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35 posts categorized "Art biz"

March 13, 2015

A New Age shop opens in Rochester's Cooke Park Design District

The owner of a new Rochester shop hopes to fill a spiritual void in this area.

Brinn McManus opened the doors of A Beautiful Soul on Friday at 619 6th Ave. NW. That's where Culligan water used to operate until it moved to Woodlake Drive Southeast in 2006.

Beautifulsoul1McManus describes her new business as "Rochester's first New Age Metaphysical gift store." It carries a variety of things like, healing herbs, gems, crystal, jewelry and aromatherapy materials.

"There is definitely a need for this," she said. "That's obvious by how many people have been stopping by even before were ready to open."

A Beautiful Soul is also more than just a gift shop. It also has Reiki master Teri Anderson on staff to offer Reiki, reflexology and acupressure treatments on site. McManus also plans to offer individual and group mediation classes as well as hosting visiting psychic practitioners and healers for weekend events.
"This is something I've wanted to do for some time, but it was never the right time or the right spot," she said. "Now I feel good that we've found the right spot."

A Beautiful Soul is the latest in a string of small artistic and unique businesses that have opened recently in that once faded neighborhood. Paul Bennett opened Dwell Local,a design and art shop in the former Paw and Claws building at 602 Seventh St. NW. The Urban Easel art studio soon opened next door at 608 Seventh St. NW. A European auto repair shop, Werkstatt 533, then came in and renovated an empty brick warehouse just up the street at 533 Sixth Ave NW.

The word is that a well-known floral arts designer may also be moving into the area soon.

All of that activity is leading people like McManus and Bennett to start dubbing the northwest neighborhood as the Cooke Park Design District.

It seems like a Renaissance of sorts is underway in the Cooke Park area, so the new name seems to fit pretty well at this point.

November 01, 2013

New photography, art shop opening

1277395_725002470848336_575516068_oLooks like a new photo and art shop called Sugar Lips is opening downtown in the little building at 300 First Northwest and Civic Center.

It's just north of 300 First. That's the little building that previously housed LeeAnn Zubay's Culinary Market, the ancestor of today's ZZest. It housed the phone repair shop, Alltech Repair, for a while after that.

This new project is being driven by Lindsey Zubay. I should have more details soon.

September 11, 2013

Gagnon sculpture goes on sale

A bronze sculpture by internationally renowned local artist Charles E. Gagnon recently went on sale by consignment in downtown Rochester.

Cache_4084796136The sculpture, called "Dancer Stretching," is on display at John Hasseler's Broadway Jewelry & Visual Arts, 325 South Broadway. Gagnon, who died in 2012, is best known locally for his Peace Plaza fountain sculpture.

His widow is developing the Charles E. Gagnon Museum and Sculpture Garden in the late artist's southwest Rochester home.

The bronze on display at Broadway Jewelry is 15" by 14" wide and weighs about 25 pounds. The owner lives in Montana and originally bought it directly from Gagnon in 2000 for $27,000. The asking price on the piece is $33,000.

Gagnon broke the mold after casting, so there is only one such sculpture. However, the artist did also make a larger version of the sculpture.

Hasseler, a goldsmith and jewelry maker, opened Broadway Jewelry in early 2012. He carries many original pieces of art, jewelry and offers watch repair. His gallery has works by three other bronze artists on display as well as 30 other artists.

August 13, 2013

Fudge evidently coming to Roch.'s 11th Ave.

The eagle-eyed and intrepid David Ferber spotted some sign painting on Rochester's 11th Avenue Northwest today and tipped me off to the action.

08132013artfudgebudilingI need to get out more, because I had no idea anything was cooking at the HSL Building at 612 11th Ave. N.W.

Someone painted a very nice logo sign on the side of the industrial building today for Minnesota Artisan Fudge.

The 20,000-square-foot complex was sold to 612 11 Ave. NW LLC at end of Dec. for $150,000, according Olmsted County property records. I wonder if that's right. 

I don't usually track commercial property sales under $300,000. I may need to adjust my methods.

The beige concrete block building that's a few feet from the railroad tracks is also sporting brand new, shiny Hayfield Windows. Construction seems to be underway inside.

Minnesota Artisan Fudge seems to be based, or at least connected to, Mantorville.

It looks like I need to do some sniffing around for chocolate. Heh.


August 08, 2012

Dance studio waltzing to a new home

It might take two to tango, but you also need plenty of room to dance.

A Rochester dance studio is waltzing towards a new address with a special new dance floor.

Construction is underway at 4204 U.S. 52 North for a new home for the Dahl Dance Studio.

426760_359275134093564_2064734104_nOwners April and Gary Dahl hope to move in October to the spot next to Harbor Freight Tools. Jaguar Communications last occupied the 2,800-square-foot space.

Darci Fenske, of Paramark Real Estate, brokered the deal for the space.

For the last seven years, the Dahl's have been teaching ballroom dancing and coaching a competitive team at 1619 N. Broadway in the Riverview Center.

So why pack up their dancing shoes to move to a new studio?

"We needed a larger dance floor. For competitive ballroom dancing, you need a 60- to 70-foot run of dance floor," says April Dahl.

In their current studio, the Dahls have two separate smaller dance areas.

"The new place won't have any walls or columns in the way," she says.

What it will have is a special new floor designed specifically for competitive ballroom dancing. The floor is being shipped in from the capital of fancy footwork, Las Vegas.

When it comes to competition, the Dahls have had students ranked among the top five dancers in the U.S. due to their performances in the Dancers Cup Circuit.

Gary Dahl has also been ranked among the top five dance instructors in the country.

Of course, the Dahl Dance Studio is about more than just competitive dance. They offer a wide variety of ballroom dancing courses — five to seven group classes a week — for children and adults.

