year unconditional warranty.

Spectacle Shoppe How will you choose from among 12,000 designer (Betsey Johnson, Stella McCartney) and one-of-a-kind styles? It's easy when the staff here makes it fun and helps you channel your inner geek or diva. Spectacle Shoppe also creates custom lens designs.
You also get fitted for frames at eyedeals and Look + See Eye Care.

Favorite local independent clothing store

You love hunting for stylish and exclusive dresses, tops, skirts and more - all for under $100 - at four Primp "cheap chic boutiques" or via Primp's Facebook page. As Primp says: "You shouldn't have to be a Rockefeller to be a snappy dresser!"
You also comb through the racks at The Bibelot Shops, Key North Boutique, Trade Winds and Stephanie's.

Favorite local independent shop for tech emergencies

FirstTech Computers

A pioneering Apple dealer from 1977 until its closing for business reasons in March, FirstTech had been awarded the company's "Premium Service Provider" designation. You trusted FirstTech's Apple-certified experts to perk up iPads and iPhones, and to handle emergencies when your Macs had a sad face. Women's Press readers will miss FirstTech.
When you have a crash, you also contact Call That Girl! and Chipheads.

Favorite local independent toy store

Creative Kidstuff

Around since 1982, this award-winning toy store says, simply: "We help families play." You'll find toys for learning, toys for active play, toys for imagination, games for families, and toys for kids on the autism spectrum. You also sign up for the store's music and parenting classes.

Peapods Natural Toys & Baby Care
Peapods believes in natural toys that kids just can't get enough of. Here's where you'll find classics such as wooden alphabet blocks, wooden puzzles, a potholder loom, Sarah's Silks play cloths and a puppet theater. Plus, the store now offers classes in its community room.

Favorite local independent appliance store
Warners' Stellian

Your first - and only - choice for kitchen appliances. Stroll past well-designed sample kitchen layouts to see your dream refrigerator or dishwasher in action. Then save money on a four-piece kitchen package from a trusted brand like Frigidaire, GE or Whirlpool. Laundry pairs are another specialty, as are outdoor grills and vacuum cleaners.

Favorite local independent consignment or thrift shop
Arc's Value Village

Clean, organized stores with thousands of items arriving daily attract shoppers on the prowl for everyday items and vintage treasures. Let a personal shopper pull your look together. You like getting extra savings with tag events, and by signing up for the VIP newsletter or rewards program.

Nu Look Consignment Apparel
Since launching in 1981 as the Twin Cities' first maternity consignment shop, Nu Look has expanded to women's, men's and children's wear, and specializes in newer brand-name and designer items. You appreciate the helpful staff, the two half-price sales and getting word of monthly deals by email.
You also trade in your togs at Elite Repeat, Turn Style Consignment and Unique Thrift Store.

Going Places

Favorite resort for a girlfriends' road trip
Bluefin Bay

Spa? Check. Award-winning cuisine? Check. Year-round outdoor pool and hot tub? Check. Nature activities? Double check. Escape to luxury above the crashing waves of Lake Superior with your posse of pals. Save room on your calendar for the resort's annual Girls Gone North Weekend.

Lutsen Resort & Sea Villas
At Minnesota's oldest resort, select girlfriend packages with massages, champagne and breakfast overlooking Lake Superior. Soak in the whirlpool, shoot a free round of par-3 golf, and take a guided hike or snowshoe tour. Or just relax over a glass of wine by the lodge's stone fireplace.
You also reconnect at Cragun's Resort and Hotel on Gull Lake, Grand View Lodge, Hawks View Cottages and Lodges, and Madden's on Gull Lake.

Favorite women-friendly bike shop

Erik's Bike and Board

From rugged mountain bikes to high-end road bikes to retro beach cruisers, Erik's will fit you into the right bike - in a welcoming atmosphere for women - at 18 stores in Minnesota and Wisconsin. The experienced staff will also put you in the right helmet and cycling apparel.

Freewheel Bike
Founded by "bike nuts" in 1974, Freewheel loves "finding new ways of making cyclists smile" on the West Bank, in Eden Prairie and now with a mobile service. And as you cruise Minneapolis' highway-like 5.7-mile Midtown Greenway, you can pause at Freewheel's Midtown Bike Center with its cafe, repair service, showers and restroom.

The Hub Bike Co-op
The worker-owned Hub goes beyond selling bikes and accessories to taking care of its workers and its community. Two group rides every Monday mid-April through August - one casual, one faster-paced - are just for women. And Grease Rag is an open shop night for women, transgender and femme cyclists at the Oak Street location.
You also pedal on out of Boehm's Cycle, Penn Cycle and Fitness, and Sunrise Cyclery.

