Biz buzz // Balloon business changes hands

After spending more than three decades running Tuthill’s Balloon Emporium at 2455 Hennepin Ave. S., Meg and Dennis Tuthill are out of the business.

The husband and wife team sold their family-run shop in October, when Meg Tuthill, elected in November to serve the 10th Ward on the City Council, was concentrating on her campaign.

“During the campaign it was taking too much and ultimately we decided after 30 years it was a pretty good run,” Dennis Tuthill said. “And the people who were taking it over were so well qualified that they didn’t need us.”

Those people are Kristin and Tim Traynor, a couple from Northeast Minneapolis. The Traynors renamed the store The Corner Balloon Shoppe, but they aren’t planning many other changes except for some inventory updates. The focus is still balloons and party favors.  

Kristin Traynor said she used to work for D’Amico Catering. Creating displays for events was part of the balloon business that appealed to her.

The Traynors are working on a new website for the store, which will eventually be at The phone number is the same: 377-4011.

New flower shop open in Calhoun Commons

Local flower and gift-shop chain Indulge and Bloom opened a third store Dec. 9 at 3054 Excelsior Blvd. in Calhoun Commons.

The business offers an assortment of flowers and specializes in exotic varieties.
It also creates floral arrangements for weddings and special events, offers gardening accessories and design help and sells gifts including home décor, vases, candles, stationary and other items.

Indulge and Bloom is planning a grand opening celebration from Jan. 14-16. On those days, all merchandise and floral arrangements will be 30 percent off and all customers who make a purchase will receive a $5 discount at Homemade Pizza Company next door.

Store hours are still being developed.   

Indulge and Bloom’s other stores are in Gaviidae Commons Downtown and in Northeast Minneapolis. Each of the stores can be reached at 343-0000. For more information, go to

Cabinet and kung fu combo comes to Kingfield

Eric Muchowski is a licensed chiropractor that happens to have a passion for kung fu and a knack for crafting custom cabinetry and other wood furnishings.

He does all three for a living — running a chiropractic office from home and, more recently, a kung fu school called Golden Leopard Martial Arts Center and a cabinetry shop named Dovetail Design Inc. from a couple spaces in Mulroy’s Body Shop near 39th Street and Nicollet Avenue.  

“I have three schedules and try to mesh them all together,” said Muchowski, who only has staff help for the martial arts school.

He said he’s been into martial arts since he was a boy. The style he teaches is a type of kung fu called Choy Li Fut. He hopes to add Thai chi classes as well.

Muchowski developed his woodworking skills in high school and early college while working with his brother, who builds custom homes.

Though he went to school to be a chiropractor and practiced full time for about eight years, Muchowski said he also helped his brother renovate a couple homes during that time. People started asking who did the work, he said, and before long, customers were lining up for custom cabinetry.

Muchowski hopes to eventually use another space in the Mulroy’s building for his chiropractic service, so all of his businesses are in the same place.

Hours for each business vary and Muchowski is working on websites for Dovetail Design ( and Golden Leopard ( For more information, call him at 578-0805.

Rosalux no longer coming to Southwest in February

There’s been a change in plans at Soo Visual Arts Center (SooVAC), 2640 Lyndale Ave. S., since buzz about a merger with Downtown gallery Rosalux spread late in the summer.

SooVAC Executive Director Suzy Greenberg said complications arose in the discussions for her nonprofit arts organization to share exhibition space with Rosalux, a for-profit gallery that closed its Downtown location in September. Plans for Rosalux to re-open in the SooVAC building in February are now on hold, Greenberg said.

She stopped short of saying all plans for a partnership were off.

Greenberg, who purchased the SooVAC building in 2001, was still looking for a new tenant to replace Highpoint Center for Printmaking, which moved to a new Lake Street location last spring. Rental income from Highpoint was crucial for supporting SooVAC, she said.

“We would never be able to have such a big space and such a prominent location without that, so it’s just been a tough time, and it sort of puts everything on hold, really,” she said.  

The SooVAC building used to house Fuji Ya, and Greenberg said restaurants were among the potential new tenants. Given the state of the economy, though, it has been difficult to get a commitment, she added.