"We're having a great time with it," says April Dahl of the couple's business.

Including the Dahls, the dance studio has five on staff.

July 20, 2012

Comic convention coming to Rochester's ' Underground city'

Local comics and fantasy fans have long been envious of the attention that larger cities in warmer places get from pop culture conventions, like the recent San Diego Comic Con.

Now it looks like they will have their one piece of the action right here in the Med City.
Bill Willingham, the creator of the wildly popular comic Fables as well as being a southern Minnesota transplant, recently told the Comic Con crowd that this was his last appearance at the San Diego event.

Most importantly for local comic and fantasy fanatics like myself, Willingham announced that he is organizing his own three day convention to be called, "Fabletown and Beyond."

It will focus on "mythic fiction" like his dark retelling of fairy tales and Neil Gaiman's "Sandman" series.

Here's the happy ending to this tale. This young Midwestern sibling of Comic Con will be held in downtown Rochester in March.

I got a kick out of how the comics site,, described the choice of Rochester as a venue.

"… The show will be held in Rochester, Minnesota. The facilities that have been chosen have been chosen specifically for the expansive indoor space, an underground city built for the wealthy visitors of the Mayo Clinic. This space will enable convention goers to remain indoors in the bitter Minnesota March."


The Post-Bulletin will have more on this as it gets nearer. For more information, check out

June 01, 2012

Olive Juice profiles 2nd Street Waver

This caught my attention Thursday when Rochester's Olive Juice Studios  emailed out their newsletter.

Olive Juice co-owner Scott Schoeberl and Jessica, who manages the photo studio, stopped on a whim to chat with Rochester's famous "2nd Street Waver."

Here's a little of what Kelly Schoeberl, who owns Olive Juice with her husband Scott, wrote about that visit plus, of course, some photos of the colorful Waver himself.

---------- 2ndStWaver_59ret

Scott and I have lived in Rochester for nearly 10 years.  Rochester is best known as the home and birthplace of Mayo Clinic and, to the dismay of some, the corn cob water tower.

The Rochester Convention and Visitors Bureau publishes a magazine, Experience Rochester, to promote the many amenities that make Rochester a "Best Place to Live" (Money Magazine).  And, if you ask someone on the street, they are more than happy to tell you where the nearest park, bike trail or golf course is.  What no one knows, however, is the story behind the guy on 2nd Street.

He stands on the sidewalk, wears the most outrageous outfits and happily waves at cars as they pass by.  We drive down 2nd Street every day.  It takes us to our gallery and it's the same road patients use when they visit Mayo Clinic.  Sometimes we see the "2nd Street Waver" in the morning and sometimes we see him in the afternoon.  No matte 2ndStWaver_35retr when, he always makes us happy.  So happy, we feel compelled to honk and wave back.

A few weeks ago, curiosity got the best of Scott and Jessica.  They had just finished a photo shoot and were driving back to the gallery when they saw him, the 2nd Street Waver.  Camera in hand, they stopped and introduced themselves (first name then last and middle, per his request).

Turns out, his name is Joey and he's 44 years old.

2ndStWaver_84retJoey has battled diabetes, high cholesterol and a depression that kept him locked in his apartment for years.  It wasn't until he "got a calling from God" that he went outside to wave. 

Joey wears a different outfit every day and gets limitless energy from the can of Pepsi he holds as he waves.  He taught Jessica to hold the can with 2 fingers outstretched to signify 2nd Street.  He also put his hats on her head and let her wave his flags.  He said she was the first person he ever let do so.

Joey hopes to start a movement.  Waving makes him feel better and he thinks people all over the country would feel better if they did it too.  It would be easy to dismiss Joey as "crazy" but we think he's pretty darn smart and can't help but wonder if the rest of us are the challenged ones.

April 27, 2012

Jeweler preparing to shine on Broadway

A new sign on Broadway shows that a new jewelry shop is getting ready to shine.

04272012broadwayjewelryJohn Hasseler, a jewelry, goldsmith and artist, is preparing to open Broadway Jewelry and Visual Arts at 325 S. Broadway at the corner of South Broadway and Fourth Ave.

I wrote about Hasseler and his new project back in March.

His move into that high profile spot was made possible when Cheri Brinson moved Cheri's Boutique out of the space and across the intersection become a store-within-a-store at Art Bitz in the Riverside Building.

Broadway Jewelry joins other nearby art businesses, including Cheri's, Artbitz and Carson Framing among others.

Back in March, Hasseler predicted that "Rochester is going to have a little art district downtown."

November 14, 2011

Yarn shop ready to roll soon

Knitters, get your needles ready.

Rochester's new yarn shop — Hank & Purl's Creative Nook and Knittery — will start rolling soon.

11022011hankpurlsknitteryLook for Hank & Purl's to open the doors on Nov. 22 at 1615 N. Broadway, in the River Center Plaza. That's just a few doors down from the Quilting Cupboard.

The owners Deb Zipse and Catherine Aagenes are busy tying up loose ends as the opening day comes closer.

Signs should go up in a week or two.

In addition to shelves of yarn and accessories, the new shop will have a spot for the area's roving bands of knitters to gather to share a stitch or two.

Hank & Purl's will have a sitting and knitting area set up for groups or individuals to put their products to work right away.

November 03, 2011

Commercial condo sells for $90,000

ShowPhotoA couple weeks ago I wrote about Rochester's A-Z Embroidery & Screen Printing moving from 7 Ninth St. N.E. to a new, larger studio in a commercial condo at 4481 U.S. 14 N.W. 

I just noticed that the sale of the U.S. 14 Northwest condo went through on Oct. 10.

For the record, Plaza 14 West LLC sold the 1,300 square feet of space for $90,000.