Favorite car dealership

Luther Hopkins Honda

You adore best-sellers like the sensible Civic, sporty CR-V or flexible Fit. But move over, ordinary minivans: The 2014 Odyssey Touring Elite sports a built-in vacuum system and prestigious Good Housekeeping VIP award. You also value Luther Advantage discounts on gas, car washes and glass repair.

Poquet Auto
You don't have to zoom all over town: Poquet's showrooms in Golden Valley and Lakeville display well-priced, low-mileage, imported makes from Acura to Volvo all under one roof. You appreciate the no-pressure style, the financing and service on-site.

Walser Toyota
When choosing a Camry, Prius or redesigned Highlander with - eureka! - a spot in the center console for a large purse, you welcome Walser's pre-discounted, no-haggle pricing, the Warranty for Life and working with just one person throughout the sale. Loyalty pays, too, with the Walser Rewards program.

Favorite women-friendly car repair shop

This perennial honoree keeps right on doing what it takes to earn your trust, whether you drive a classic clunker or a fancy Ferrari. You count on Autopia's honesty and "extras" like Starbucks coffee and free Wi-Fi while you wait, or the shuttle ride from its convenient Uptown location.
You also keep your wheels in top shape at Bobby & Steve's Auto World, Lehman's Garage, Lloyd's Automotive and Parkway Autocare.

On the Home Front

Favorite garden designer or landscaper
Tangletown Gardens

The people at Tangletown pride themselves on being "advocates of beauty," and it shows in the custom designs they create collaboratively. Tangletown offers complete design, installation and maintenance for any outdoor project, from small to complex. As they say, "We let your garden come to life by going beyond the obvious."

Trio Landscaping, LLC
What sets Trio apart is designing "a landscape that meets your lifestyle in both form and function" - focusing on how you want to use your space. Projects ranging from decks to water features to privacy walls to lighting. Trio has been on HGTV's "Curb Appeal" and "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition."
You also hire Bachman's Inc., Field Outdoor Spaces, Leslie's Garden Inc. and Wagner's Greenhouses to highlight your hostas and hardscapes.

Favorite home remodeler
Castle Building & Remodeling

For the seventh straight year, Castle is crowned for its efforts "to bring a luxury service to the masses." Projects range from kitchens, bathrooms and basements to additions and whole-house remodels, done with a team approach and guaranteed upfront pricing and completion date. You appreciate that Castle is committed to hiring and buying locally.

Refined Homes
This St. Paul company's mission is to "maintain the original esthetics of the home" with its remodeling, repair, redesign and restoration projects. Refined Homes does bathroom and kitchen remodels, as well as a wide variety of interior and exterior work from drywall, electrical and plumbing to decks, roofing and fencing.
You also make your kitchen dreams come true with Bridgewater Construction, LLC; Otogawa-Anschel Design + Build, and White Crane Construction.

Favorite garden center

Bachman's Inc.

Everything green under the sun is available at Bachman's six retail garden centers, which sprouted from a vegetable plot in Minneapolis 129 years ago. To grow your green knowledge base, access Bachman's online plant library, view "how-to" videos or take flower arranging workshops so you can show off your garden's glory.
You also like to tiptoe through the tulips at Gertens Greenhouses & Garden Center, Mother Earth Gardens and Wagner's Greenhouses.


Favorite summer camp for kids
Concordia Language Villages

Since 1961, parents have raved about this program in Minnesota's North Woods that is "creating a world where everyone understands." You send learners for a week or two to immerse themselves in one of 15 languages: Arabic, Chinese, Danish, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Swedish.

YMCA Camping Services
Your young adventurers can start with day camp as early as age 4, then move up to overnights at places like Camp Ihduhapi or Camp St. Croix for traditional fun or specialties like horseback riding. Teens test themselves canoeing or backpacking in the wilderness for as long as a month.
You also fill the summer calendar with help from the Bell Museum of Natural History, the Edina Art Center, the Friends School of Minnesota, Mad Science of Minnesota and SteppingStone Theatre.

Favorite place to take kids on a rainy day

Minnesota Children's Museum

There are no "hands-off" signs here - kids can touch, climb and pretend in imaginative permanent exhibits like Habitot® (toddler heaven!), Our World (play restaurant! play bus driver!) or Earth World (be an ant in an anthill!). Traveling exhibits such as "Dinosaurs: Land of Fire and Ice" also delight.

Science Museum of Minnesota
Treat your dino nuts to "Ultimate Dinosaurs" and the omnitheater film "Dinosaurs Alive!" (through Aug. 24) at the Upper Midwest's most popular museum. Check out the new "Math Moves!" and "Future Earth" exhibits, then revisit favorites: watch a tornado form, make waves crash or see a real mummy.
The Como Park Zoo and Conservatory, your local library and the Minnesota History Center museum are also lifesavers when the clouds won't go away.

Favorite young adult book empowering girls

"The Hunger Games," Suzanne Collins

Again this year, you hold 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen up as a refreshing, independent role model for being resourceful, resilient, rebellious, a hunter, a survivor. Jennifer Lawrence, who plays Katniss onscreen, says "she's strong and not afraid to stand up for what's right even when it's scary."
You also put copies of "The Secret Garden" by Frances Hodgson Burnett and "Eleanor & Park" and "Fangirl," both by Rainbow Rowell, into the hands of the special young women in your lives.

Just for Fun

Favorite literary events
The Loft Literary Center
How lucky are we to have The Loft in our lives! The center brings readers and writers together through events such as book launches; writers' conferences; Equilibrium spoken-word shows; McKnight fellowship and Loft Mentor Series readings; and the Second Story series for young readers.

Our public libraries Women's Press readers love their public libraries and library events - from film series, author appearances and book clubs to storytimes, puppet shows and summer reading programs. The prestigious Minnesota Book Awards are an annual highlight.
You also love Talking Volumes and the Twin Cities Book Festival.

Favorite book by a Minnesota female author

"The Round House," Louise Erdrich

Again this year, the nationally renowned author and owner of Minneapolis' Birchbark Books tops your list. Her novel of violence on an Ojibwe reservation and one boy's efforts to seek justice continues to spread through book clubs and community reading programs.
You also rave to your book-loving pals about "Hit by a Farm: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Barn," Catherine Friend; "Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail," Cheryl Strayed; "Monkeewrench," P.J. Tracy; and "The Late Homecomer," Kao Kalia Yang.

Favorite independent art materials or craft store

Wet Paint Inc.

No matter what kind of art or what level you're at, the practicing artists at this independent Grand Avenue shop help you find what you need from among more than 40,000 items - or shop online. Wet Paint offers free workshops and strives to stock products that big stores overlook.
You also feed your arty habit at ArtScraps, Crafty Planet and Mosaic on a Stick.

Favorite art festival

Billed as the nation's largest open studio tour, the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association's Art-a-Whirl invites you inside private studios and galleries to meet artists and see demonstrations. On May 16-18, more than 70 locations will feature 500-plus artists who work in everything from clay to glass to printmaking and more.

Powderhorn Art Festival
A big red and yellow sun sculpture beckons you to Powderhorn Park in south Minneapolis for a juried art fair now in its 23rd year - and a Women's Press favorite for three straight years. Admire the works of 184 artists on Aug. 2-3 while you stroll around the lake.
You also lose yourself in a sea of white tents at the Edina Art Fair, the Loring Park Art Festival, the St. Paul Art Crawl, the Stone Arch Bridge Festival and the Uptown Art Fair.

Animal Friends

Favorite animal hospital or veterinarian
Minnehaha Animal Hospital

You again honored Minnehaha for its client-centered approach and full range of services, from preventive care and digital radiography to therapeutic laser therapy, acupuncture and even hospice. Here's where you bring Fluffy for shots, exams and perhaps a claw trim, and Fifi for her grooming, teeth cleaning and a microchip.
Fluffy and Fifi also stay happy and healthy with care from the Camden Pet Hospital, East Lake Animal Clinic, Midway Animal Hospital, Nokomis Pet Clinic, St. Francis Animal & Bird Hospital, Southview Animal Hospital and VCA Animal Care Hospital.

Favorite place for pet supplies
Chuck & Don's Pet Food Outlet

You frequent this hometown company for the high-quality, holistic, natural brands of dog and cat food at competitive prices, as well as supplies for wild and caged birds, aquatic animals and more. To receive shopper rewards, all you have to do is say, "I'm a friend of Chuck."
You also stock up on canned food and kibbles at It's a Pet's Life, Minnehaha Animal Hospital and the Southside Farm Store.

Favorite place to board your pet
Pet Doctors

At this cats-only paradise, your kitty plays the day away in her own cottage with a perch and windows for watching the world go by. She climbs and explores on the large cat tree as bird sounds play on a CD. Meanwhile, you have peace of mind while you're away.
You also send your precious pets "on vacation" to ADOGO Pet Hotel and Now Boarding.

In our Communities

Favorite organization serving women or girls I'd most like to support financially
Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota

Your dollars help provide annual exams, birth control, cancer and STD screenings, and reproductive-health services to more than 60,000 people each year. Planned Parenthood - serving the area since 1928 - has also helped enrollees find affordable health insurance through MNsure.
You also donate generously to the Advocates for Human Rights/Women's Program, Breaking Free, the Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys, the Minnesota Women's Consortium, the Twin Cities Women's Choir, WomenVenture, the YWCA of Minneapolis and the YWCA St. Paul.

Favorite place to volunteer for women or girls
Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys

Oh, it's so much more than cookies! As volunteers, you team up to guide girls in gaining leadership skills and having fun - for a few hours or a few years. Your roles include troop leaders, cookie managers (OK, some of it IS about cookies) or serving at the unit level.
You also roll up your sleeves and pitch in with the Assistance League Thrift Shop; Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities; Breaking Free; Dress for Success Twin Cities; Habitat for Humanity Women Build; OutFront Minnesota; Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota; the St. Paul Area Council of Churches, Project Home; the YWCA of Minneapolis; and the YWCA St. Paul.

Favorite arts organization
Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association (NEMAA)

This nonprofit's vision is "to support a community where artists can live, work and showcase their art," and it's working: NEMAA helped establish today's thriving Northeast arts district. You make plans to attend the famed Art-A-Whirl studio tour, Fall Fine Arts Show and monthly open studios.
You also are most appreciative of The Loft Literary Center, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Walker Art Center and WARM (Women's Art Resources of Minnesota).

Favorite women-friendly spiritual community

First Universalist Church of Minneapolis

You participate in services, circles or the many youth/family and social justice programs to "give, receive and grow" at this congregation that dates to 1859. You also connect through groups such as the Association of Universalist Women, Under Northern Skies Women's Ritual Circle and Women Who Read.

Shir Tikvah Synagogue
Begun in 1988 in the spirit of liberal Judaism, Shir Tikvah ("Song of Hope") gives you a vibrant, inclusive community where the study of Torah is a lifelong process. Shir Tikvah aims to "apply the wisdom and principles of our heritage in acts of loving kindness and social responsibility."

Sisters of St. Joseph Carondelet
The sisters and consociates live their mission "by responding to the needs of our time." Established in St. Paul since 1851, the sisters "foster the common good through advocacy, creative arts, education, health care, social service and spirituality." They also vow to "live simply, love inclusively and listen attentively."
You also nourish your souls at Clouds in Water Zen Center, Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church, Spirit United Church and Unity Church-Unitarian.

Favorite peace and justice organization

Center for Restorative Justice and Peacemaking

Housed in the University of Minnesota School of Social Work, the center provides training, research and dialogue around hate crimes and political violence with outreach to Somali-American leaders; American Palestinians and Jews; Native Americans in South Dakota; Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland (through Seeds of Hope), and more.

Sisters of St. Joseph Carondelet
The sisters' Justice Commission consists of working groups and task groups that take action on such topics as restorative justice, racism, food justice, human trafficking, immigration, eliminating poverty, homophobia and Native American awareness. The commission's mission is to "act for justice and equality for all."

Women Against Military Madness (WAMM)
This nonviolent, feminist group's purpose is "to dismantle systems of militarism, economic exploitation and global oppression." WAMM's many activities include speakers, outreach, resource materials, weekly peace vigils, study committees, circulating petitions, building coalitions and issuing action alerts.
You also honor the work of the Advocates for Human Rights/Women's Program, Jewish Community Action, OutFront Minnesota and TakeAction Minnesota.

Learning all the Time

Favorite place to continue your career education
University of Minnesota, College of Continuing Education

Advance your career with a professional development course in project management, human resources or supervision. Take regular "U" courses as a non-degree student, or even complete an undergraduate or graduate academic certificate in accounting, addiction studies or construction management. Professional conferences keep you up-to-date in your field.
You also build your skill set at St. Catherine University and the University of St. Thomas.

Favorite women-friendly graduate program
St. Catherine University

Master's programs at the nation's largest college for women include specialties such as Montessori, holistic health studies, library and information science (Minnesota's only American Library Association-accredited program) and physician's assistant studies. Doctoral programs are offered in nursing, occupational therapy and physical therapy. Many programs offer flexible, online and summer meeting times convenient for working adults.
You also find a welcoming spot in the classrooms for the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program at Hamline University, at St. Mary's University of Minnesota and in the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

Favorite leadership development program
Center for Emerging Leadership, Women in Leadership Program

This nonprofit center's yearlong, four-part retreat series "provides the conditions to access both internal and external resources to respond wisely, intentionally and compassionately in work and life." According to the center, you'll form a learning community that explores leadership through stories, reflection and dialogue, led by facilitators who practice shared, collaborative leadership and learning.
You also take your talents to the next level at St. Catherine University's Leadership Institute.

Place for an art or craft class
Community Education

Look no further than your local school or community center for cool classes to spark your creative gene. Classes are convenient and fees are typically reasonable. Try your hand at Viking weave jewelry bracelets in Bloomington, pet portraits in Woodbury, stained glass in Minneapolis or abstract acrylic paintings in St. Paul.
You also dabble, paint or throw a few pots at the Bloomington Art Center, the Edina Art Center, the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, the Minnetonka Center for the Arts, the Northern Clay Center and the White Bear Center for the Arts.

Strong Voices for Women

Favorite Minnesota female politician
Sen. Amy Klobuchar

Now in her second six-year term, she not only works hard to strengthen Minnesota families, she's heading an Emily's List effort to get more women elected to "make a difference." You admire her for her hard work with consumer protection issues, seniors, military families, health care and much more.
You also look up to the leadership of state Rep. Karen Clark, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges and U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum.

Favorite Minnesota male politician
Sen. Al Franken

Fighting for Minnesota women, seniors, farmers and veterans, he's also a national champion of privacy and Internet rights. He's proud of his provisions in the reauthorized Violence Against Women Act ensuring that women don't have to pay for their own rape kits and making it illegal to evict abused women from federally supported housing.
Gov. Mark Dayton, U.S. Rep Keith Ellison and former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak also win your votes and your respect.

Taking Care of Business

Favorite female attorney
Elizabeth A. Cloutier, Cloutier Law Offices, P.A.

For five years, Elizabeth Cloutier has been a Women's Press favorite. You turn to this experienced litigator for help with such matters as personal injury, discrimination, sexual harassment, LGBT rights and family law - child support, divorce, paternity and adoptions.

Jessica White, JW Legal Services, P.A.
With her background in both law and human resources, Jessica White specializes in employment and unemployment law, housing law and military family issues. Her goal is "eliminating discrimination, harassment and retaliation in the workplace." She's also a qualified mediator.
You also trust the legal counsel of Samantha Gemberling, Wolf, Rohr, Gemberling & Allen, P.A.; Rhia Gronberg, Attorney at Law LLC; Kris Maser, Maser, Amundson, Boggio & Hendricks, P.A.; Chris Tymchuck, Unique Estate Law; and Jennifer Urban, Urban Law Group.

Favorite life or career coach
Marcia Hyatt

Want to strengthen your leadership abilities? Refocus or renew your career or life? Listen to your inner voice? Marcia Hyatt coaches in groups, by phone or in one-to-one retreats at her "A Room of One's Own" cottage on Lake Superior.

Freda Marver, Begin Again Coaching
If you're in a life or career transition, seeking someone to confide in or are ready to dig deep, Freda Marver offers "a safe space" to gain confidence, clarity and a plan of action. Attend her workshops or a Florida retreat.
When you get stuck, you also turn to Jen Bertsch, Moxy Coaching; Amy Egenberger, Spirit Out! Inc.; Paula Hemming, River Dreams; Laurie Mattila; and Mary Olk.

Favorite Minnesota role model for women in business
Marilyn Carlson Nelson

The much-admired part-owner and former head of the worldwide Carlson hospitality company (think Radisson and Country Inns & Suites) is a repeat honoree. Still civic-minded, she's an activist against human trafficking and is currently working to bring the Super Bowl back to Minneapolis.
You also admire the acumen of Kim Bartmann of Bryant-Lake Restaurants, Inc.; Shegitu Kebede, Flamingo Restaurant; Stacy Enxing Seng, Covidien ev3; and Tracy Singleton, Birchwood Cafe.

Favorite place for personal banking
Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union
If you want to open a checking or savings account, get a VISA card, or get great rates on a home, auto or student loan, you value that the non-profit Affinity Plus emphasizes "putting people first."

Wings Financial Credit Union
Once a member, always a member. You switch to Wings Financial for fewer and lower fees, cash back, attractive loan and savings rates - even mortgage loans. Nearly all Twin Cities-area residents are eligible to become members.
You also deposit your hard-earned funds at Sunrise Banks, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo.

Favorite financial planner
Ameriprise Financial

Just starting a family? Planning for college? Easing into retirement? Your advisor from this No. 1 financial planning firm, founded in Minneapolis in 1894 and still headquartered here, helps you meet your financial dreams and goals through its Dream > Plan > Track > ® approach.
You also like to build your nest egg with Ruth L. Hayden & Associates and Nicole Middendorf, Prosperwell Financial.

Favorite place to get a business loan
Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union

"Not for Profit - For People" is the tagline of this 80-year-old not-for-profit co-op with nearly 30 locations. For your small business, take advantage of services like lower-fee rewards checking, savings accounts with benefits, merchant services, and cash and coin delivery.

U.S. Bank
Since 1976, this Minneapolis-based bank has made more than $6 billion in government-backed loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Your small business will benefit from lower down payments, longer repayment terms and up to 90 percent financing.

You also jump-start your entrepreneurial plans with BankCherokee, Northeast Bank, Sunrise Banks, VisionBank, Wells Fargo and WomenVenture.

Healthy Directions

Favorite female dentist
Adele Della Torre, D.D.S., ADT Dental

Not only is she committed to your teeth, but Dr. Della Torre is also committed to community service and social justice. Founding this Uptown clinic in 1989, she also offers cosmetic dentistry, implant dentistry and clear aligner braces.

Joan Jakubas, D.D.S., Jakubas Dental
Strong relationships and educating patients for better overall health are important to Dr. Jakubas, who also offers endodontics, implants and cosmetic dentistry near Minnehaha Park. She is taking a post-graduate program in esthetic dentistry to advance her skills.

Sepi M. Taghizadeh, D.D.S., Isles Dental Dr. Taghizadeh and her all-woman staff at Isles Dental in Minneapolis have been "devoted to the natural beauty of your smile" for more than 20 years. This dental practice uses state-of-the-art technology and prides itself on gentle care.

Susan Olson General Dentistry, Fischbach Dentistry Notably, Dr. Olson's St. Paul practice uses the CERC system to make ceramic dental restorations - for such things as a crown or veneer - in one office visit. And there's no need to be nervous; fearful patients are welcomed.

Favorite gym or health club
YWCA of Minneapolis
Uptown, Downtown or Midtown, a fitness class is calling your name: yoga, cardio, ballet barre, water running or even Cycle to the Movies. Doing your first 5K or their annual women's triathlon? You can train for that, too. Then schedule a sports massage - aaah!

YWCA St. Paul Time to get energized or get in shape? Classes here include everything from boot camp and kettlebells to tabata and TRX to dance and SilverSneakers programs. Other pluses include a variety of aquatics lessons, certified personal trainers and perks for members.
You also like to tone and strengthen at Lifetime Fitness, the SweatShop Health Club and the YMCA.

Favorite women-friendly clinic
Fairview Clinics

You choose among dozens of Fairview clinics for family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics and ob-gyn primary care, as well as adult and pediatric specialty services. Several locations offer walk-in urgent or express care. Same-day appointments and extended hours are additional perks.

Health Center for Women, HealthPartners
You visit this Midway-area clinic - where the doctors are all women - for family practice, internal medicine and ob-gyn care, plus nutrition and mental and chemical health care. Conveniently, most insurance is accepted, and you can schedule same-day and online appointments.
You also maintain wellness at Clinic Sofia OBGYN, PA, the Family Tree Clinic and Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota.

Favorite elder housing

This sprawling facility near Como Park, founded by a group of women in 1906, offers your special senior a continuum of care. Options include market-rate or subsidized apartments for independent or assisted living; skilled nursing care; memory care programs; rental cottages, and community-based support. Lives are enriched through arts, music, outings, a café, gift shop, support groups, hundreds of busy volunteers - even Wii bowling.

Sunrise of Edina, Golden Valley, Minnetonka and Roseville
Sunrise champions a high-quality, comfortable setting for seniors needing assisted living, memory care and short-term stays. Scheduled care includes doctor visits, nursing services and medication management. Your senior enjoys amenities such as step-in tubs; a community pet; and paths, gardens, parks and playgrounds. Days are filled with enriching activities, scheduled cultural outings, from-scratch meals and perhaps dancing to the jukebox in the "bistro."
You also rest easier knowing your elders are safe at Ebenezer (Fairview Health Services), Spirit on Lake and The Wellington.